Christmas, the festival celebrated in commemoration of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, falls in the month of December, when the world chills under icy, dark and cold winter. Christmas brings warmth of love and cheer, thus filling this dullest season with joy of celebration. The bright lights hung on trees and houses bring streaks of overwhelming emotions in the dark winter. Christmas being one of the most widely celebrated festivals in the world, has regional differences in its celebrations and inherent terminology. Different regions may celebrate same occasion with different names. There are many legends associated with Christmas and these legends come with many characters which may not be known in other parts of the world. So, it is natural that you may come across some words that you have not heard before. Given below is a list of common Christmas terminology with a brief description. Read them to get more acquainted with this festival.
Words Associated With Christmas
Christmas Advent: Advent mark the time of preparation for the celebration of the virgin birth of Jesus i.e. Christmas. It marks the beginning of the Western liturgical year and is also known as Levavi or Advent Sunday. The Eastern churches celebrate Nativity Fast, instead of Advent, but it is different from Advent in terms of length and observances.
Balsam Fir: This is a North American fir, native to Canada. It is very popular as te traditional Christmas tree, chiefly in the northeastern United States.
Boxing Day: It falls on 26th December, the day after Christmas. Usually, it is on this day people give gifts to extended family and friends. It is generally observed in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and some other Commonwealth nations. South Africa celebrates this day as Day of Goodwill. It is celebrated as St. Stephen's Day or the Day of the Wren in Ireland.
Christmas Eve: This refers to the evening of 24th December, the evening preceding Christmas. Christmas Eve has immense cultural significance, especially in the western world.
Christmas Ornaments: These are small decorative pieces used to decorate Christmas tree. They could be made of glass, metal, wood, plastic or ceramic. Popular ornaments are Christmas ball (bauble), angels, candy canes, Santa Claus, snowflakes, snowmen etc.
Christmas stocking: It is the long sock-shaped bag hung in the houses during Christmas season. It is believed that Santa fills this bag with presents. It is also believed that Santa drops coin-filled stockings for needy people, on the Christmas Eve.
Epiphany: Falling on the 6th of January every year, Epiphany is the climax of Christmas. The twelve days of Christmas celebration ends with Epiphany.
Elf/elves: They are helpers of Santa and are often depicted clad in red and green attire and are said to have pointy ears. It is a popular belief that the elves make toys in Santa's workshop and take care of the reindeers.
Rudolph: It is the most famous of all the reindeers who pull Santa's Sleigh. It is believed to have a prominent red nose and is said to be Santa's favourite.
Ruprecht: it is a dark and evil companion to St Nicholas who is believed to put the naughty children into his sack.
You may or may not have heard of some of these words depending upon which region or country you belong to. These words are inherent to the legends associated with Christmas and make for great Christmas trivia.