Thursday, December 20, 2007

Why December 25th?

The following might answer a few questions about Christmas falling on December 25th :

Many Christians think that Christians celebrate Christ's birth on December 25th because the church fathers appropriated the date of a pagan festival. Almost no one minds, except for a few groups on the fringes of American Evangelicalism, who seem to think that this makes Christmas itself a pagan festival. But it is perhaps interesting to know that the choice of December 25th is the result of attempts among the earliest Christians to figure out the date of Jesus' birth based on calendrical calculations that had nothing to do with pagan festivals.

Rather, the pagan festival of the 'Birth of the Unconquered Son' instituted by the Roman Emperor Aurelian on 25 December 274, was almost certainly an attempt to create a pagan alternative to a date that was already of some significance to Roman Christians. Thus the 'pagan origins of Christmas' is myth without historical substance.

More HERE.

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Blogger Karen said...

Hey Constantine,

I don't think is entirely true. Christmas wasn't celebrated in the first three centuries of the Church's history, and when it was, it was on various dates, because no one could agree on when Christ was born. A popular date was Epiphany, though.

Another factor was probably the date of Christ's death... as a recent commenter on my blog pointed out, Jewish prophets were thought to die on the day of their birth-- or their conception. If Christ died at the time of year He was conceived, that would mean Dec or January was when He was born...

Fri Dec 21, 11:05:00 pm 2007  

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