Christmas & New Year Turned Upside Down?
Author: Yan Wing
Translator: Kaylee Ho
There are two major holidays that are celebrated worldwide: One is Christmas and the other is New Year’s Day. Both holidays commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. But while billions of people around the world celebrate Christmas and New Year, very few people actually look into the origins of these holidays. It is just strange that these celebrations are held blindly, and most of them have nothing to do with Christianity.
When it comes to Christmas, people naturally think of Christmas trees, Christmas cards, Santa Claus, Christmas gifts, Christmas dinners, and Christmas balls. Every big city and small town also put up festive decorations to celebrate. The strange thing is that most of them don’t think of the main character of Christmas at all. Isn’t the purpose of Christmas to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ who came to save the world? We all care about the secondary things around Christmas, leaving the most important character in the cold. What should really be remembered on this day is Jesus Christ, who bore the sins for the world.
During times of celebration, Chinese people like to exchange greetings of happiness and wealth. When the New Year comes, they like to put up the word “blessings” upside down on the door (the words “upside down” and “come” sound alike in Chinese). Since they misunderstand the real meaning of blessings, they truly got it wrong and turn the festival upside down. I’ve never seen anyone post or hang the words “Christmas” upside down. Maybe they think it is a foreign festival. But on Christmas cards or shop windows, you often see a big X’mas (X is the first Greek letter of the Greek word Χριστός, representing Christ). Ordinary people do not understand Greek and the English letter X is misunderstood as a confusing or inexplicable holiday, but it speaks the heart of most people in the world. It is absurd to get lost in a maddened revelry of sin to celebrate Christmas with festivities that have nothing to do with the real significance of Christmas.
After Christmas comes the New Year, which signifies the beginning of the Gregorian calendar year, also known as the Western calendar. But has anyone researched the origins of this festival? No. Even the Christian churches rarely mention its significance. Many big cities host New Year countdown celebrations at midnight. For instance, New York Times Square gathers thousands of people every year, waiting to chant “5, 4, 3, 2, 1” before midnight of the New Year, and then rejoicing and hugging each other to celebrate. The shouts of “Happy New Year” are endless. Many places also welcome the first streak of daylight of the new year. Sadly, few people remember that the New Year was set up to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. The universal calendar represents a new era that started from the year Jesus was born. Salvation and the gospel came to the world with the birth of the Lord, so that people can have new life and new hope. It is a pity that the New Year, like Christmas, is celebrated all over the world but forgotten that its true meaning is to commemorate the birth of Jesus. Is it okay for us to be busy with New Year festivities that we ignore the Lord of the New Era, Jesus Christ?
The 7.8  billion people in the world are familiar with these two back-to-back holidays. At least everyone celebrates the New Year’s Day. As Christians, it is our duty to preach the gospel and carry out the great commission of Christ. Christ commands us to preach the gospel to all peoples. Wouldn’t we have spread the gospel if we could clearly explain the origin and meaning of these two festivals to the world and correct their understanding?