Christmas Fast Facts

Here's a look at Christmas, a popular ...

Posted: Dec 27, 2017 4:43 PM
Updated: Dec 27, 2017 4:43 PM

Here's a look at Christmas, a popular Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

Facts: Celebrated December 25th in the United States and other countries. In 2018, December 25th falls on a Tuesday.

Christmas is celebrated on January 7 in some Eastern Orthodox countries, such as Russia.

The real date of Jesus' birth is not known.

The Christmas story is told primarily in the Gospels of Saint Luke and Saint Matthew in the New Testament.

Considered the most popular Christian observance, Christmas is also celebrated as a secular family holiday.

The word Christmas is derived from the Old English phrase Cristes maesse (Christ's mass).

The tradition of substituting X-mas for Christmas has its origins in the early Christian church. The first letter of Jesus Christ's name is X in the Greek language.

Many of the customs and symbols traditionally associated with Christmas originated with ancient pagan festivals and winter solstice rituals.

The modern Christmas tree (typically evergreen conifers-usually pine, balsam or fir species) originated in Germany in the 16th century and became popular in England by the mid-19th century thanks to Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, who was German.

St. Nicholas, the real person on whom Santa Claus is based, lived in the 4th century AD in the province of Lycia on the southwest coast of Asia Minor.

Cartoonist Thomas Nast is credited with creating the current image of Santa Claus, based on his illustrations that began appearing in Harper's Weekly in 1863.

Economic Impact: Expected holiday spending for November and December 2017 was $678.75 billion, according to the National Retail Federation, an increase of 3.6 to 4% over 2015.

The United States Post Office anticipated delivering 850 million packages in the 2017 holiday season. That is over 10% more packages than the previous year.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1611031

Reported Deaths: 47156
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Queens2061178675
Kings2046548996
Suffolk1595713049
Nassau1452902890
Bronx1402445807
Westchester1055502078
New York1005843852
Erie640661585
Richmond558791558
Monroe51913977
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Oneida19519475
Niagara15100309
Broome14412333
Saratoga11723145
Schenectady10685177
Ulster9854226
Rensselaer8860130
Putnam820486
Chautauqua7213122
Chemung6397130
Oswego593589
Ontario569988
Steuben5452137
St. Lawrence533680
Cayuga531287
Jefferson468163
Sullivan466259
Herkimer4531106
Wayne440964
Genesee4335118
Cattaraugus432476
Madison379284
Livingston347855
Clinton346826
Tompkins341442
Columbia334794
Fulton324580
Montgomery3121105
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Warren279555
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Tioga277156
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Washington227952
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Lewis202630
Franklin199612
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Delaware146933
Essex131726
Schoharie117612
Yates101126
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Hamilton2772
Unassigned217137
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