Hubble captures breakup of comet ATLAS

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has provided astronomers with the sharpest view yet of the breakup of Comet C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS). The telescope resolved roughly 30 fragments of the fragile comet on 20 April and 25 pieces ...

Merry Moon: Rare full moon on Christmas Day

Gaze up into the sky and you'll see something rare. And, no, it won't be Santa. He and his reindeers will have already zoomed across the horizon.

Christmas Island reptile-killer identified

Native reptile populations on Christmas Island have been in severe decline with two species, Lister's gecko and the blue-tailed skink, entirely disappearing from the wild. While previously the main driver for this decline ...

Christmas Island discovery redraws map of life

The world's animal distribution map will need to be redrawn and textbooks updated, after researchers discovered the existence of "Australian' species on Christmas Island.

Christmas cracker pulling: How to send everyone home a winner

According to experts' statistical analyses, if you're expecting 10 guests for dinner on Christmas day, 15 crackers—those festive cardboard tubes filled with a one-size-fits-no-one paper hat, a small toy, and a groan-inducing ...

Australian court extends ban on Galaxy tab sales

(AP) -- Apple Inc. won a small victory on Friday in its global patent battle with rival Samsung, after Australia's highest court temporarily extended a ban on sales of Samsung's Galaxy tablet computers in the country.

New material could harvest water all day long

Tiny structures inspired by the shape of cactus spines allow a newly created material to gather drinkable water from the air both day and night, combining two water-harvesting technologies into one.

Australia swaps summer for Christmas snow

Snow fell in Australia on Monday, as the usual hot and summery December weather was replaced in parts by icy gusts sweeping up from the Southern Ocean, giving the country a taste of a white Christmas.

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Christmas

Christmas or Christmas Day is a holiday generally observed on December 25 (with alternative days of January 6, 7 and 19) to commemorate the birth of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity. The exact birthday of Jesus is not known, and historians place his year of birth some time between 7 BC and 2 BC. Narratives of his birth are included in two of the Canonical gospels in the New Testament of the Bible.

The date of Christmas, chosen by the Roman Catholic Church in the 4th century, may have initially been selected to correspond with either the day exactly nine months after Christians believe Jesus to have been conceived, the date of the Roman winter solstice, or one of various ancient winter festivals. Christmas is central to the Christmas and holiday season, and in Christianity marks the beginning of the larger season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days.

Although nominally a Christian holiday, Christmas is celebrated by an increasing number of non-Christians worldwide, and many of its popular celebratory customs have pre-Christian or secular themes and origins. Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift-giving, music, an exchange of Christmas cards, church celebrations, a special meal, and the display of various decorations; including Christmas trees, lights, garlands, mistletoe, nativity scenes, and holly. In addition, several figures, known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, and Santa Claus, among other names, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season.

Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity among both Christians and non-Christians, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses. The economic impact of Christmas is a factor that has grown steadily over the past few centuries in many regions of the world.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA