Christmas is here!

It’s that time of the year again when evenings are lit with multi-coloured stars and the air filled with the aroma of fruitcake, cookies and a lot more on baking and roasting list. From decking up Christmas trees, gifts, cards and alot more.  Christmas is no longer a festival celebrated just by the Christians only; in fact today’s generation, celebrates any religious festival enthusiastically. Nobody is really sure when Fir trees were first used as Christmas trees. It probably began about 1000 years ago in Northern Europe. It is believed that evergreens would keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness. The best part of Christmas is the ‘Santa’, as children we really believed in Santa and presents under the Christmas tree, singing ‘Jingle Bells’ all around. I may sound a little stupid to still believe in Santa, but we all somewhere believe in the magic, the spirit, the hope for a Santa to come to complete our long awaited wishlist’s.

Yes, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Without music, tonight and tomorrow would be just another day. Christmas, with music, is majestic. Music unites us in excitement, expectancy and, most of all, in hope. Everyone needs hope. This holy day is the embodiment of hope, that the promises God made to mankind are at hand. Hope still is what brightens and energizes this holiday. It’s a reason for taking a pass on cynicism, ridicule and skepticism. It is, after all, a nativity. Right from 13th century Italy, when St Francis of Assisi introduced the peppy tunes to the Church, Carols have come a long way through the ages, spreading throughout Europe, and then throughout the world. Today it isn’t surprising to see bunches of children singing carols in the their schools or Christmas parties, but at some stage in history, they weren’t looked kindly upon. Between 1647 and 1660, Oliver Cromwell banned them in England, who thought that Christmas should be a solemn day. This gave rise to the tradition of carol singers going from door to door because they were banned from churches. From the cold British countryside to the pristine hamlets of Salcete, Goa, the mood-setting musical genre has had a momentous journey indeed.

Throughout India, music is an integral part of all celebrations. Thus, it is no surprise that a Christmas without carols is no Christmas at all. As cold December begins to peek out at the end of the year, neighbourhoods resonate with the familiar strains of O Holy Night and Jingle bells. Alot of family gatherings, friends come together for celebration.

The word carol comes from the ancient Greek ‘ choros’, which means “dancing in a circle,” and from the Old French word ‘carole’, which means ‘a song to accompany dancing’. Many Christmas carols were written for a special purpose, often to accompany performances of religious dramas dating from medieval times. In the Middle Ages, carols were dances accompanied by singing. As time went by, the meaning of the word ‘carol’ changed to refer only to certain kinds of songs and the word ‘carol’ became known as Christmas songs. The songs are mostly about Jesus and the time when he was born.

The more secular Christmas songs like Jingle Bells and Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer’ are all time favorite amongst children’s.

And as Christmas draws near, Wish you all by singing, “Have yourself a merry little Christmas, let your heart be light. From now on, may your troubles be out of sight”. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

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