Christmas Festival Celebration
Every year more than 400 million people celebrate Xmas around the world -- that makes Xmas one of the world's biggest religious and commercial festivities. In approximately year 300 A.D., the birthday of Jesus was determined to be on December 25, the day that has been celebrated from then till this very day. The celebration on the 25th of December starts with Christmas Eve, the evening of December 24.
The religious festival is originally a blend of pagan customs. The Romans held a festival on December 25 called Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, i.e. "the birthday of the unconquered sun.". Pagan Scandinavia celebrated a winter festival called Yule, held in late December to early January. However, it is uncertain exactly why December 25 became associated with the birth of Jesus since the Old Testament doesn't mention a specific date of the event.
Xmas" and "X-mas" are common abbreviations of the word "Christmas". They are sometimes pronounced "eksmas", but they, and variants such as "Xtemass", originated as handwriting abbreviations for the pronunciation "Christmas". The "-mas" part came from the Latin-derived Old English word for "mass".
This abbreviation is widely used but not universally accepted. Many do not know about its antiquity and believe it to be of commercial origin and thus demeaning to Christ, whilst others find it a helpful abbreviation.
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