Publicado el: Mar, Dec 6th, 2016

El origen de las tradiciones navideñas

nina-bola-navidad-pLa llegada de Santa Claus, Papá Noel o San Nicolás, como se conoce a este personaje en distintos países, es uno de los acontecimientos más esperados de la Navidad. La figura de Papá Noel con el trineo, los renos y los sacos llenos de juguetes es, en realidad, una invención comercial estadounidense del siglo XX, que está basada en la vida y leyenda de San Nicolás.

Aunque en ciertos lugares el día de San Nicolás se celebra el 6 de diciembre, en honor del buen Santo que ayudaba a los niños y les entregaba golosinas y alimentos, la tradición ha transformado la imagen de San Nicolás o Papá Noel en un anciano gordo que viaja desde el Polo Norte, donde reside, en un trineo tirado por seis renos y campanitas de plata, repartiendo regalos por todo el mundo.

La Misa del Gallo que se celebra el 24 de Diciembre, a las 12 de la noche, conmemora el nacimiento del Niño Dios. La costumbre proviene de los ritos de los templos de Jerusalén. Allí los católicos celebraban tres misas el día del nacimiento de Jesús: una en la noche en la cueva de la natividad, santificando así la hora del nacimiento del Señor, otra al amanecer como signo de la resurrección y recordando que Dios se hizo hombre; y una tercera en el templo, siendo ésta el oficio solemne del día.

El día de Navidad fue oficialmente reconocido en el año 345, cuando por influencia de San Juan Crisóstomo y San Gregorio Nacianzeno se proclamó el 25 de diciembre como fecha de la Natividad de Cristo. No obstante, en el Mundo Occidental, los cristianos celebran la Navidad el 25 de diciembre desde del Reinado del Papa Telésforo, alrededor del año 125.

nino-bebe-navidad-arbol-pLa tradición de montar el Belén tiene origen italiano y se remonta al año 1223. Cuenta la tradición que en la villa italiana de Greccio, San Francisco de Asís reunió a los vecinos para celebrar la misa de medianoche alrededor de un pesebre y en torno a la figura del Niño Jesús, que el propio San Francisco había moldeado con sus manos. Se cantaron alabanzas al Misterio del Nacimiento y en el momento más solemne de la misa, aquella figura inmóvil adquirió vida, sonrió y extendió sus brazos hacia el Santo de Asís. El milagro se había producido ante la vista de todos, y desde entonces la fama de los “Nacimientos” o Belenes y se extendió por todo el mundo. El Papa Juan Pablo II, en 1.986, a petición de las asociaciones belenistas de todo el mundo, proclamó a San Francisco de Asís, Patrón Universal del Belenismo.

El árbol de Navidad decorado se cree que es originario de Alemania y que data del siglo XVII. Según las crónicas, en 1605, un árbol fue decorado para ambientar la Navidad y esta costumbre germana se extendió posteriormente por el resto de Europa y América. El muérdago representa en Navidad una demanda de prosperidad a la divinidad. Y el primer pan dulce se hizo en Milán, por encargo del duque Sforza, quien pidió a sus cocineros una comida especial para Navidad que contenía en su interior frutas secas y pasas de uva, y que decidió bautizar como “panettone”.

Las tarjetas de Navidad comenzaron a utilizarse a partir de 1846, año en que se imprimió la primera postal en Londres. Fueron inventadas por sir Henry Cole, quien en el año 1843 encargó a un amigo pintor que le dibujara y pintara una escena navideña, que luego mandaría reproducir en una imprenta. En todas ellas, Cole escribió un mensaje de felicidad, después las firmó y las envió por correo a sus amigos y familiares.

navidadEn España, el roscón de Reyes con haba de la suerte incluida se comenzó a elaborar en la Edad Media. El primer sorteo de la Lotería de Navidad se celebró en Cádiz (España) en 1812. El sorteo de “el Niño” se instituyó en el año 1941. Tomar las doce uvas de la suerte para celebrar el Año Nuevo es una costumbre reciente, nacida en el primer tercio del siglo XX. La existencia de tres Reyes Magos data del siglo VI d.C. Melchor, que representa a los europeos, ofreció al Niño Dios un presente de oro que atestigua su realeza. Gaspar, representante de los semitas de Asia, le ofreció incienso al Niño como símbolo de su divinidad. Y por último, Baltasar, con barba, se identifica con los hijos de Cam, los africanos, llevó al Niño Dios mirra, en alusión a su futura pasión y resurrección.

La Navidad es la fiesta por excelencia, significa renacer por dentro y renovar ilusiones. Si te pica un poco más la curiosidad sobre las tradiciones navideñas o donde vives hay alguna tradición relacionada con la Navidad, que quieras compartir, cuéntanoslo.

Sobre El Autor

- Estudiante de término de Comunicación Social

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