A set of two commemorative postage stamps on Merry Christmas :
Issued by India
Issued on Dec 8, 2008
Issued for : India Post is proud to commemorate the festival of Christmas with the issue of postage stamps on the theme “Merry Christmas” and wished everyone happiness, joy and prosperity.
Stamp : Bharti Mirchandani
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Postal Used
Colour : Multicolor
Denomination : 500 & 2000 Paise
Stamps Printed : 1.5 Million each
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printer : India Security Press, Nasik
- Christmas, the annual Christian holiday, commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. Most members of the Roman Catholic Church and followers of Protestantism celebrate Christmas on December 25, and many celebrate on the evening of December 24 as well. In addition to being a religious holiday, Christmas is a widely observed secular festival. For most people who celebrate Christmas, the holiday season is characterized by gatherings among family and friends, feasting, and gift giving.
- The world Christmas entered the English language sometime around 1050 as the Old English phrase Christes maesse, meaning “festival of Christ”. Scholars believe the frequently used shortened from the Christmas – Xmas – may have come into use in the 13th century. The X stands for the Greek letter chi, an abbreviation of Khristos (Christ), and also represents the cross on which, Jesus was crucified.
- By the 1880s, Nast‘s Santa had evolved into the form we now recognize. The image was standardized by advertisers in the 1920s.
- Christmas is celebrated throughout the Christian population, but is also celebrated by many non-Christians as a secular, cultural festival. Gift-giving and several other aspects of the festival involve heightened economic activity among both Christians and non-Christians; Christmas has become a major event for many retailers. Marketers and retailers around the world prepare themselves for Christmas and reap a rich harvest.
- The Christmas tree is often explained as a Christianization of pagan tradition and ritual surrounding the Winter Solstice, which included the use of evergreen boughs, and an adaptation of pagan tree worship. The Modern Christmas tree tradition is believed to have begun in Germany in the 18th century though many argue that Martin Luther began the tradition in the 16th century.
- The Bible provides no guidelines that explain how Christmas should be observed, nor does it suggest that it should be considered a religious holiday. Because of the lack of biblical instructions, Christmas rituals have been shaped by the religious and popular traditions of each culture that celebrates the holiday. On Christmas Eve, churches around the world hold evening services. At midnight, most Catholic and many Protestant churches hold special candlelight services. The Catholic midnight Mass was first introduced by the Roman Catholic Church in the 5th century. Christmas Masses are sometimes solemn and sometimes buoyant, depending on the particular culture that conducts them.
- Christmas customs around the world reflect the variety of cultures that celebrate the holiday. For some people, Christmas is primarily a holy day marked by religious services. For others, gift giving, feasting, and good times figure more prominently. At its root, Christmas celebrates one of the fundamental events of Christianity, the birth of Jesus. However, the celebration of Christmas also incorporates many secular customs that have been handed down through families and borrowed from other cultures. This complex layering of scared and secular observances creates celebrations that vary from nation to nation, and from culture to culture.