The history of Christmas dates back over 4000 years. Many of our Christmas traditions were celebrated centuries before Christ was born.

The word Christmas originated as a compound meaning “Christ’s Mass”. It is derived from the Middle English Christemasse and Old English Cristes mæsse, a phrase first recorded in 1038. Christmas is an annual celebration commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is the Son of God. Christmas is not only a Christian festival. The celebration has roots in the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, the festivals of the ancient Greeks, the beliefs of the Druids and the folk customs of Europe. As a result, modern day Christmas is widely celebrated throughout the world, both religiously by Christians and culturally by many non-Christians.

Why Christmas is held on 25th December?

The Gospels do not mention the date of Jesus’ birth. Subsequently, it was not until the 4th century AD that Pope Julius I set 25th December as the date for Christmas, as it was also the date of the winter solstice in the Roman Calendar.

Various other suggestions include that March 25 was not only the date that Mary was told she would be having a sacred baby in nine months but also the date that Jesus died when he was an adult. Thus, in 529, Christmas Day was declared an official holiday.

What are Christmas traditions?

Christmas traditions vary from country to country. Christmas celebrations for many nations in the West include the hanging of Advent wreaths, Christmas stockings, candy canes, setting out cookies and milk, and the creation of Nativity scenes depicting the birth of Jesus Christ.

The most recognised Christmas traditions throughout the world, however, are of course the installation and decoration of a Christmas tree, and the giving and receiving of presents.

Furthermore, many households proudly have their Christmas trees on display for when guests visit. People of all ages tend to look forward to receiving gifts the most, and many generously spend to fulfill the happiness of their loved ones.

Christmas carols may be sung and stories are told about the Baby Jesus, St Nicholas, Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Christkind or Grandfather Frost. In addition, the sending and exchanging of Christmas card greetings, observance of fasting and special religious observances such as a midnight Mass or Vespers on Christmas Eve, and the burning of the Yule log are other popular and familiar traditions.

Baby Jesus, St Nicholas, Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Christkind or Grandfather Frost

At Sloane’s

We provide a wide and diverse range of Christmas foods, from different types of hams, sausages and even an artisan cheese platter to satisfy all types of palettes. Alternatively, if you’re feeling festive, order a Christmas Hamper containing the essential foods for you or your loved ones!