Christmas or Christmas Day or "x-mas day" is a holiday observed mostly on December 25 to commemorate the birth of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity. The date is not known to be the actual birthday of Jesus, and may have initially been chosen to correspond with either the day exactly nine months after some early Christians believed Jesus had been conceived, the date of the winter solstice on the ancient Roman calendar, or one of various ancient winter festivals. Christmas is central to the Christmas and holiday season, and in Christianity marks the beginning of the larger season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days.
Although nominally a Christian holiday, Christmas is also widely celebrated by many non-Christians, and many of its popular celebratory customs have pre-Christian or secular themes and origins. Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift-giving, music, an exchange of greeting cards, church celebrations, a special meal, and the display of various decorations; including Christmas trees, lights, garlands, mistletoe, nativity scenes, and holly. In addition, Father Christmas (or Santa Claus) is a popular folklore figure in many countries, associated with the bringing of gifts for children.
8 days, 18 hours, 41 minutes, 48 seconds until Christmas
A Christmas market
, also known as Christkindlmarkt
, and Weihnachtsmarkt
, is a street market
associated with the celebration of Christmas
during the four weeks of Advent
. These markets originated in Germany
, but are now being held in many other countries. The history of Christmas markets goes back to the Late Middle Ages
in the German-speaking part of Europe, and in many parts of the former Holy Roman Empire
that includes many eastern regions of France and Switzerland. The Christmas markets of Bautzen
were first held in 1384. Dresden
was first held in 1434. Frankfurt
was first mentioned in 1393, Munich
in 1310 and Augsburg
in 1498. The Vienna
"December market" was a kind of forerunner of the Christmas market and dates back to 1294.