This is part of a series to help managers and human resources professionals to understand the various religions in the workplace. From the Religion Culture Bridge and used with permission from Max Impact,
Christmas is a Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. The name is derived from the Old English 'Cristes Mæsse', meaning the 'mass of Christ'. Few believe that Jesus Christ was actually born on December 25.
Without knowing the actual date, Pope Julius formally selected December 25 as the day of Christmas in 349 A.D.
It is believed the December date is more symbolic for either or both of two reasons:
The date may have been selected to compare to Hanukkah. During the early days of Christianity most followers of Christ were Jewish converts. Some believe that Pope Julius selected the month to fill the void many early Christians felt for the winter festival.
The date is symbolic of the darkness before Christ to the light after Christ. Following the solstice, the days begin to get longer as light overcomes the darkness of winter.
Christmas is not the holiest of days on the Christian calendar, however it is the most festive. The holiest day, Easter, is preceded by a period of self-sacrifice and the most solemn day, Good Friday. Christmas has not such period allowing for a much longer festival. It is usually a time for families to come together and worship, giving thanks that the initial steps of Christian redemption were taken, which would be later culminated on Easter.
Predominant religions of the world
- Christian 33.03% of the world’s population
- Islam (Muslim) 20.12%
- Hinduism 13.34%
- Buddhism 5.89%
- Atheism 2.36%
- Sikhism 0.39%
- Judaism 0.23%
- Baha’i n/a
This is an excerpt from the Religion Culture Bridge which is part of the Culture Bridges available from Max Impact, a Rochester Hills, Mich., based leadership development and business strategy website offering a host of complimentary information. © Max Impact, used by permission.
Additional workplace culture resources
- Culture Bridges are a look at the contents of the character within each of us. Information is contained on more than 20 different categories of culture.
- Cultural Faux Pas is an interesting quiz about marketing mistakes made by others.
- Culture Quizzes allow you to test your cultural IQ with fun and informative quizzes.
Leading workplace culture books
- Performance Culture provides a simplified approach to create a company culture that has proven to work
- The Great Workplace shows how to build and keep a great workplace and the benefits of doing so.
- Change the Culture, Change the Game offers a breakthrough strategy for energizing an organization and creating accountability for top results.