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Christ Mass | 5 Legends related to the history of Christ Mass

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The feast of Christ Mass is unknown to the Fathers of the first three centuries. And there is no authoritative tradition about the date of its establishment. It is believed to be of Roman origin and is inevitable in Rome. Towards the middle of the 4th century, it was celebrated on December 25th. The Roman civil calendar influenced the choice from the end of the 3rd century. On that day, he observed the winter solstice and the birth of the ‘unconquered sun’: the Christians wanted to oppose and superimpose the feast of the conception of the actual sun, Christ, on the pagan feast. In just under a century, the feast spread throughout Christianity and was also adopted in the Eastern Churches. It was celebrated on January 6., united with the Epiphany.

The Christ Mass cycle of the liturgical year is linked to Advent, the period of preparation, the time of N. (from December 24 to January 5), and Epiphany (from January 6 to 13). N.’s feast lasts for eight days ( eighth ); the eighth day (1 January) in the new calendar takes the name of Festum sanctae Dei Genetricis Mariae in octave Domini.

We must remember the log, the fires, and bonfires among the domestic and popular celebrations. (Survival of those lit in ancient times for the solstice). The crib, and, derived from central-northern Europe, the tree. (also surviving agrarian rites), which is generally a fir tree, the exchange of greetings and gifts, gifts to children by Santa, the older man with a white beard, called Santa Claus in the Germanic and Anglo-Saxon countries. (Corruption of Sanctus Nicolaus).

Origins of Christ Mass

Christ Mass, for Western culture,e is perhaps the most important holiday of the year. This is the best time to enjoy the company of friends and family. But in addition to the symbols we know well, such as gifts, Christ Mass also has a religious meaning. On Christ Mass day, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The one who would later be identified by most of the members of the Jewish religion as the prophesied Messiah. From the Holy Scriptures.

The birth of Jesus Christ dates back to around 0-4. And his delivery on Earth is celebrated on December 25th. However, for the Eastern Orthodox Church, this holiday falls on January 6, the day the Western Christian Church celebrates the Epiphany, the manifestation of Jesus before the Magi.

Representation of Christ Mass

christ mass

Source: Wikipedia

The Jewish origin of Christ Mas

Christians began to celebrate Christ Mass day only around the fourth century AD. C., reconnecting to existing traditions and holidays and loading them with a new message. Among these, the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah must undoubtedly be mentioned. They commemorated the consecration of the Second Temple of Jerusalem. Judas Maccabee ordered them after the terrible Hellenic occupation of the 2nd century BC. C. who wanted to lead the Jewish people to adopt some practices contrary to their religion.

The Hannukkah festival lasts for eight days. They are starting from the twenty-fifth day of the month of Kislev, which usually coincides with December. During these days of celebration, the Jews typically light the eight candles of the Chanukiah progressively to keep faith with the legend that, to light the candlestick of the Temple, the Maccabees had only one flask of oil available. But the candles continued to remain lit for eight days.

Christ Mass as a pagan festival

In addition to religious ones, Christ Mass has pagan and secular origins. The most significant are those related to the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year that the Celts erroneously celebrated on December 25th. It is an important day in all those cults where the adoration of the Sun, called Heliolatry, occupied a position of absolute pre-eminence and to which Christianity has certainly reconnected as the sun can be seen as an emblem of the figure of Christ.

On the other hand, in the days just before Christ Mass, the Romans celebrated Saturnalia, dedicated to the settlement in the temple of Saturn. The god of agriculture: to wish for a period of peace and prosperity, it was customary to exchange gifts.

The five most beautiful Christ Mass legends of all time

True: the age of whys is passed when one is still tiny, so all the questions in the subtitle are excessive. It is equally valid. However, that specific questions never go out of fashion, mainly when they concern yearly traditions like Christ Mass.

It is, therefore, more than legitimate to ask why the tree is made every year. Even though several mothers can be convincing when it comes to Christ Mass. At this point, asking why we exchange gifts is also legitimate because having the answer can always be helpful if an old aunt shows up empty-handed. Claiming that you are “too big.”

1. Christ Mass Tree

Legend has it that a long time ago, just before Christ Mass, a child, who went out after sunset to look for a log to light the fireplace, got lost in the forest. The little boy hid under a fir during the night, seeing him alone and lost. And decided to shelter him from the cold and dangers by protecting him with his branches.

In the morning, the people of the village finally reached the little one. They found the tree covered with ice and snow. From then to Christ, Mass is customary to decorate a tree in memory of those splendid natural decorations.  

2. The Reindeer Rudolph

Santa’s reindeer are nine (that’s why he can go so fast!) And each of them has a name. However, in the mists of time, the sled engine could only count on eight of them: Prancer, Vixen, Donner, Vixen, Dasher, Cupid, Dazzle, and Comet. Rudolph, the ninth reindeer with a red nose, only joined later.

Because of her big bright nose, the poor woman was teased by her companions until Christ Mass Eve. Due to the fog, Santa Claus did not realize how helpful extremity was in reality. Since then, Rudolph has led the team and is the darling of all children.

This is the version for children. The one for adults wants that there is no legend and that the sweet Rudolph was invented in 1939 by the American chain Montgomery Ward. We, however, prefer to believe that it did not go exactly like this.  

3. Santa Claus

Even dear old Santa Claus has his legend if you leave out the much less poetic story than the image we all know. (Big belly, white beard, and red dress) is due to Coca-Cola. The origin of the idea of ​​a mysterious figure who leaves the gifts secretly in the houses. There is, in fact, the life of San Nicola di Mira, renamed by popular imagination the “bearer of gifts.” Because it is said that helped by a donkey, the night of December 6 or 24 left some food in the homes of less well-off families.

4. The Christ Mass wreath

A long time ago, a mother decided to clean and tidy up her entire house before decorating the tree on Christ Mass Eve. Forcing the nearby spiders to take refuge in the attic. After the hustle and bustle, the animals came out in the middle of the night and began to run up and down the tree to look closely at the wonder they were seeing for the first time.

So when Santa Claus arrived, he found it full of cobwebs. Realizing what had happened, Santa Claus decided to turn those threads into gold and silver; thus, the custom of wreaths made of branches intertwined with beautiful decorations was born.

5. The Candy cane

Why are Christ Mass markets and stockings filled with characteristic red and white candy canes? The correct answer is not “because Santa Claus and the witch are friends of dentists” but “because legend has it that this is the invention of a pastry chef who wanted to create a cake that would remind everyone of Jesus.”

The Christ Mass lollipop par excellence is white and red precisely to remember the purity and blood of the Redeemer and has the shape of a shepherd’s stick to recall the words of the Psalm according to which the Lord is, in fact, our shepherd.


Christ Mass, or the commemoration of the birth of Jesus, which is celebrated on December 25, has many points in common with the Saturnalia, the pagan festivals that the Romans celebrated in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture and the harvest. During the imperial period, these holidays took place between the 17th and 23rd of December, coinciding with the winter solstice, the darkest time when the sun rises later and sets earlier.