We all celebrate different things. Like birthdays, valentine's days, anniversaries, Anzac Days, Easter, Christmas... by the way it's Chinese Lunar New year today (but I don't celebrate it). There're always reasons behind each celebration and there're different things people do to celebrate for the particular occasions. Sometimes year after year people celebrate the same thing, and then they forget about what the reasons are behind the scenes, and they just do the things that're involved for the celebration, and the celebration becomes a tradition or a festival. For example, the second largest celebration apart from the Chinese New Year(equivelant to Christmas in China) is the Moon cake festival (or Mid-Autumn festival). Year after year people get together do a lot of eatings and games and lots of other fun things, and they eat moon cakes. Well if you ask them why they have to eat moon cakes, probably only 1 in a 100 will have a bit of clue.
Most people love celebrations. They get to see the families, have parties, give or get presents, take time off, have holidays, eat good food, have a feast, be happy... They go out of their ways to do something special that they wouldn't do otherwise. For example, a traditional Chinese New Year's Eve dinner is a huge feast. Some families would have 30 dishes of all kinds of delicacies. Some families would take a month or even longer to prepare for it. And then every families doing that, the whole country is filled with a special atmosphere of celebration. Same here, Christmas, people eat prawns for breakfast, roast dinners for lunch, and kids have heaps of presents. Different culture has different celebrations. They do different things even if it's the same thing, like kids birthday parties. We have special budget for occations. We can't have the new year's eve dinner every night, neither will we eat roast dinner for lunch every day.
I find this interesting verse in the Bible: Deuteronomy 14:22-26
Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. And thou shal eat before the Lord thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that you mayest leaarn to fear the Lord thy God always. And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; of if the place be to far from thee, which the Lord thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the Lord thy God hath blessed thee; Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the Lord thy God shall choose; And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul desireth; and thou shalt eat there before the Lord thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household.
It is a commandment in the Bible for us to celebrate the Lord! People celebrate things for all kinds of reasons, but we forget to celebrate the Lord! What do we do? Eat, drink, whatever you want! Just have a good time, have fun! With what? Our tithe! That's the budget! Do something to celebrate that you would otherwise not be able (can't be bothered or can't afford to)to do.
When I was in China, this is an element of church life from which I've seen so much blessings coming. People get saved, people get encouraged, they feel loved and treasured, they get fired up! It's a family life among Christian brothers and sisters, just as Christmas is a family thing for most people. When I come to Australia, I find this part of life missing from christian lives. They do fun things and dinners, but it's different: everyone pays for themselves. When I was in China, we would regularly do dinner parties in restaurants, go for bowling games, holiday 3-4 days travel... the church(tithe)pay for everything! People tithe according to their income and willing level, but when they celebrate, they don't have to worry anything about money! We choose lots of birthdays for our days of celebration, especially the new believers. We'd hire a restaurant room and we'd have a huge feast! We invite friends to join our celebration and they love to come for a free feast. After the dinners we'll just have a worship meeting in the restaurant rooms and most of the times the unbeliever friends get saved! It was an essencial part of church life, but I find it missing here in Australia. Celebration is about creating an atmosphere or rejoicing. When you are in an atmosphere of celebration, you just can't help but to join in the celebration.
Celebrate! There's power in celebration.