Image via Wikipedia
December is considered as one of the most costly months of the year, those who can afford enjoy the extravagant shopping for the season. Unlike those who are less fortunate, they would have to think twice to buy even the cheaper one!
Our history tells that Christians believed that December 25 was the birth of Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary, the great High Priest, and central figure of the human race. But December 25 also marked the births and deaths of some well-known and historical personalities.
December 25 was the birth of Sir Isaac Newton in 1642. He was a genius that explained gravity. Isaac Newton’s discoveries were so numerous and varied that many consider him to be the father of modern science – a graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge. Newton developed an intense interest in mathematics and the laws of nature which ultimately led to his two most famous works: Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica and Opticks.
December 25 also marked the death of some well-known and historical personalities such as, Pope Adrian 1 who died on December 25, 795. He was a Roman, successor of Stephen IV. At Adrian ’s urging, Charlemagne crossed the Alps and defeated the Lombard king, Desiderius, who had annexed papal territory. That defeat marked the end of the Lombard kingdom. Charlemagne, during the siege of Pavia, went to Rome, there confirmed the donation of Pepin to the Papal States , and joined additional provinces to it. Adrian in turn confirmed Charlemagne’s title of patrician of the Romans, thereby acknowledging Charlemagne’s protectorate over all Italy. Adrian supported Empress Irene in her struggle against iconoclasm and he sent legates to the Second Council of Nicaea.
Karel Capek, a Czech, author and inventor of the word robot had died on December 25, 1938. He was a playwright, novelist, and essayist. He was best known as the author of two brilliant satirical plays—R. U. R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots,), which introduced the word robot into the English language, and The Insect Play, written with his brother Josef. He also wrote travel sketches, romances, essays, and short stories. Čapek’s three philosophical novels: Hordubal, Meteor and An Ordinary Life are profound and even mystical in tone. Distinct from his other works, they constitute Čapek’s masterpiece.
December 25 is the 359th day of the year. It is also the 360th day in leap years in Gregorian calendar. And it is the 300th day counting from March 1, every year.
In the Roman year, December is the 10th calendar month. Now, it is the 12th month of the year and it is one of the seven Gregorian months with the length of 31 days. Astrologically the month begins in Sagittarius and ends in the sign of Capricorn. The December’s flower is the narcissus or holly and its birthstone is turquoise, lapis lazuli, zircon, topaz (blue), or tanzanite.
Old Japan Calendar, December is called Shiwasu. In Finnish it is called Joulukuu (month of Christmas) since about 18 century. Earlier it was called Talvikuu (month of winter). In Irish it is called Mi Na Nollag (the month of Christmas).
The Christmas tree, Christmas ham, Yule log, Holly, mistletoe and the giving of presents are the most familiar traditional practices and symbols of Christmas practiced by most Christians in Western countries and in Asia.
The Philippines is well known for the longest celebration of Christmas season in the world. During this period the children are visiting their godparents, the elderly, close relatives and sing beautiful Christmas songs in exchange of gifts and some amount of money. The Simbang Gabi starts on 16 December ‘til the 24th midnight though Christmas celebration is extended ‘til the day of the Three Kings. But the season starts as far back as September.