The festive times are upon us, and in a few weeks, we will be heralding a new beginning. A precursor to that is Christmas, the day we mark the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas has become a global phenomena and quite popular, and it is but natural that some of the aspects of this festival have been forgotten. Here are five facts that we should all know about Christmas:
#5 Santa Claus is not Father Christmas
Everyone thinks that Santa Claus has something to do with Christmas. Actually, the fictional character Santa Claus is not found anywhere in the Catholic lore. Quite interestingly, Santa Claus was created by the Coca Cola company (therefore the red color) and has since then been a Christmas staple. The confusion starts because there was, in fact, a St. Nicholas who spent large amounts of money taking care of young orphans, and Santa Claus was someone who gave gifts to children, during Christmas time.
#4 Your Catholic friends do not ‘celebrate’ 24th Night.
Many non Catholics may not know this, but the actual festivities of Christmas start after the Midnight mass. Which means, most Catholics are in church right at 12:00 in the night, and not celebrating any Christmas party. Of course, with the rules and regulations, in some places, the Midnight mass ends earlier. So, the Christmas mass is on the 24th Night, and the Christmas celebrations are on the 25th Night.
#3 Catholics have our own ‘farsan’ for Christmas
If you thought Christmas was just about cakes and liquor and biryani, you are mistaken. Catholics make their own band of farsan, and we also exchange it with family and friends. What makes this menu is something called as newri, ghatiya, cookies and sakarpada. Not too different, is it?
#2 There’s No ‘X’ in Christmas
We do not know when this started, but we think it started somewhere in the nineties. We still do not know what started it out, did it start out because the greeting card companies wanted to save ink, or some copywriter wanted to give a new meaning, we never know, but nobody in the world in their right mind would come up with the idea of ‘x’ replacing Christ. You will even read conspiracy theories that the X is used by some evil people to remove Christ from Christmas and replace it with the devil. While we won’t go that far, we can atleast tell you that there’s no X in Christmas.
#1 What is the Crib?
Many non Catholics wonder what the crib is. Basically, the crib is the symbolisation of the birth of Jesus Christ, who was born in a stable in a makeshift manger. In the nineties, cribs were big and epulant, but they are becoming more and more simpler and creative nowadays.