Do Christians celebrate Christmas?
Yes, Christmas is one of the most important Christian celebrations. It symbolizes the birth of Jesus, Son of God. However, in the centuries following the beginning of Christianity, the faithful focused more on the death or resurrection of Christ and did not celebrate his birth. But in the 4th century AD, the Roman emperor Constantine, recently converted, chose to Christianize certain pagan practices like December 25, dedicated to the sun. “We do not know the exact date of birth of Jesus. Christmas became Christianized little by little,” indicates Odon Vallet, religion specialist.
- The Catholics spend Christmas Eve on December 24 before going to midnight mass at the church to celebrate the birth of Jesus who is supposed to have come into the world on the night of December 24 to 25.
- The Protestants also meet on December 24 for Christmas Eve and temple worship.
- Part of the orthodox Christians (present in Serbia, Russia or Georgia), which are based on the Julian calendar and not on the Gregorian calendar, celebrate Christmas on January 7 due to the thirteen day difference between the two calendars. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, kyiv now follows the Gregorian calendar.
Do Muslims celebrate Christmas?
In the Muslim religion, Christmas does not exist. In the Quran, Jesus was born of a virgin. He is not recognized as a son of God but as a prophet. If in Islam, a Muslim must not participate in other religious festivals, globalization and the diffusion of Western culture can encourage certain Muslim families to participate in the festivities but in a non-religious way: by exchanging gifts or by meeting around a meal, for example.
For several years, the Sultanate of Brunei, a country in South East Asia governed by Sharia (Islamic law), has prohibited its Muslim population from celebrating Christmas at the risk of incurring five years in prison and a 20,000 euro fine.
Do Jews celebrate Christmas?
Among Jews, Christmas is not a holiday either. At this time of year, between the end of November and the end of December according to the Jewish calendar, believers celebrate Hanukkah or the festival of lights which lasts eight days, during which one gift is exchanged per day. This festival symbolizes the founding event of Judaism: the victory of Judas Maccabee against the Greek Empire of Antioch IV in the 2nd century BC.
Do Buddhists celebrate Christmas?
Although Buddhists do not celebrate Christmas, Jesus Christ is seen as a “bodhisattva”, a being who dedicated his life to spreading love and compassion. He deserves respect and consideration. Unlike Christians, he is not considered a Messi but rather a master. Among Buddhists, Vesak, the full moon day in May, when Buddha was born, is the most sacred date in the calendar.
Do Hindus celebrate Christmas?
While most Hindus are in India, where December 25 has become a public holiday since British colonial rule, the faithful do not celebrate Christmas. They celebrate Diwali, the biggest Hindu festival which symbolizes the return from exile of the god Ram after defeating the demon Ravana. The opportunity to get together with family in a decorated house, to exchange gifts and to walk the lively streets.