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Christmas - Christmas Symbols

There are several customs and rituals associated with Christmas which are often explained by different interesting icons and symbols. These symbolic representations have become so common nowadays that with the arrival of Christmas, the entire market is seen overcrowded with such symbols. The following are few of the main symbols of the festival:

Angel:

It is believed that an angle informed the shepherds about the birth of Jesus. It has become a part of Christmas since then. Angels can be found in different shapes including the tree topper.


Advent Wreath:

Four candles are placed around a wreath before Christmas and each candle is lit to remind Jesusí birth.


Bells:

When Jesus was born, the church bells rang to mark His birthday, it still does even today.


Christmas tree:

Christmas tree is one of the main symbol of the season. It is mainly an evergreen coniferous tree and decorated with lights, tinsels, stars, small toys etc. One cannot imagine Christmas without a Christmas tree.


Christmas Star:

It is associated with the spirit of the celebration of Christmas, hopes and ideas. Several legends can be found regarding the birth of Jesus and the Christmas star.


Christmas Stocking:

It has been an age old custom specially among the children to hang Christmas stockings where Santa keep their gifts. Previously, the children used to hang their own socks that they used everyday but with time and thanks to the commercialization these stockings can be bought separately for the same purpose.


Candles:

Candle represents none other than Jesus who is known as the light of the world. On the Advent Wreath a candle is lit each week to commemorate Jesus arrival.


Christmas Carols:

In the ancient times, people used to sing and dance around the Christmas tree praising the Lord. Most of the carols have spread by words of mouth for hundred of years. Now people form group and sing carols even inside churches.


Christmas Rose:

They are European evergreen plant with white or purplish rose-like winter-blooming flowers used for decoration purpose.


Glastonbury Thorn:

It is related to Christ's birth as well as His death and often referred as 'The Holy Thorn of Glastonbury'. It is believed that the thorn is relates to the 'Crown of Thorns' which was placed on Jesus' head before He was crucified.


Holly:

Holly is a shrub having red berries and shiny evergreen leaves with prickly edges. The red berries represent the blood of Christ while He was crucified and its prickers signify His thorn crown. It is believed to bring good luck and protection to men.


Mistletoe:

It is believed that they have mystical life saving and peace securing healing powers. Kissing under the plant is a traditional belief which says, if a couple in love exchanges a kiss under the mistletoe, they will get married and live happily ever after.


Manger or Nativity Scene:

It depicts the birth of Baby Jesus. People in groups enact the scene or simply adorn their homes with Nativity scene sets.


Poinsettia:

They are tropical American plant having poisonous milk and showy tapering usually scarlet petal like leaves surrounding small yellow flowers. It is named after Joel R. Poinsett, the first ambassador of USA to Mexico. There are several legends associated with this plant that made it a part of Christmas celebration.


Reindeer:

Santa Claus chose reindeer to pull His sleigh while he distributes gifts among the children. His reindeers' names are Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. Rudolf the red nosed reindeer is most popular.


Shepherds:

They were the first to go to the manger to honor the birth of baby Jesus.


The Three Wise Men or Magi:

The Three Wise Men from the East were Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar. As per the Old Testament these men followed the star of Bethlehem and gifted Jesus with their best treasures. The oldest of them was the King of Arabia named Melchoir gave Jesus gold (a precious metal associated with the power of kings), Balthazar, the King of Ethiopia gifted the Baby frankincense (a resin from a rare and sacred tree that are used as incense) and Caspar who was the King of Tarsus and the youngest of all gave Jesus myrrh (a resin from a shrub used for making perfumes).


Wreaths:

They symbolize life and hope during the holy season.


 
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