By: N Mangi Devi *
A Christmas celebration in Manipur
Christmas is celebrated in all Christian countries on the birthday of Christ. The name Christmass comes from the early English Term Christmases, which means Christ’s mass. Germany and Switzerland observe “Holy Night” The day for Christmas in most all lands is December 25.
No one knows definitely when the Christmas festival was first celebrated, It is spoken of the 400’s BC by clement of Alexandria. The early Church Fathers probably choose December 25 because the feast of the son, or Winter Solstice was a familiar Roman feast celebrating the victory of light over darkness.
The Armenians who were the first people in the world to set up a Christian State celebrate Christmas Eve on January 6 by eating fried fish, lettuce, and boiled spinach, December 6 is the day on which the long Christmas season opens for the Austrians, Belgians, Bulgarians French, Germans, Greeks, Hungarians, Italian, Dutch and Swiss.
Christmas is a Simple Story
The Christmas story is serenely simple. It is as simple as the silent dawn, as unbelaboured as the bursting rose, as unsophisticated as the child’s cry as spontaneous as a child’s laughter. God through the centuries has manifested himself in diverse and complex ways.
We see evidence of Him in the perfection of a mathematical formula and in the order of a distant Galaxy; we hear Him speak through the profound utterance of noble minds and in the erudite thoughts of great theologians. But Christmas is like none of these. Christmas is as simple as childhood and as beautiful.
When God made His most benevolent gesture of fatherly love, His giving of a son, He wanted to understand by all men . But no flaming chariot bore Jesus from highest heaven. No mighty cannonade announced His appearing. There were no bugles, no treading of armies, none of the grandeur and glory we should devise for so remarkable an event.
Christ came into this world as a baby, He left the world thirty-three brief years later when He was in the vigour and beauty of noble and consecrated young manhood. Christmas is a simple story, divinely simple yet profoundly inspiring showing what life may mean for each of us.
God choose Mary
Of all the women of history, the most and revered is Mary, the mother of Jesus She stands apart from all over women, none is to be compared with her. Mary has been exalted in poetry, fiction and drama, her face is seen on canvas, in bronze, marble and stained glass and we prize the lovely hymns and carols that sing of her who was Mary ? What kinds of person was she? What life did she live? It is generally believed that she was directly descended from David.
According to ancient scripture her parents were Jaochem and Anna, devout and holy people. Mary was reared according to the faith of her father and will of God. In appearance she may have been like many other Jews maidens of her age. Nothing distinguish her from the others.
Yet the eternal God choose her from among humanity to be mother of his son. The birth of this son is unmatched among the miracle all time. We cannot more explain His birth than we can explain the origins of sun, the moon and the stars.
There came wise men from the East.
The celebration of Christmas is always given a certain regal glamour by the regal story of the wise men, who journeying long days and weary nights across wasteland and desert came at last to Bethlehem to pledge fealty to the newborn King Jesus.
Theirs was the most complicated itinenary of all those who travelled to Bethlehem. They are called wise men because by profession and study they had mastered both the books and the wisdom of Heavens; they were Philosophers and Astrologers.
The wise men had long across made themselves to look above the world of man for guidance from the most high and their behaviors were formed not by the foibles and folly of men by the wisdom of God. In the birth of Christ is fulfilled all the wisdom of ages. The wise knew that the Heavens declared the glory of god.
We too are wise when, like them , we look upward and when, having discussed and heavenly sign. We followed where it leads, God often makes known his will to men, but only those who are wise respond to his guidance.
Christmas Song and Stories
Singing as an expression of joy, hope, love and any other good human feelings has been part of the Christmas celebration everywhere.
The southern countries of Europe have built their songs around the stories of Christ’s birth. In the Scandinavian countries the carols includes many pagan yule and was sailing songs as well as Christmas songs. Many fine stories have been woven about the Christmas spirit, and Christmas merry making. Dickens Christmas carol, the story of scrooge and ” Marley’s Ghost” is one wide read and loved.
Christmas in other land.
On Christmas Eve in the villages of France, the homes are the centre of festivities, including a holiday supper and the ceremony of the burning of the such, or yule log. At midnight the church bells ring, and the merry makes become solemn as each lights, his Christmas candle, a little taper streaked with various colours.
The streets are dotted with lights as the villages hurry to church to celebrate the Noel. Long table created under the weight of the finest food the cooks could prayer. Mistdetoe hung from the chandeliers, and yule log crackled on the hearth Christmas down south is still a joyous day.
All of the world the Christmas season is marked by tasty things to eat. Plum padding is mode of hearings citrus fruit, peels, figs beef send, spices, and other things and covered with rice source sometimes yule dough is made into flat cake in the shape of a body.
Mince pies were originally backed in the shape of a manger, and thus associated with Christmas. Henry Vlll established the bear’s head as the Christmas dish.
In his day it was a great delivery and very rare.
* N Mangi Devi wrote this book entitled “Festival of Manipur” .
This article was webcasted on June 19 2010.