There are certain terms that are inherent to Christmas. Some of the more popular of these terms are:
(1) Midnight Mass- As I write this blog, devout catholics are starting to throng the churches in their respective parish or any popular church all over to participate in this special mass that is organised on the Christmas Eve. Churches look resplendent in colourful lights and other decorations that adorn them to celebrate the birth of Jesus, son of the God.
(2) Nativity- Though dictionary says that the term means the birth, it is especially associated with the birth of Jesus. As the folklore goes, Jesus was born to Virgin Mary in the Church of Nativity in the city of Bethlehem.
(3) Virgin Mary- Mother of Jesus and equally idolised, adored and worshipped. Jesus was born to virgin mother who conceived Jesus through Holy Spirit without the intervention of a human father.
(4) Noel – Another term used for Christmas, it is also used for Christmas Carols.
(5) Christmas tree – Evergreen fir tree has traditionally been used to decorate homes during Christmas. It’s symbolic of everlasting life with God for Christians. Though Fir tree is most popular, there has been tradition of using cherry or hawthorn trees also.
(6) Santa Claus – Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, or simply Santa, is a legendary figure originating in Western Christian culture who is said to bring gifts to the homes of well-behaved children on Christmas Eve and the early morning hours of Christmas. A Christmas stocking is an empty sock or sock-shaped bag that is hung on Saint Nicholas Day so that Santa can fill it with small toys, candy, fruit, coins or other small gifts when he arrives. Some people even put their Christmas stocking by their bedposts so that Santa Claus can fill it with goodies when they are asleep, because St. Nicholas is a gift-giver.
(7) Christmas music – Christmas music comprises several genres like carols, jingles, hymns, nursery rhymes, instrumental etc. While Jingle bells is known by heart to every child, the songs like White Christmas, 12 days of Christmas, White Christmas are equally well known. 12 days of Christmas is representative of 12 days of celebration as January 6 is celebrated as the day of epiphany when 3 wise men visited baby Jesus.
Doesn’t the above all sound familiar? Isn’t the birth of Jesus as dramatic as the birth of Krishna inside Mathura Jail and all those miracles associated with his life! Christmas, Janmashtami, Gurupurab or Eid Milan un nabi are all celebration around birth of God, son of God or messenger of God and the spirit and fervour are same, though traditions and manner of celebration could be different!
Merry Christmas to all! May this Christmas bring lots of cheers and happiness to one and all!