Christmas day in south Africa
Christmas day in south Africa Christmas Day, celebrated on December 25 in Catholic, Protestant, and most Orthodox churches, is a public holiday in South Africa. On this day Christians commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. The date is traditional and is not considered to be the actual date of his birth. The story of Christ’s birth has been handed down for centuries, based primarily on the Christian Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Historians differ about when Christians first began celebrating the Nativity of Christ. Most scholars, however, believe that Christmas originated in the 4th century as a Christian substitute for the pagan Festival of Saturn celebrations of the winter solstice. Christmas is the only remaining Christian event which virtually the whole world acknowledges. Albeit it is celebrated world wide, it has largely lost its Christian character and is now often focused on goodwill and celebration with friends and family. Gift-giving is a near-universal part of Christmas celebrations. The giving of presents was used by Christians around the world to proclaim the Good News of the real Gift, the Christ Child, who was born to die and give us the gift of pardon from sin and eternal life. Presently, it is typically the largest annual economic stimulus in South Africa and other countries.
According to Sainfo’s latest article on South Africa’s demographics, in terms of religious affiliation, about two-thirds of South Africans are Christian, mainly Protestant. They belong to a variety of churches, including many that combine Christian and traditional African beliefs. Many non-Christians espouse these traditional beliefs. Other significant religions are Islam, Hinduism and Judaism.
There are increasing attempts to ‘deChrist’ Christmas. Many companies do their best to avoid the word Christmas and will rather refer to Season’s Greetings. This is a controversial topic as ‘deChristing’ Christmas will aggravate many Christians and open up debates about other religious holidays.
An international public holiday marking one of the Christian religion’s central events – the birth of Jesus Christ – Christmas Day has become a day where people from all religious and cultural backgrounds come together in the spirit of giving.While the actual date of Christ’s birth remains up for heated debate, Christians and people all over the world have accepted December 25 as Christmas day, and most still celebrate with a coming together of families at the lunch table, the pulling of crackers and the carving of roasts.
Even though we’re in the hottest hemisphere, many South Africans still uphold the European traditions, including the display of Christmas trees, the exchange of gifts and cards, warm drinks and puddings at the lunch or dinner table and the arrival of Father Christmas or Santa Claus.South Africa also has several other UK Christmas traditions, because of its history with the UK. On Christmas day afternoon, people visit family and friends or might go for a trip into the country side to play games or have a swim. Boxing Day is also a public holiday in South Africa and again people like to be out and about having a good time! Because South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere, Christmas comes in the summer. So there s lots of sun and beautiful flowers in full bloom.
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