The magic of Christmas in music

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Originally a pagan festival and then a Christian celebration, on the 25 December, of the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas is now an opportunity for all the generations in a family to come together, and enjoy themselves.

The Origins of Christmas
A Christian festival since the 4th century, 25 December was until then the date of the pagan winter solstice festival called "Birth (in Latin Natale) of the Sun". The Church of Rome then adopted this popular custom, giving it a new meaning: Birth of the Saviour. So strictly speaking, Christmas does not celebrate the birth of Jesus, the date of which is unknown, but the arrival on earth of the Son of God.

Midnight Mass

Following the Gospels' accounts of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, where pilgrims went to see the Grotto of the Nativity at night, the custom of celebrating a mass, traditionally at midnight, spread to the West, but this gradually moved to the early evening. In addition, on Christmas night, Christians from many regions of France relive the Nativity by re-enacting the story in the Gospels and presenting real-life nativity scenes.

The Christmas Vigil

This is a family tradition held on Christmas Eve. The most important symbol of the Christmas Vigil is the festive meal that traditionally includes turkey and Yule log.

The Christmas Tree and Gifts

The tradition of the Christmas tree first appeared in Europe in the 12th century in Alsace. In the mid-16th century, the town of S�lestat was the first to authorise cutting down evergreen trees for Christmas Eve. Presents are placed at the foot of the Christmas tree.

Father Christmas

Responsible for bringing presents to children throughout the world on the night of 24 December, he was inspired by the Anglo-Saxon figure of Santa Claus, who in turn derived from Saint Nicolas, the patron saint of children whose saint's day is 6 December.
... listeners on Merry Christmas.
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