The Christmas holiday, celebrated around the world, is seasoned with traditions and folklore making this holiday a melting pot of various religions and customs. Elements of the holiday can be traced back hundreds of years before the birth of Christ (which, in reality took place around spring – as that was when it was customary to be polled – or taxed). The Christmas tree has pagan/Germanic roots (only truly gaining popularity until Victorian times); Santa Claus and the “12 days” and the Yule Log can be traced back to Norse lore; even the date and holiday itself has ancient roots in the Roman holiday of Saturnalia and the pagan celebrated Winter Solstice.
At one time celebrating Christmas was outlawed due to the drunken, rowdy partying and pagan elements of the holiday. Today, these traditions and observations have been folded into the modern Christian based celebration of Christmas (or Christ Mass).
This season of peace, family, and gift giving is celebrated in various religions, traditions and customs around the world. The theme of peace on Earth and goodwill towards mankind prevails making this a truly international holiday.
Consider this a primer for this December diversity is Epcot’s annual holidays around the world. This seasonal celebration features stories of the various holiday happenings and Christmastime culinary cuisines from around the world as represented by the 12 nations that make up the World Showcase. As a way of saying “Season’s Greetings,” ITM is delighted to bring you highlights of this holiday hoopla over the next several days.
Source: History.com History of Christmas