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Christmas is Both a Sacred Religious Holiday and a Worldwide Cultural and Commercial Phenomenon

Christmas is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. For two millennia, people around the world have been observing it with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals
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  Christmas is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural andcommercial phenomenon. For two millennia, people around the world have beenobserving it with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular innature. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesusof Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion.Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attendingchurch, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for SantaClaus to arrive. December 25  –  Christmas Day  –  has been a federal holiday in theUnited States since 1870December 25th rolls around every year and the celebration kicks into high gear  –   presents are torn open, a massive feast is prepared, and families gather to enjoy each other’s company. The cycle is predictable: we shop, we wrap, we travel, we get burned out and need a few days to recover. At some point, we inevitably ask, “Why do we get so worked up about Christmas?”  Historically, a long line of festivals have occurred during that time of year and,after the promotion of Christianityto state religion by the Roman EmperorConstantine in 312 AD, the stage was set for Christmas to become the primaryholiday for much of the Western world. In the early days of the faith, adherentsoften took advantage of large pagan holidays to celebrate important events of theirown. When the Edict of Milan official ly carried out Constantine’s orders, what had once been a vast public carnival to honor the Winter Solstice transformed into a way to commemorate Jesus’ birth.  As the influence of the Catholic Church expanded following the fall of Rome,Christmas took on newtraditions.Unique cultural customs developed from the foundation of celebrating Jesus’ arrival, giving us well -recognized decorations likethe Christmas tree and boughs of holly. No custom changed the holiday more thanthe act of presenting a loved one with a gift. Over the years, what began in theMiddle Ages as a way to replicate the offerings made by the Three Wise Menbecame the central focus for many families.    No other word engenders as much fear, revulsion, despair and utter helplessness as AIDS. It is, in fact, rewritingmedical history as humankind`s deadliest scourge. With 40 million deaths forecast in this millennium, statistics telltheir own sordid tale.The first recorded sample of HIV was discovered in 1959 in a blood specimen obtained at Leopoldville (nowKinshasa) in the Belgian Congo. This was the first known death chalked up by AIDS. The virus is thought to have srcinally affected chimpanzees. The crossover from animals to humans may have occurred in the 1950s through anaccident or a bite. What Is  Aids  & HIV  HIV has two major categories: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1, which currently has about 10 subtypes, is most commonworldwide and the only form found in the US. HIV-2 is less virulent and though currently confined to West Africa — it`sspreading.The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) basically provokes an infection, which destroys the body`s immunesystem. And AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is the advanced stage of this disease, when the immune system becomes irreparably damaged, engendering multiple infections and cancers. A person is consideredHIV positive when s/he tests positive for any of the 26 diseases (Kaposi`s sarcoma, lymphoma, pulmonarytuberculosis, recurrent pneumonia within a 12-month period, wasting syndrome and other indicators) that can easilyinvade the body during our immune system`s nonfunctionality.On invading the body, the virus specifically attacks T-cells. A core part of the human defence system, they mobilizeother cells to seek and destroy contagious foreign elements besides leading the immune system`s fight againstinfections. T-cells are targeted because the AIDS virus parasitizes the CD4 molecules on their surface. Symptoms  In the early stages, a mild flu and swollen glands are typical. But the symptoms are often unmistakeable when full-blown AIDSdevelops. Loss of appetite, weight loss, constant fever, prolonged fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, changing bowel patterns, swollen glands, chills coupled with excessive sweating, especially at nights, lesions in themouth, sore throat, persistent cough, shortness of breath, tumours, skin rashes, headaches, memory lapses, swelling   in the joints, pain in various parts of the body, vision problems and a regular feeling of lethargy and ill health make up   the litany of symptoms.With immune systems out of kilter, HIV-positive persons are susceptible to several types of cancer, particularlyKaposi`s sarcoma (KS), an uncommon form that occurs under the skin and in the mucus membranes of the eyes,nose and mouth. Affected persons have lesions that appear as dark-coloured raised blotches. Though the lesions arepainless, once KS spreads to the lungs, lymph nodes and digestive tract, the victim experiences difficulty inbreathing, gastrointestinal bleeding and painful swelling around the lymph nodes, especially in the legs. Modes Of Transmission  HIV is transmitted primarily by sex (anal, vaginal or oral sex with an infected partner), by injections (sharingcontaminated needles for drug use or accidental piercing with a contaminated needle), or from infected mother tochild through pregnancy or breast-feeding.Infected semen and vaginal fluids, infected blood and blood products lead to the transmission of HIV. Drug abusewith unsterilized needles is another high-risk activityAn infected mother can also transmit the virus to her baby before or during birth or through breast milk. Althoughtraces of HIV have been detected in body fluids (saliva, urine, faeces and tears) there is no evidence that HIVspreads through these fluids. Nor is it water-borne, air-borne or transmitted through mosquitoes and other insects.
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