Historically, the origin of Christmas is rather unclear. However, the Church quickly sought to establish an explanation for the origin of this date, which is celebrated throughout the world.
Around 350, the Pope definitively fixed 25 December as the date for the beginning of the liturgical year and thus the coming of Christ, the birth of Jesus. During the following century, this feast would gradually spread from East to West. Until then, it was just a date, a festival. During the Middle Ages, this date was clarified and the festivals that accompanied it were established: this day became a public holiday, it was the feast of Christians and was accompanied by a mass on 24 December (soon followed by another on 25 December) and then supplemented by liturgical stories in which the shepherds and their sheep made an appearance. It was not until the 15th century that the first nativity scenes were discovered, and then the first Christmas trees a century later in Europe.
What about Christmas Father?
This character, who was called Saint-Nicholas, appeared around 270 and became a martyr after converting to Christianity. It is thanks to a knight passing through Italy that he will make his appearance again from the 12th century in France. At first associated with his passage through the villages on the first week of December, the families will rather remember the passage of Father-Noêl on December 24th because it symbolizes the birth of Jesus. Later, it appeared in the United States at the beginning of the 19th century and was taken up by the European continent after the Second World War.
And why Strasbourg?
The first Christmas market appeared in Alsace around 1570 and was accompanied by a Christmas tree. The tree was located on the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville where the inhabitants used to dance at its foot on Christmas Eve.
A family gathering above all
Nowadays, many people see Christmas as a day dedicated to the Family. It is a time of reunion and sharing that can last for several days. We give our time to prepare a good meal, which we will enjoy with the family, with the oldest and also the youngest, because we must not forget that this date symbolises birth.
Gifts, but why?
Gifts first appeared in the 18th century. On the occasion of the New Year, it was customary to give objects to please loved ones. These gifts also represent the offerings of the shepherds for the birth of Jesus.
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