What is Christmas?

Every year on 25 December people from all over the world celebrate Christmas. Streets and shops are filled with sparkling lights and people sing Christmas carols.

Children get given presents and stay up late to try and see Santa! But Christmas isn’t all about presents!

Christmas is a time to celebrate the day that Jesus Christ was born. It is a Christian holiday. People from other religions do not celebrate Christmas.

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The character of Santa came from a man called Saint Nicholas. He lived a long time ago and was known for being very kind to children and for giving them gifts.

Today Santa is famous for riding a sleigh pulled by 9 reindeers, climbing down chimneys to deliver gifts and quickly eating cookies and milk before anyone sees him!

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The colours of Christmas

Red, green and gold are the main Christmas colours you will see. Each colour has a meaning. Red is for the blood of Jesus, green is for eternal life and gold is for royalty and light.


Christmas traditions

Here is a list of traditional things you will find at Christmas. How many more can you think of?

Christmas trees - often decorated with lights, stars and angels. Did you know the first Christmas trees were decorated with food like nuts, apples and dates?

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Christmas cake or plum cake - which doesn’t have plums in it at all! In the old days, raisins were called plums.

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Christmas stockings - filled with gifts and candy. A candy cane is the most popular Christmas candy. It’s shaped like a cane to symbolise the shepherds that visited Jesus.

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Fun facts:

  • Santa Claus used to wear green, purple or blue clothes. Coca Cola decided to dress him in red to match their drink. Since then he always wears red!
  • Christmas is sometimes called X-Mas. The 'X' comes from the first letter of the Greek word for Christ 'Χριστός'.