Why Do We Ring Christmas Bells?
With Christmas nearing, you might be wondering about the history of Christmas bells. You might already be acquainted with some of the traditions and legends behind some other Christmas traditions such as the Christmas tree, but the exact history behind Christmas bells might have piqued your curiosity.
From Beginning to End
Bells are typically rung to announce a major life event or occasion. They are rung on both joyous and sad occasions including both weddings and funerals. Bells are rung at Christmas to announce and celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Our modern-day ringing of bells can be traced back to the Pagan religion, a major world religion that preceded Christianity. It was not uncommon for Pagans to ring bells to keep evil spirits away. Ringing bells was part of many Pagan winter celebrations. Millenia ago, many Pagan customs were adapted to fit into Christian celebrations. Christmas bells were also probably one of the least expensive musical instruments you could find.
A Common Christmas Tradition
Christmas bells take different forms in different cultures. In Haiti, they have wooden bells that actually don’t ring in lieu of the silver bells that we are all used to.
Nowadays, Christmas bells are a common part of our Christmas celebrations. We use bells to decorate. The front door of most homes is usually adorned with Christmas bells to make a pleasant noise as guests enter our homes during the Christmas season. Christmas bells are also widely popularized in many Christmas songs such as Jingle Bells and Silver Bells. Christmas bells make a festive embellishment to the outside of your Christmas presents, so consider affixing small Christmas bells onto your wrapped Christmas presents this holiday season.
Today, Christmas bells are such an integral part of our holiday celebration that it is hard to imagine the Christmas season without the appealing sound of bells ringing.