An essay discussing the christian holidays Christmas and holy sunday. Compare/contrast the two and how they effect the religion and modern american society.

Essay by anxietyHigh School, 12th gradeA+, October 2002

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Christianity Essay

Christianity as a whole has many different holidays and "days of obligation", from The Sabbath, which occurs every seven days, to holidays like Christmas and Easter which are observed only once a year.

Christmas is probably the most note able of all these. Not only is it observed by the Christians but it has become so ingrained in modern American society it is expected by all to receive a "Christmas break" in late December. Employers often give a Christmas bonus around the time to all of their employees, regardless of religious beliefs. The year's most noted holiday is celebrated on December 25th, both in homes and churches worldwide. The meaning for Christmas is to celebrate the birth of their Messiah, Jesus Christ. During the fourth century the Bishop of Rome set December 25th as Christ's birth date, though the exact birth date is note known. Some authorities claim that the choice of December 25th was made because it coincided with Chanukah, Mithraic's feast of the sun god, and the people of northern Europe's winter solstice feast.

The winter solstice is the time of year in the Northern Hemisphere when the noon sun appears to be farthest south. Modern scholars believe Christ was actually born sometime in the spring, based upon data gathered from a roman census.

Many note worthy symbols of Christmas time festivities are set up during late December. Evergreens or Christmas trees have long been adopted as the symbol of eternal life and are used for Christmas time decorations. The Christmas wreath represents everlasting life and the endless love of Christ. Kissing under mistletoe supposedly started out when early Roman enemies stopped fighting when they met under mistletoe. Holly is the most known Christmas greenery, and there are several legends about it. One is that Jesus'...