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Festivals | 6-13 yrs | Interactive

History and Customs

Christmas is observed on the December 25 to mark the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Although Christmas is a Christian holiday, it is celebrated the world over by people from different religions .The word Christmas is derived from Old English where Christ refers to Jesus and mass refers to a gathering of people. Christmas day falls on the same day every year and was made uniform by historians of the Catholic church who concluded that he would have been born on this date given other information surrounding the event.

During the time of Jesus’ birth, the Romans were conducting a census of their empire. It was required for citizens to register in their home towns and so Joesph and his wife Mary, who was pregnant at the time, traveled to Jerusalem. Because of the census Jerusalem was packed with people so there was no place for them to stay. A woman from a local inn offered the couple a place in the inn’s stables where Mary gave birth to a baby boy.

It is believed that a star shone over the stable on the night of his birth, attracting shepherds and travelers who had heard of the coming of a prophet, who would later become Jesus the preacher and source of Christianity. Amongst these visitors were also three wise men or the three kings who came bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

On the evening of the 25th, Christians gather for the Christmas mass where they are reminded of the story of the birth of Jesus. Since Jesus was born in a stable and is believed to be the son of God, the prayers remind its followers of humility of humankind and also the importance of family.

Christmas morning is a fun time especially for children who believe that Father Christmas, or Santa Claus came to their house in the dead of night to leave presents for them either under the Christmas tree or in stockings that they hang up in their homes. During the day, families distribute sweets to their neighbours and have a large feast which they share with family and friends.


Did you get a present for Christmas? Did it come in a box? Fill one of the empty boxes you got a present in with old clothes or something you don’t use anymore. Give this as a gift to someone in need.

Note: Don’t forget to check out the Christmas Story video Christmas articles and activities.