When is Christmas Day? Why is it celebrated? History, Traditions, and Facts

Simran Rigzin
Simran is a constant work in progress and never says no to an opportunity. She loves writing and broadening the knowledge of vocabularies and use of language. She believes that there's always something to gain from experiences no matter how small they may be.

Why is Christmas celebrated?

Christmas Day is a day celebrated by people all over the world in remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. It falls on the 25th of December every year and has been this day since nearly the fourth century. The day is a public holiday and a festival known by the whole world. It is a day that the Christians rejoice and honour for God sent his only son to show people the right path and die to wash away their sins. The holiday is colourful and full of presents; the houses are decorated with beautiful lights and not to forget the Christmas tree which is always the centre of attraction. Christmas is a time that families come together and celebrate the day with their loved ones. The shopping for Christmas begins almost a month early as houses get ready for the most significant festival. It is one of the most looked forward holidays of the year by both the parents and children (Though the children are more excited about it).

When is Christmas?

Though it falls on the 25th December every year, the following are the days it has fallen and will fall on:

YearChristmas Date
2017Monday, December 25, 2017
2018Tuesday, December 25, 2018
2019Wednesday, December 25, 2019

History of Christmas

The exact date of when Christ was born is unknown but has been celebrated on the 25th of December for decades. Christmas Day is an occasion that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem.


The birth of Jesus Christ is explained in the Christian’s Holy book known as the ‘Bible’ in the chapters of Mathew and Luke of the New Testament. During the 17th century, though people all over the world spent the day having fun, many groups such as the Puritans banned the holiday due to people getting drunk and partying all day.

No one is sure why 25th was chosen as the date to celebrate this day, but some scientists such as Isaac Newton argued that it was in sync with the winter solstice. Some believe that it was the day that fell together with Saturnalia, an ancient festival celebrated by the Pagan.

Christmas became an official federal holiday only on June 26, 1870, in the US and UK also recognised the holiday in 1834.

Santa Claus

Santa Claus is actually an imaginary person who was based on a monk named St. Nicholas born around 280 A.D. Nicholas was a kind and just man.

He is believed to have spent all his wealth inherited from his ancestors helping and buying gifts for the needy, poor and sick children in the countryside.

He became a famous saint and figure for people around the world, and the rest is just really good stories.

History of Carols

Carol means a folk song or a hymn. Carol is the star of Christmas; it spreads joy and positivity to all who hear them.

Carols in the olden days were actually Pagan songs that the Europeans sang during the winter solstice. When Christianity began to spread worldwide, the pagan songs were replaced by Christian ones.

One of the earliest hymns sung during Christmas was given by a Roman Bishop in 129 called ‘Angel’s Hymn’.

In early years the songs were mostly written in Latin and were not welcomed by all, leading to many people losing interest in the custom. But in 1223, a saint names St Francis started his series of Nativity plays in Italy. Nativity plays are where people are singing Christmas songs as the story is being told altogether and to add to the benefit it was in a language that everyone could understand.

As Christianity evolved and went through many changes, it managed to save the tradition of Carol singing.

Why are stockings hung on Christmas?

One of the most famous myths of why we hang stockings on Christmas goes like this:

There was once a widower who had three daughters. He was very poor and did not know how to get them married without having a single dime to pay for their dowry.

St Nicholas (the person who inspired the creation of Santa Claus) heard about the family’s situation and chose to help them.

Instead of giving the money to the father of the three he dropped a bag of gold coins down his chimney which accidentally landed in the stockings of one of the daughters which were drying by the fireplace.

The Story behind the Christmas tree

The Christmas tree is a must-have decoration on Christmas Day. This tree was a tradition that was followed by the German people followed many years before Christmas. They decorated the tree with apples and nuts and later all the other decorations that you find on the tree.

In the 19th century, Germans started migrating to other countries and carried this tradition with them wherever they travelled.

In the year 1848, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom asked her husband who was a German prince by the name Prince Albert to bring his tradition and decorate a tree for her just as he would in his home.

Prince Albert and Queen Victoria beautifully decorated tree appeared in the Illustrated London News Magazine, and people all over the world saw the picture and adopted the idea to make the Christmas tree a tradition.



The mistletoe is a very famous decoration of Christmas Day. It is a creeper that grows on other trees, but people also craft mistletoes and put it on their door or uses it as a decoration in the house.

A tradition of Christmas is if two people end up under the mistletoe on Christmas Day they are to kiss.

Traditions of Christmas Day

  1. The White House’s Christmas tree decoration is the responsibility of the First Lady as a tradition since 1889
  2. Children go door to door carolling
  3. The houses have a Big Christmas tree under which gifts are placed for everyone in the family
  4. Wine is a famous drink on Christmas day, and people spend months getting them ready in time for Christmas
  5. People buy something new to wear
  6. They attend Church and later go to a Christmas Party
  7. Children keep cookies and milk for Santa for when he comes to deliver their presents
  8. Delicious food is prepared in homes for the family get together
  9. People send out greeting cards and glad tidings to all their loved ones

Facts about Christmas Day

  1. On Christmas Day in 1914 during the World War I, the soldiers put down their weapons and enjoyed a night of Christmas spirit
  2. Exchanging gifts on Christmas is a symbol of the Wise men who brought gifts for Baby Jesus
  3. Santa Claus is actually a saint named St Nicholas
  4. The Christmas tree was a German Tradition
  5. 25th December is not the actual day that Christ was born
  6. New York City’s Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center has more than 25,000 on it

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