Christmas is celebrated worldwide on December 25th and commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. Although the precise origin of the date is unclear, Sextus Julius Africanus first talked of the the event in 221.

The word Christmas (“mass on Christ’s day”) was not always used and is of fairly recent origin. In the olden days people reffered to the day as Yule, most likely derived from the Germanic jōl or the Anglo-Saxon geōl, which referrs to the winter solstice feast.

Since the early 20th century, the holiday has grown largely secular and is celebrated by Christians and non-Christians alike. Non-religious traditions include the beloved Santa Claus character as well as the elaborate exchange of gifts.