Merry Christmas_Xmas History_World Xmas Trees_TLTP

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Christmas History, Christmas trees around the world,

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Christmas History World Xmas Trees Nguồn: Internet Nhạc: Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer PPS: Trần Lê Túy-Phượng click chuột MERRY CHRISTMAS

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Christmas history Christmas , as we know it today, is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, which happened over 2000 years ago.  The word “Christmas” translates to “Mass Of Christ”.   However, we can all be sure that the celebration of the Christmas holiday did not start right away.  So how did the actual celebration of the Christmas holiday begin? Believe it or not, many of the traditions that we observe during the Christmas holiday season began way before the birth of Christ.  Exchanging gifts, decorating trees, and the burning of the Yule log were all winter traditions that began before Christ was born, but were eventually incorporated into the holiday that became known as Christmas, and became part of Christmas history. Over 4000 years ago , the Mesopotamians celebrated each new year with a 12-day festival, called Zagmuth.  The Mesopotamians, who believed in many gods, held this festival in support of their chief god, Marduk, because they believed that he battled the monsters of chaos at the beginning of each winter.  It is from this festival that the 12 days of Christmas is believed to have originated. The ancient Romans held a celebration each year in honor of their god Saturn.  The festival, which they called Saturnalia, began in the middle of December and lasted until the first of January.  The Romans decorated their homes with garlands, as well as trees upon which they hung candles.  During the festival the citizens of Rome would visit each other’s homes and hold great feasts.  One of the theories of how the tradition of the giving of Christmas gifts came about was from the Roman practice of exchanging gifts between family and neighbors during the festival of Saturnalia to promote good luck.

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During the winter in ancient Scandinavia there would be a certain amount of days where the sun would not shine.  Upon the return of the first sunlight, the Scandinavians would hold a festival called the Yuletide. A Yule log would be burned in a special fire, and everyone would gather around the fire and hold a great feast.  To remind themselves that the spring and summer would surely return again, people in some areas of Scandinavia would tie apples to tree branches.  The tradition of the Christmas tree is believed to have evolved from this ritual, as well as from the Roman ritual of decorating trees with candles during the festival of Saturnalia.  Some believe that the tradition of singing carols began when people in Scandinavia would sing celebration songs on the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, which happened around December 22nd. One theory about the evolution of the winter celebrations to the celebration of the birth of Jesus is that the Roman emperor Constantine, who converted to Christianity, wanted to incorporate the pagan winter rituals together with the celebration of Jesus’ birth.  In this way, Constantine hoped to help both pagans and Christians celebrate together. Many believe that this is the reason for celebrating the birth of Christ on December 25th.  It is widely believed today that Jesus was not actually born on, or even close to, December 25th.  Eventually, the Roman church became almost completely successful in making the December celebration only about the birth of Christ, replacing any celebrations that were in honor of pagan gods.

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The exact day of the Christ child's birth has never been pinpointed. Traditions say that it has been celebrated since the year 98 AD . In 137 AD the Bishop of Rome ordered the birthday of the Christ Child celebrated as a solemn feast. In 350 AD another Bishop of Rome, Julius I, choose December 25th as the observance of Christmas. Though the celebration of Christmas is basically based on the same belief today, it is not celebrated in exactly the same way in every country. In Great Britain , one tradition they observe during the Christmas season is “Boxing Day”.  On Boxing Day, the boxes containing alms for the poor are opened at every church and the alms are distributed to the poor.  An alternate theory to the origin of carols is that they originated in Great Britain and not Scandinavia.  Whether or not this is true, many of the Christmas songs that we sing and Christmas music that we hear today were written in 19th century England. Christians in Iran refrain from eating any animal products from December 1st until after Christmas church services on December 25th, after which they have a traditional feast of chicken stew. In Venezuela , Christians attend daily morning church services between December 16th and December 24th. In the capital city of Caracas , it is customary to roller skate to these services. People in Northern Brazil celebrate Christmas with a traditional play called “Los Pastores”, or “The Shepherds”.

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St Boniface, eighth-century Bishop An interesting tradition, part history, part legend and very popular in Germany, claims that the Christmas tree dates back to the eighth century. This legend is based on a historical figure, St Boniface, and even a historical event, the destruction of Odin's oak. St Boniface (675-754) was the English Bishop Winfrid who went to Germany in the eighth century, to Hesse to be precise, to preach the Christian faith as a missionary from the Church of Rome. After a period of apparently successful Gospel preaching, Boniface went to Rome to confer with Pope Gregory II (715-731). After a long absence, he returned to Geismar, Germany, for Christmas 723, and felt personally offended on discovering that the Germans had reverted to their former idolatry of pagan divinities and were preparing to celebrate the winter solstice by sacrificing a young man under Odin's sacred oak tree. Fired by holy anger, as was Moses by the golden calf, Bishop Boniface took up an axe and dared to cut down the oak. This courageous, historically documented act meant the triumph of Christianity in Germany over the pagan divinities. All this is historically documented. The rest belongs to the legend which tells how, at the first blow of the axe, a strong gust of wind instantly brought down the tree. The astounded Germans fearfully recognized the hand of God in this event and humbly asked Boniface how they should celebrate Christmas. The Bishop, the legend continues, pointed to a small fir tree that had miraculously remained upright and intact beside the debris and broken branches of the fallen oak. Boniface was familiar with the popular custom of taking an evergreen plant into the house in winter and asked everyone to take home a fir tree. This tree signifies peace, and as an evergreen it also symbolizes immortality; with its top pointing upwards, it additionally indicates heaven, the dwelling place of God.

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Saint Nicholas - a brief history St. Nicholas was born in 280 AD , in Patara, a city of Lycia, in Asia Minor. He became the gift giver of Myra. His gifts were given late at night, so that the gift giver's identity would remain a secret. St Nicholas was eventually named the patron saint of children, sailors, Russia and Greece. St. Nicholas was a Christian priest, who later became a bishop. He was a rich person, and traveled the country helping people, giving gifts of money and other presents. St. Nicholas did not like to be seen when he gave away presents, so the children of the day were told to go to sleep quickly or he would not come! Nothing has changed and Santa Claus will not arrive this Christmas unless the children go to sleep early. A famous story about St. Nicholas, is about a poor man who had no money to give to his three daughters on their wedding day. St Nick dropped bags of gold into the stockings which the girls had left to dry by the fire. The sisters found the gold and ever since, children have hung up stockings on Christmas Eve hoping that they will be filled with presents by Christmas morning. Despite being quite young Nicholas had earned a reputation for kindliness and wisdom. In the year 303 , the Roman emperor Diocletian commanded all the citizens of the Roman Empire, which included Asia Minor, to worship him as a god.

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Christians believed in one god and one god alone, so their conscience would not allow them to obey the Emperor's order. Angered by their stubbornness, Diocletian warned the Christians that they would be imprisoned. The Emperor carried out the threat and St Nicholas who resisted too was also imprisoned. For more than five years, St Nicholas was confined to a small cell. He suffered from cold, hunger, and thirst, but he never wavered in his beliefs. In 313, when Diocletian resigned, and Constantine came to power Nicholas was released, and he returned to his post as Bishop of Myra. He continued his good works and became even wiser and more understanding by the time of his death on December 6, 343 . In the eyes of the Catholics, a saint is someone who has lived such a holy life that, after dying and going to heaven, he or she is still able to help people on earth. They often become patron to different groups of people - one such was children and many legends sprang up to explain his presence. By 450 , churches in Asia Minor and Greece were being named in honor of him. By 800 , he was officially recognized as the a saint by the Eastern Catholic Church. In the 1200s , December 6th began to be celebrated as Bishop Nicholas Day in France. By end of the 1400s , St Nicholas was the third most beloved religious figure, after Jesus and Mary. There were more than 2000 chapels and monasteries named after him. Over the centuries, St. Nicholas' popularity grew, and many people in Europe made up new stories that showed his concern for children. The name Santa Claus was derived from the Dutch Sinter Klass pronunciation of St. Nicholas.

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1881 illustration by Thomas Nast who, with Clement Clarke Moore, helped to create the modern image of Santa Claus. Santa Claus portrayed by children's television producer Jonathan Meath

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1939 Copywriter Robert L. May of the Montgomery Ward Company created a poem about Rudolph, the ninth reindeer. May had been "often taunted as a child for being shy, small and slight." He created an ostracized reindeer with a shiny red nose who became a hero one foggy Christmas eve. Santa was part-way through deliveries when the visibility started to degenerate. Santa added Rudolph to his team of reindeer to help illuminate the path. A copy of the poem was given free to Montgomery Ward customers. 1949: Johnny Marks wrote the song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Rudolph was relocated to the North Pole where he was initially rejected by the other reindeer who wouldn't let him play in their reindeer games because of his strange looking nose. The song was recorded by Gene Autry and became his all-time best seller. Next to "White Christmas" it is the most popular song of all time. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

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The origins of the Yule Log can be traced back to the Midwinter festivals in which the Norsemen indulged...nights filled with feasting, "drinking Yule" and watching the fire leap around the log burning in the home hearth. The ceremonies and beliefs associated with the Yule Log's sacred origins are closely linked to representations of health, fruitfulness and productivity. In England, the Yule was cut and dragged home by oxen or horses as the people walked alongside and sang merry songs. It was often decorated with evergreens and sometimes sprinkled with grain or cider before it was finally set alight. Even the bonfires of former ancient times survived in the tradition of the Yule Log, perhaps the most universal of all Christmas symbols. The Yule Log Cake

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The National Christmas Tree is lights up in front of the Obama's eyes near the White House in Washington, DC.

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The official White House Christmas tree lights up for the Obama's in the Blue Room.

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Fireworks mark the occasion for the inaugural lighting of this 68-meter tall spruce in Sao Paulo Brazil.

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This purple dazzler illuminates over Megeve, France. Taking a note from the Rockefeller tree topper, this lumber is adorned with Swarovski crystals.

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This 32-foot Christmas wonder is presented to the people of Washington by the Norwegian Embassy in DC. It lights the path for holiday travelers in Union Station.

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This Christmas tree illuminates the old Portuguese-inspired architecture of Macau

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Back in Washington, DC, the tree is lit in front of Capitol Hill

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In Beirut, Lebanon, fireworks light the sky as the Christmas tree is lit in the capital

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and in Paris, this tree glistens in the famous Galeries Lafayette.

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Over in Madrid, the Spanish choose to be eco-friendly this holiday. Low consumption light bulbs adorn this tree in the capital.

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The giant Christmas tree on the bank of the Rodrigo de Freitas Lake is illuminated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. On its 15th anniversary, the lit-up tree is recognized as the largest of its kind in the world !

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Even in the tropics of Hawaii, this tree of poinsettias spreads holiday cheer.

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From the New York Stock Exchange tree

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to the infamous Rockefeller Center tree

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and The Bryant Park Holiday Tree

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to the Christmas tree overlooking the South Street Seaport, these trees shine for New Yorkers this holiday season.

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On the other side of the globe... Prague's tree sits in front of the Tyn Church at the Old Town Square

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The opening of the tradition Christmas market in the medieval Old Town Square is marked by the lighting ceremony of this Christmas tree.

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Crowds gather in Poland as the Christmas tree is lit in front of the Royal Castle in Warsaw.

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workers build a giant tree in the northern Philippines, where the Christmas season begins on December 16 with dawn masses and ends on the first week of January.

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Workers lower a star atop a giant Christmas tree near the Mohammad al-Amin Mosque in Beirut, Lebanon.

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illumination in Vilnius, Lithuania

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fireworks explode over the Michigan Capitol

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the Swiss light their tree in Zurich in style

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Philadelphia's tree in front of their City Hall.

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This 21-foot tall Christmas tree stands aglow in the Rotunda at the State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

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London's tree in Trafalgar Square is a gift from Norway, a tradition dating back to 1947.

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the Iowa State Capitol alight behind their holiday tree

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Bolivar square in Bogota, Columbia.

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Here is a new entrant by Kee Jewelry to the list of the ornamental accessories designed on the occasion of Christmas–$1m diamond-festooned Christmas tree. Unveiled in Singapore, it is ornamented with 21,798 sparkling diamonds counting 913 carats, 3,762 crystal beads and is adorned with 456 lights.

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As the world’s biggest glass Christmas tree, the Maruno is not just a celebration of this time of the year but also of centuries-old Venetian craftsmanship. The tree was prepared by a group of glassblowers from the Benetian island of Murano (from which the tree gets its name).

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Silver Tree at the Heeren A bright pointy star on top and reindeer pulling sleighs form the Christmas tree decorations. The leaves, in this case, are really dangling strips of silver holographic foil that appear rainbow-colored under sunlight. Very nice.

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Crystal Tree at Bugis Junction this one wears a silver crown !

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Iconic London hotel Claridge’s has unveiled its Christmas tree, which this year has been designed by Dior creative director John Galliano. The tree, which takes its inspiration from icy snow scenes, mixed with a tropical twist, dominates the hotel’s lobby. It is painted in white and metallic blue and perched among its branches are a handmade leopard, several parrots and a dragonfly.

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Beer Bottle Christmas tree in Montreal

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Bottle Christmas tree in Bangkok

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Joyeux Nöel ! Feliz Navidad ! Chúc Mừng Giáng Sinh Trần Lê Túy-Phượng MERRY CHRISTMAS

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