Quantcast

Daily Calendar for Wednesday, December 25, 2024

Christmas Day is a Christian holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Although the actual date of Christ’s birth is unknown, it has been celebrated on December 25 since the 4th century. Christmas is also extensively celebrated by non-Christians as a seasonal holiday, on which popular traditions such as gift-giving, feasting, and caroling take place.

As Christianity began to spread in the 4th century, the Christmas feast day was set to December 25 by Pope Julius I; although no one knows for certain, some say that this was to align with the Roman pagan holiday Dies natalis solis invicti, the birth of the invincible Sun.”

Today’s rich mosaic of Christmas customs dates back through the ages. Evergreen branches were used to symbolize life in ancient solstice festivals, as they stayed green in winter. This tradition was absorbed by Christians, who interpreted the evergreens as the Paradise tree and began decorating them with apples. The candles and lights associated with Christmas, meant to symbolize guiding beacons for the Christ child, may have evolved from the Yule log, which was lit to entice the Sun to return as part of the jol (Yule) festival in pagan Scandinavia.”

Hanukkah (also spelled β€œChanukah”) is an eight-day Jewish festival which begins this evening at sundown. The festival commemorates events that took place in Judea more than 2,000 years ago, when the Syrian king Antiochus ordered the Jews to abandon the Torah and publicly worship the Greek gods. This act provoked a rebellion led by Judas Maccabeus, climaxed by the retaking of the Temple in Jerusalem, which had been desecrated by the Syrians. In an eight-day celebration, the Maccabees (as the rebels came to be known) cleansed and rededicated the Temple (Chanukah means β€œdedication”). According to the Talmud, there was only enough consecrated oil to relight the candelabra for one day, yet, miraculously, it remained lit for eight days. The central feature of the observance of Chanukah is the nightly lighting of the Chanukiah, an eight-branched candelabra with a place for a ninth candle, the shammes, used to light the others. One candle is lit on the first night of Chanukah, and an additional candle is lit on each successive night, until, on the eighth night, the Chanukiah is fully illuminated. Learn more about Hanukkah and see recipes!

Question of the Day

What’s the best way to start a coal fire?
To start a coal fire, get a good hot fire going with hardwood kindling. Then add a shovelful or two of coal. When this coal has begun to burn, add more coal. It will usually take about 10 minutes for the wood fire to get hot enough to ignite the coal, so be sure to use enough kindling to last that long. Leave any dampers open for a good 10 minutes or so to get rid of the gases. Anthracite coal will not light unless it has a bottom draft.

Advice of the Day

If at Christmas ice hangs on the willow, clover may be cut at Easter.

Home Hint of the Day

To discourage spiders, spray rubbing alcohol on windowsills or leave perfumed soap chips scattered about.

Word of the Day

Antlophobia
Fear of floods

Puzzle of the Day

Why is a star like an old barn?
Because there are r-a-t-s in both.

Died

  • Samuel de Champlain (explorer) –
  • W.C. Fields (actor) –
  • Charlie Chaplin (actor) –
  • Billy Martin (baseball player) –
  • Dean Martin (singer & actor) –
  • James Brown (singer; the Godfather of Soulβ€β€œ) –
  • George Michael (singer, songwriter) –

Born

  • William Collins (English poet) –
  • Clara Barton (founder of the American Red Cross) –
  • Humphrey Bogart (actor) –
  • Cab Calloway (musician) –
  • Rod Serling (author) –
  • Gary Sandy (actor) –
  • Jimmy Buffet (singer) –
  • Sissy Spacek (actress) –
  • Annie Lennox (singer) –
  • Justin Trudeau (Canadian prime minister) –
  • Dido (singer) –

Events

  • Columbus’s flagship, the Santa Maria, abandoned off the coast of Hispaniola–
  • From the Pennsylvania side, General George Washington’s troops crossed the icy Delaware River at night during a winter storm for a surprise attack against a Hessian garrison in Trenton, New Jersey (American Revolutionary War)–
  • Bytown (Ottawa) and Prescott Railway opened in Ontario–
  • Union Stock Yards opens giving the south side of Chicago a distinctive smell–
  • Pansy blossoms picked, Manhattan, Montana–
  • Comic strip hero Dick Tracy married Tess Trueheart–

Weather

  • A chilly -57 degrees F at Fort Smith, Northwest Territories–
  • White Christmas from central North Carolina to New England in wake of major snowstorm, even coastal Virginia was white–
  • Temperatures throughout northern New England averaged -39 degrees F–
  • A Christmas Day mudslide ran through St. Sophia Camp, San Bernardino, California–
  • 1.3” snow fell in Atlanta, Georgia–

Explore Other Dates on the Calendar