Why we say “Merry” Christmas and not “Merry” Christmas


The festive spirit of the end of the year around the world surrounds Christmas which marks the birth of Jesus Christ, celebrated on December 25. It is one of the biggest religious holidays which is celebrated with various meetings, preparation of dishes, decoration of Christmas trees and participation in parties. The celebration begins on the evening of December 24, called Christmas Eve. But on this day, people greet each other with the expression “Merry Christmas” and not “Merry Christmas”.

The reason behind the wording is that people often use the word “Happy” during the New Year, holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. But for Christmas, they use “Merry” instead of “Happy”. The fact that Christmas is greeted as a “Merry Christmas” and not as a “Merry Christmas” is a traditional saying that has endured for centuries.

Most of the time, “Merry Christmas” offers an emotional and unbridled celebratory connotation, while “Merry Christmas” means a conservative and reserved celebration.

Find out why this “Merry” Christmas is not “Merry” Christmas:

The Queen of England wishes people a “Merry Christmas”

Every year, Queen Elizabeth II of England addresses the people of the United Kingdom on Christmas Day with “Merry Christmas”.

Rumor has it that she prefers “happy” to “happy” because the term “happy” is associated with a feeling of restlessness and drunkenness.

Some say that the word “merry” is related to the heckling of the underprivileged classes, while “happy” is based on an upper class connotation not least because it is associated with the royal family wishing “Merry Christmas”.

Historical reasons

Further, historians believe that the early Church leaders in Britain encouraged faithful Christians to be “happy” instead of “joyful.”

The reason is based on what the language means: “happy” is an emotion, while “happy” is behavior.

Additionally, Bishop John Fisher, in a letter to Henry VIII’s Chief Minister Thomas Cromwell, wished “Merry Christmas”. The letter dates back at least to 1534 in London.

Cultural and literary reasons

In the 16e century, the phrase “We wish you a Merry Christmas” was mentioned in Charles Dickens’ novel “A Christmas Carol” in 1843, which was a big reason for its popularity since then.

In the same year, the phrase began to appear in commercial Christmas cards. Victorian Christmas defined many Christmas traditions and customs and this is one of them.

The term “merry” has become so popular and intrinsically associated with Christmas now that just hearing it brings us to Christmas celebrations!

The phrase “Merry Christmas” is mostly used in the United States, while “Merry Christmas” is more popular in the United Kingdom as both phrases have changed and evolved over time.

Read: Merry Christmas 2021: 20 Christmas wishes, quotes, wishes, cards and pictures

To read: Christmas Eve 2021: the best Christmas carols to brighten up your Christmas

To read: Christmas 2021: Origin and reasons to celebrate


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