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Merry Christmas and Happy New year
STUDY.ru and Santa presents a selection of Christmas music and interesting Christmas stories.
Listen to your favorite Christmas music, read about Christmas traditions and enjoin the holidays.
Click on a link below to know about Christmas traditions.
The tradition of having an evergreen tree become a symbol of Christmas goes back past recorded written history.
The Druids in ancient England & Gual and the Romans in Europe both used evergreen branches to decorate their homes and public buildings to celebrate the Winter Solstice. Over the years, these traditions were adopted by Christians, who incorporated them as part of their Christmas holiday celebration.
Trees used specifically to celebrate Christmas are mentioned in the early 1600's in Germany and surrounding countries. The families would set up these trees in a prominent location of their home and decorate them with colored paper, small toys, food, and sometimes candles. As these people moved or immigrated to other countries, they brought this tradition with them.
Through the years many different things were used to decorate Christmas trees. As the world moved into the 1900's, many trees were decorated with strings of popcorn, homemade cards and pictures, cotton to look like snow, candy in all shapes and sizes, and occasionally, fancy store made glass balls and hand blown glass figurines. Candles were sometimes used, but often caused devastating fires, and many different types of candle holders were devised to try to prevent tree fires. Electric tree lights were first used just 3 years after Thomas Edison has his first mass public demonstration of electric lights back in 1879. The early Christmas tree lights were handmade and quite expensive.
Today, Christmas tree ornaments can be found in nearly every size, color, and shape imaginable, and they are used to decorate the millions of Christmas trees used throughout the world.
Some of the first decorations that people put in their homes during the Christmas season were the branches of Holly trees and the Mistletoe that they found on the trees during this winter season.
The changing of the seasons ruled the lives of most people in the early days of Europe. During the cold winter months, most people stayed inside their homes, and to pass the time used their hands and tools to create things out of wood, straw, glass, metal, stone and other materials they could find. These creations, ranging from hand carved wooden figures to straw angels were used to decorate the home and, since most of the population were poor peasants with very few possessions, these items were displayed, treasured and handed down among the families.
One common set of figures that were carved were those of the Nativity. Once the basic Nativity was complete, carvings of animals, angels, and stars could be added until dozens of these figures could take up a significant part of their home!
It was a natural evolution to display these figures on the Christmas tree that many used to decorate their homes during the winter Christmas season. They were hung from branches, and new figures and creations were added each year.
As the celebration of Christmas spread and families were able to afford to buy things instead of having to make them, they began buying decorations for their homes and Christmas trees instead of making them. Lights were added to the tees and then to the houses, and even outdoor decorations began to be used in front yards, bushes, and trees.
Many people choose to use the image of family around the Christmas tree for their photo Cristmas cards. A very traditional and beautiful image to share with friends and family.
Christmas carols and caroling in the old world was a mix of singing and dancing and was practiced for all festivals throughout the year. When Christmas was firmly established to be celebrated on December 25th, many of the existing carols (or songs) were sung on that day and new ones written to celebrate Christmas.
St. Francis of Assisi was instrumental in making the Christmas celebration one for the people instead of just for the clergy. He created large nativity scenes outside of his church and translated many of the Christmas carols from Latin into languages spoken by the average person and encouraged them to sing these songs to express their joy during the Christmas season.
This practice of singing Christmas songs outside of the Church near the nativity scenes spread throughout Europe and it was a natural next step for these Christmas Carolers to start walking through the neighborhoods around the churches sharing their festive songs. Caroling started to decline in popularity as people were able to hear and play the same songs on the radio and eventually on their own record players, however, carolers can still be seen during the holiday season walking through neighborhoods and sharing the Christmas message much as they have done for the past 1000 years.
Santa Claus has been called by several different names throughout the years. Traditions and legends of Santa Claus for the evolution of the modern-day Santa may have been based on the early Dutch legend of Sinterklaas, originating in the 1600's.
Santa Claus really started to get famous when American author Washington Irving published stories about Santa Claus, referring to him as Saint Nicholas who arrived on Christmas Eve bringing presents for children.
Santa Claus changed and became more famous when writer Clement Clarke Moore wrote a poem in 1823 about a Christmas Eve visit from Saint Nicholas, better known as "The Night Before Christmas" (listed below). Millions of children now could have a consistent description of Santa Claus and his eight flying reindeer.