Christmas has become the world’s biggest religious festival.

In today’s 21st century, its significance has gone beyond religious, as it has become one of capitalism’s greatest annual events.

But what exactly do you know about Christmas? Here are at least 5 things no one has probably told you about the religious festival that has taken over the world.

1. Christmas Means “Mass On Christ’s Day”: If you have been wondering what the term Christmas means, the term describes a religious service by the Catholic church deemed to be the summit of the Christian life.

So, this service held to mark the birthday of Christ is dedicated to Christ, who is the author of the Christian faith.

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So, you now understand why most Christians especially Catholics attend masses on Christmas eve or Christmas morning.

Meanwhile, Christmas is not called by that name everywhere. The corresponding terms in other languages include Navidad in Spanish, Natale in Italian, Noël in French—all probably denote nativity.

In Germany, it is called Weihnachten which denotes “hallowed night.”

2. Christmas Is No Longer A Christian Event: Although started by Christians, since the early 20th century, Christmas has also been a secular family holiday.

It is now observed by Christians and non-Christians alike, devoid of Christian elements, and marked by an increasingly elaborate exchange of gifts.

In this secular Christmas celebration, a mythical figure named Santa Claus plays the pivotal role.

3. Christmas Is Not A Public Holiday In Israel: Despite Jesus being from Israel, Christmas is not a formal holiday in that country.

If you understand the history of Israel, this won’t surprise you.

The Israelis are the Jews (God’s chosen people). They practice Judaism and are mainly Jews. So, it is understandable that they don’t celebrate Christmas since they are not Christians.

As a matter of fact, the Jews have not recognized Jesus as the messiah that was sent to them. They are still waiting for that messiah.

Israel is not alone. There are at least 34 countries that Christmas isn’t a formal holiday. These include Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bhutan, Cambodia, China (excepting Hong Kong and Macau), the Comoros, Iran and Japan.

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Others include: Kuwait, Laos, Libya, the Maldives, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, the Sahrawi Republic and Saudi Arabia.

The list also includes; Somalia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yemen.

4. Some Christian Churches Mark Christmas Officially On January 7: I guess you didn’t see this one coming.

December 25th is not a Christmas day everywhere across the world.

According to Wikipedia, some jurisdictions of the Eastern Orthodox Church, including those of Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Jerusalem, mark feasts using the older Julian calendar.

As of 2018, there is a difference of 13 days between the Julian calendar and the modern Gregorian calendar, which is used internationally for most secular purposes.

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As a result, December 25 on the Julian calendar currently corresponds to January 7 on the calendar used by most governments and people in everyday life.

Therefore, the Orthodox Christians mark December 25 (and thus Christmas) on the day that is internationally considered to be January 7.

5. Not All Christians Celebrate Christmas: So, if you are thinking every Christian celebrates Christmas, you are wrong.

Millions of Christians do not observe Christmas. Among them are Quakers, Jehovah's Witnesses, and members of the Churches of Christ.

Some of the half-dozen Christian faiths that do no celebrate December 25 contend there is nothing in the Bible that says Christ was born on that day.

In fact, Jehovah's Witnesses suggest any birthday, even that of Jesus, shouldn't be celebrated, because Jesus wasn’t born on that day, plus the celebration has been stripped of any spirituality and only therefore promotes materialism.

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