Many people think Christmas is on December the 25th and that's all there is to Christmas. However, for many people around the world, in different countries and in different Christian traditions, Christmas lasts for a lot longer than that - and it's even celebrated at different times!
When Christmas is Celebrated 什么时候庆祝圣诞
Although December 25th is the date when most people celebrate Christmas, there are some other dates as well!
Some churches (mainly Orthodox churches) use a different calendars for their religious celebrations. Orthodox Churches in Russia, Serbia, Jerusalem, Ukraine, Ethiopia and other countries use the old 'Julian' calendar and people in those churches celebrate Christmas on January 7th.
Most people in the Greek Orthodox Church celebrate Christmas on December 25th. But some still use the Julian calendar and so celebrate Christmas on 7th January! Some Greek Catholics also celebrate on January 7th.
希腊东正教大多数人在12月25日庆祝圣诞节。 但有些人仍然使用朱利安日历，所以在1月7日庆祝圣诞节！ 一些希腊天主教徒也在1月7日庆祝。
In Armenia, the Apostolic Church celebrates Christmas on January 6th. It also celebrates 'Epiphany' on this day.
Advent - The Time Before Christmas 基督降临 - 圣诞节前
Before Christmas, many Christians use the time of Advent to prepare themselves and get ready to celebrate the joy of Christmas, when Christians celebrate of the birth of Jesus, who they believe is the Son of God.
Advent is normally a period of four Sundays and weeks before Christmas. In many Orthodox and Eastern Catholics Churches Advent lasts for 40 days, starting on November 15th.
In Orthodox Churches which celebrate Christmas on 7th January, Advent start on 28th November!
During Advent many people fast (don't eat certain foods). The types of food people give up depends on their church tradition and where in the world they live.
After Christmas - The 12 Days of Christmas and Epiphany 圣诞后 - 圣诞节和主显节12天
After Advent, traditionally, Christmas celebrations (and often a feast!) started on Christmas Day and lasted for 12 Days - so they were known as The 12 Days of Christmas! The celebrations finished on the evening of 5th January, which is better known as Twelfth Night.
基督来临之后，传统上，圣诞节庆祝活动（通常是盛宴！）在圣诞节开始，持续了12天 - 所以他们被称为圣诞节的12天！ 1月5日晚，这个庆祝活动结束了，那就是第十二夜。
Throughout history, the 12 Days of Christmas were a time of feasting and fun.
Following Twelfth Night, on 6th January, is Epiphany, when people remember the Wise Men who visited Jesus when he was a baby; and the Baptism of Jesus when he was an adult.
Epiphany/Twelfth Night is also the time when it was traditional to take your Christmas decorations down - although some people leave them up until Candlemas.
主显节/第十二夜也是传统的日子把你的圣诞装饰品收起 - 虽然有些人留下了圣诞装饰直到烛台弥撒。
Candlemas - The End of Christmas 烛台弥撒 - 圣诞节结束
You might think that Christmas ends when you take the Christmas Decorations down - but it doesn't! After both Christmas and the season of Epiphany, the end of the Christmas celebrations come on February 2nd, 40 days after Christmas, with Candlemas.
当你把圣诞节装饰品放下时，你可能会认为圣诞节结束了 - 但事实并非如此！ 在圣诞节和主显节之后，圣诞节庆祝活动的结束是在2月后的第二天。
Candlemas, also known as the 'Presentation of Jesus at the Temple' or the 'Feast of the Purification of the Virgin (or Mary)' is the when some Christians remember the time when Mary and Joseph took the baby Jesus to the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem to give thanks to God for giving them a son.
It's a very important day in some Orthodox and Catholic churches.
The name Candlemas comes from 'Candle Mass' because in many Candlemas services, the candles are blessed to be used in churches during the coming year or are given out to people for them to use in their homes and private prayers.
In many Catholic churches, it's a time when people remember and renew promises they've made to the church and celebrate some of the prophesies which were given about Jesus.
In many Eastern/Orthodox churches, an all night vigil is held on the night before the candle blessing ceremony. In the morning, the candles are blessed and are given out to people.