What is Christmas (and Its Meaning)

Christmas is a religious holiday in which Christians commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. It is celebrated on December 25 of each year. In fact, the word Christmas, as such, comes from the Latin natives, natives which means ‘birth’.

This term, however, is used not only to refer to the day on which the birth of Jesus is celebrated (Christmas Eve), but also extends to designate the subsequent period, until Three Kings’ Day.


Nowadays, Christmas is celebrated in many places and in very different ways. In general, one of the current characteristics of Christmas is the increase in consumption, especially of objects used as gifts and food.

From the Christian point of view, however, this is not considered to be the true meaning of Christmas. The meaning of Christmas, on the contrary, responds to the manifestation of certain human values ​​that during the year remain more or less in oblivion.

Values ​​such as solidarity, union, love, peace and hope are more typical of the Christmas season, and are represented in the religious beliefs of Christianity.

See also Christmas Eve.

Christmas origin

Christmas was established on December 25 as a day of solemnity by the Catholic Church in the year 350 thanks to Pope Julius.

In the Bible, however, the exact day of Jesus’ birth is not mentioned. Hence, the celebration of Christmas in principle was not part of the Christian traditions.

The reason for setting December 25 as the date for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ responds to the Church’s need to replace the festival of Saturnalia (or Saturnalia), traditional in Ancient Rome, which coincided with the winter solstice and which was celebrated by the so-called pagans, and thus facilitate the acceptance of Christianity.

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See also 5 images that show the true meaning of Christmas.

christmas symbols

Christmas tree

The Christmas tree has a Christian meaning although its use has become widespread among people of different beliefs. The Christmas tree refers to the tree of Paradise, to original sin and to the figure of Jesus as the redeemer of sins, but the evergreen leaf is also a symbol of eternal life.

Typical Christmas tree decorations are

  • The stara symbol of guidance, in reference to the star of Bethlehem;
  • The ballsoriginally apples, referring to temptations;
  • Garlands and tinselsymbol of unity and joy;
  • Lightsoriginally candles, symbolizing the light of Jesus that illuminates the world.

See also Christmas tree.

Santa Claus

Santa Claus is the name given in some countries to the character of Santa Claus, Santa, Saint Nicholas, among others. He is a character dressed in a red suit, belt and black boots, who is in charge of making and delivering the toys desired by the children on the night of December 24 to 25.

See also Santa Claus.


The manger, also known as a nativity scene or nativity scene, is an important symbol of Christmas, as it represents the arrival of Jesus into the world.

Inside the manger, the essential figures are the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and the Child Jesus, together with the mule and the ox. Other figures in the manger are the three Magi (Melchor, Gaspar, Baltazar) and the shepherds.

See also Manger.

Christmas wreath

The Christmas wreath, also called an Advent wreath, is used to represent the four-week Advent period that precedes the arrival of Christmas. It is made with pine or fir branches. Four candles are placed on it, one for each week.

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See also Christmas wreath.

Christmas in the Bible

Information about the birth of Jesus is found in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew. One of the most distinguished texts on Christmas is found in the book Luke:

“And it came to pass in those days that an edict went out from Caesar Augustus, for a census to be taken of the entire inhabited world. This was the first census taken, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And they all went to register in the census, each one to his city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be registered together with Mary, betrothed to him, the which was pregnant. And it came to pass that while they were there, the days of her delivery were completed. And she brought forth her firstborn son; she wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

“In the same region there were shepherds who were out in the fields, tending their flocks during the night watches. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. But the angel said to them: ‘Do not be afraid, because behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people; for a Savior has been born to you this day in the city of David, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.’

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“Suddenly a multitude of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased'” (Luke 2:1 -14).

See also: 12 Christmas traditions that you can’t imagine what they mean.