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Christmas is celebrated on December 25 every year honoring the birth of Jesus Christ. Some churches celebrate it on January 7 due to following different calendars.
Jesus is Christianity's central figure. Although the date of his birth has not been pinpointed most agree that he was born around 6 4 B.C. in Bethlehem. At the time his parents Mary and Joseph were on their way to register in the Roman census. Mary was told by an angel that she was with child as a result of Immaculate Conception. She gave birth to Jesus while they stopped for rest.
Jesus spent his life working as a preacher and healer in Galilee and Judea. He was believed to be a messiah who would redeem world of sin. Roman prefect Pilate sentenced him to death by crucifixion. It is believed that he came back to life three days after his execution confirming the fact that he was the son of God.
Two centuries after his death first efforts were made in order to establish the exact date of his birth and December 25 was chosen, possibly out of convenience.
Today, religious and commercial festivities vary from region to region. In The United States and England Christmas has become the biggest economical holiday of the year with people spending weeks before December 25 shopping for presents.
Exchange of presents, decorating homes with lights, holly and mistletoe, decorating a Christmas tree and Santa Claus are some of the traditions that apply worldwide.
Santa Claus, or Father Christmas as he is known in England, is based on a real person, St. Nicholas, a bishop who lived in 4th century. He was generous and kind and eager to help the poor and underprivileged.
The tradition of decorating a Christmas tree originates from Germany but is nowadays common in most countries. Religious celebrations begin with Advent and include Midnight mass on Christmas Eve and carol singing.