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Nestor The Long-eared Christmas Donkey
CHRISTMAS is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ
Christ
, observed most commonly on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian
Christian
liturgical year , it is prepared for by the season of Advent
Advent
or the Nativity Fast
Nativity Fast
and initiates the season of Christmastide
Christmastide
, which historically in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on Twelfth Night ; in some traditions, Christmastide includes an Octave
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Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM (/ˈbɛθlihɛm/ ; Arabic : بيت لحم‎‎ Bayt Lahm , "House of Meat"; Hebrew : בֵּית לֶחֶם‎ Bet Lehem, , "House of Bread"; Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
: Βηθλεέμ Greek pronunciation: ; Latin : Bethleem) is a Palestinian city located in the central West Bank , Palestine , about 10 km (6.2 miles) south of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
. Its population is approximately 25,000 people. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate . The economy is primarily tourist-driven . The earliest known mention of the city was in the Amarna correspondence of 1350–1330 BCE during its habitation by the Canaanites
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New Testament
The NEW TESTAMENT (Greek : Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Hē Kainḕ Diathḗkē; Latin
Latin
: Novum Testamentum) is the second part of the Christian biblical canon , the first part being the Old Testament , based on the Hebrew Bible
Bible
. The New Testament
New Testament
discusses the teachings and person of Jesus
Jesus
, as well as events in first-century Christianity
Christianity
. Christians
Christians
regard both the Old and New Testaments together as sacred scripture . The New Testament
New Testament
(in whole or in part) has frequently accompanied the spread of Christianity
Christianity
around the world . It reflects and serves as a source for Christian theology and morality
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Christian Messianic Prophecies
The New Testament
New Testament
frequently cites Jewish scripture to support the claim of the Early Christians that Jesus of Nazareth
Jesus of Nazareth
is the Messiah
Messiah
, and faith in Jesus as the Christos and his imminent expected Second Coming . The majority of these quotations and references are taken from the Book of Isaiah , but they range over the entire corpus of Jewish writings. People of the Jewish faith do not regard any of these as having been fulfilled by Jesus, and in some cases do not regard them as messianic prophecies at all. These either were not prophecies (the verses make no claim of predicting anything) or the verses do not explicitly refer to the Messiah
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Saint Joseph
March 19 - Saint Joseph, Husband of Mary ( Western Christianity
Western Christianity
), May 1 - St Joseph the Worker (Roman Catholic Church
Catholic Church
), The Sunday after the Nativ
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Mary, Mother Of Jesus
MARY (Greek : Μαρία, translit. María; Aramaic : ܡܪܝܡ‎, translit. Mariam‎; Hebrew : מִרְיָם‎, translit. Miriam‎; Arabic : مريم‎, translit. Mariam‎), also known by various titles, styles and honorifics , was a 1st-century Galilean Jewish
Jewish
woman of Nazareth
Nazareth
, and the mother of Jesus
Jesus
, according to the New Testament and the Quran
Quran
. The gospels of Matthew and Luke in the New Testament
New Testament
and the Quran describe Mary as a virgin (Greek: παρθένος, translit. parthénos) and Christians believe that she conceived her son while a virgin by the Holy Spirit . The miraculous birth took place when she was already betrothed to Joseph and was awaiting the concluding rite of marriage, the formal home-taking ceremony
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Octave (liturgical)
"OCTAVE" has two senses in Christian liturgical usage. In the first sense, it is the eighth day after a feast, reckoning inclusively, and so always falls on the same day of the week as the feast itself. The word is derived from Latin
Latin
octava (eighth), with dies (day) understood. In the second sense, the term is applied to the whole period of these eight days, during which certain major feasts came to be observed. Octaves, not being successive, are quite distinct from eight-day weeks and simply refer to the return of the same day of a seven-day week in the inclusive counting system used in Latin
Latin
(just as the ninth day was a return to the same day of a nundinal cycle , the eight-day week of the pre-Christian Roman calendar)
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Twelfth Night (holiday)
TWELFTH NIGHT is a festival in some branches of Christianity
Christianity
marking the coming of the Epiphany . Different traditions mark the date of Twelfth Night
Twelfth Night
on either 5 January or 6 January; the Church of England , Mother Church of the Anglican Communion
Anglican Communion
, celebrates Twelfth Night on the 5th and "refers to the night before Epiphany, the day when the nativity story tells us that the wise men visited the infant Jesus". In Western Church traditions, the Twelfth Night
Twelfth Night
concludes the Twelve Days of Christmas
Christmas
; although, in others, the Twelfth Night
Twelfth Night
can precede the Twelfth Day
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Jesus
JESUS (/ˈdʒiːzəs/ JEE-zuss ; c. 4 BC – c. 30/33 AD), also referred to as JESUS OF NAZARETH and JESUS CHRIST, was a Jewish preacher and religious leader. He is the central figure of Christianity
Christianity
. Christians believe him to be the Son of God
God
and the awaited Messiah (Christ ) prophesied in the Old Testament
Old Testament
. Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus
Jesus
existed historically , although the quest for the historical Jesus
Jesus
has produced little agreement on the historical reliability of the Gospels and on how closely the biblical Jesus
Jesus
reflects the historical Jesus
Jesus

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Feast Day
The CALENDAR OF SAINTS is a traditional Christian method of organizing a liturgical year by associating each day with one or more saints and referring to the day as the FEAST DAY or FEAST of said saint. The word "feast" in this context does not mean "a large meal, typically a celebratory one", but instead "an annual religious celebration, a day dedicated to a particular saint". The system arose from the early Christian custom of commemorating each martyr annually on the date of his or her death, or birth into heaven, a date therefore referred to in Latin
Latin
as the martyr's DIES NATALIS ("day of birth"). In the Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
, a calendar of saints is called a Menologion . "Menologion" may also mean a set of icons on which saints are depicted in the order of the dates of their feasts, often made in two panels
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Liturgical Year
The LITURGICAL YEAR, also known as the CHURCH YEAR or CHRISTIAN YEAR, as well as the KALENDAR, consists of the cycle of liturgical seasons in Christian churches that determines when feast days , including celebrations of saints , are to be observed, and which portions of Scripture are to be read either in an annual cycle or in a cycle of several years. Distinct liturgical colours may appear in connection with different seasons of the liturgical year. The dates of the festivals vary somewhat between the different churches, though the sequence and logic is largely the same
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Twelve Days Of Christmas
THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS, also known as TWELVETIDE, is a festive Christian season celebrating the Nativity of Jesus Christ . In most Western ecclesiastical traditions, " Christmas
Christmas
Day " is considered the "First Day of Christmas" and the Twelve Days are 25 December – 5 January, inclusive. For many Christian denominations
Christian denominations
; for example, the Anglican Communion
Anglican Communion
and Lutheran Church , the Twelve Days are identical to Christmastide
Christmastide
, but for others, e.g., the Roman Catholic Church , "Christmastide" lasts longer than the Twelve Days of Christmas
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Manger
A MANGER, or TROUGH, is a structure used to hold food to feed animals. The word manger originally referred to a feed-trough, but it may also be used to refer to a water-trough when this is not being used possibly because it is similar to an abreuvoir . Mangers are generally found at stables and farmhouses . A manger is generally made of either stone or wood or metal. Mangers are mostly used in livestock raising. They are also used to feed wild animals , e.g., in nature reserves . The word comes from the French manger (meaning "to eat"), from Latin manducare (meaning "to chew"). A manger is also a Christian
Christian
symbol, associated with nativity scenes where Mary and Joseph , forced by necessity to stay in a stable instead of an inn, used a manger as a makeshift crib for the Baby Jesus
Jesus
. (Greek : φατνη phatnē; Luke 2:7)
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Christ Child
The CHRIST CHILD, also known as DIVINE INFANT, BABY JESUS, INFANT JESUS, CHILD JESUS, the HOLY CHILD, and SANTO NIñO, refers to Jesus Christ from his nativity to age 12. Upon reaching 13 years-old he was considered to be an adult in accordance with Jewish custom. The canonical Gospels lack any narration of the years between Jesus' infancy and the Finding in the Temple when he was twelve
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Eastern Christian Churches
EASTERN CHRISTIANITY consists of four main church families: the Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
, the Oriental Orthodox churches , the Assyrian Church of the East
Church of the East
, and the Eastern Catholic churches
Eastern Catholic churches
(that are in communion with Rome but still maintain an Eastern liturgy ). The term is used in contrast with Western Christianity
Christianity
(namely the Latin Church
Latin Church
and Protestantism
Protestantism
)
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Civil Calendar
In any country, the CIVIL CALENDAR is the calendar , or possibly one of several calendars, used within that country for civil, official or administrative purposes. The civil calendar is almost always used for general purposes by people and private organizations. The most widespread civil calendar and de facto international standard is the Gregorian calendar
Gregorian calendar
. Though that calendar is associated with the Catholic Church and the papacy, it has been adopted, as a matter of convenience, by many secular and non-Christian countries although some countries use other calendars. Commonly, another calendar, or more than one, is used alongside the civil calendar. For example, Christian Churches have their own calendars, which they use to compute the dates for their own festivals, though most of these dates are then expressed relative to the civil calendar. In Christian terminology these festivals are called movable feasts
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