Featured Offbeat — 24 December 2015

Why Do We Have Christmas Bells

There is nobody who does not get attracted by the jingling of Christmas bells. These bells have been associated with the Christmas festival in a traditional way. Since Victorian times, people have been singing Christmas carols while carrying hand-bells. Christmas bells used to synchronize with the carol tune. In fact, some people only used to go out with Christmas bells, without singing. Bell ringing has since been popular as a Christmas tradition.

On the other hand, it is not simply the tradition of that keeps these bells alive on Christmas. Having Christmas bells is also linked to the service announcement on the eve of Christmas. In several churches, the new church day begins later during the day when the sun sets. The service after sunset is thus considered to be the first service of the day. It is the same on Christmas eve too.

Since it is the first Christmas-day service after sunset on Christmas eve, people are informed of the start of this service by ringing the church bells. In some churches, there is also a tradition of ringing the largest bell before midnight. It is done four times during the last hour before midnight. When it is midnight, all church bells are rung to celebrate the festival.

Though it is not a proven fact, people also believe that Jesus was born at midnight. This is another reason why they ring the bells when there is midnight mass on Christmas. Since the midnight mass service is highly important in many churches, bells have to be rung to announce the service and the birth of Jesus.

Whether you call it a tradition or requirement, don’t you get into the festive mood with these jingling Christmas bells? I am sure you all do. Christmas is not complete until you hear jingle all the way. Merry Christmas!

Written by Ruchika Pahwa

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Ruchika Pahwa

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