YEAR-ROUND FESTIVALS SERIES 45 – CHRISTMAS EVE – LET’S SET UP THE CHRISTMAS TREE!
In most European and American countries, Christmas Eve, 24 December, is one of the most important celebrations of the Christmas season.
Little angels, red bows, lit candles, golden stars, and twinkling little light bulbs fill the Christmas tree. Christmas Eve is traditionally the day to set up the Christmas tree, but with the early start of Christmas activities, Christmas trees are already being set up in the United States after Thanksgiving.
Modern Christmas trees originated in Central Europe, particularly in Estonia, Germany and Latvia. It was during the early Renaissance in Europe. It is said that the Protestant reformer Martin Luther was the first to light a candle on an evergreen tree.
Nowadays, Christmas trees are made of plastic for environmental reasons, and the materials used to decorate them are the inspiration of many designers and artists. The variety of Christmas trees today is overwhelming.
When a Christmas tree is lit up in a city, it is a sign that the city’s Christmas celebrations are about to begin!
“Silent Night, Holy Night”
The name of the Chinese holiday, Christmas Eve, originated from a very popular traditional Christmas carol called “Silent Night”.
The song was written in German by Joseph Mohr and composed by Franz Xaver Gruber, the headmaster of an Austrian primary school. The song has been translated into 44 languages and is one of the most popular Christmas songs. It is the most popular Christmas song, and people sing it naturally, even without musical accompaniment. The song was first performed on 24 December 1818 at the local church of St. Nicholas in Oppendorf, Austria.
For two thousand years, people have celebrated Christmas to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. However, the Bible has never recorded the day on which Jesus Christ was born, the only thing that is certain is that He was born at night.
In the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, it is written that a new star appeared in the sky at the time of Jesus’ birth, and the Three Doctors of the East found the place of Jesus’ birth and offered their gifts based on the sight of that star high in the midnight sky. In the second chapter of Luke’s Gospel, the Bible tells of the angel of the Lord appearing to the poorest shepherds, who were keeping watch over their flocks in the middle of the night in the wilderness of the mountains, and reporting to them the birth of Jesus Christ. This group of the poorest of the poor, working at the margins of society, were the first to hear the astonishing good news that has subsequently shaped two thousand years of human cultural development. Both of these accounts prove that Jesus was born at night.
This historical record is also the origin of Christmas Eve. In addition, the story of the birth of Jesus was told on Christmas Eve night, following the example of the angels who told the story of the birth of Jesus. The story has been told through artistic creations, such as fine art, architecture, literature, theatre or dance, and has remained a treasure in human history and culture.
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◢ Elva Lai enjoys creating art, reading, travelling, hiking and making a cup of coffee in the morning. She received her education in Singapore, the United States, Germany and Hong Kong.
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