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Possible Duplicate:
Christmas on December 25th
When did Christmas (the birth of Christ) first begin as a Christian celebration?
On which date was Christ born?
Also Related:
Why do some traditions *not* celebrate Christmas or Easter in any official fashion?
Does Christianity allow Christians to celebrate other holidays?
Why do some traditions *not* celebrate Christmas or Easter in any official fashion?
Se also: The tag.

I have a curiosity about our celebrations, for instance Christmas, based on Jesus birth. It is not biblical.

25 December is a pagan date, commemoration of Mitra's birth and not Jesus's birth.

The only clue about Jesus birth is that of the shepherds who visited Him, they were still in the fields, which lets us eliminate the month of December, as the harsh winter in the northern hemisphere did not allow the action.

And I never saw a Christian not celebrating the Christmas even it been a pagan celebration.

There are other dates that I have doubts but I'll leave them for another question later.

Is my information correct about it?

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There is an existing dup somewhere... will look in a second - but actually celebrating Christmas was banned by Christians for quite a while in some areas, and certainly is not celebrated by all Christians, for a combination of the reasons you mention, and puritanism. For example, 1647-1660 the UK puritans made festivity at Christmas illegal (treating it as Holy rather than a festivity), and in Scotland for 400 years (1580s-1950s) –  Marc Gravell Jan 11 '12 at 19:53
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I suspect this is best treated as a duplicate, unless you have a specific question this isn't addressed by the existing answers (I've linked 3 questions)? –  Marc Gravell Jan 11 '12 at 20:02
    
Actually, if you're going to look at the pagan angle (whether or not it is true), there are, IIRC, a whole host of pagan God celebrations around the time of the winter solstice - more than one on the 25th. Quite the little party. –  Marc Gravell Jan 11 '12 at 20:10
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marked as duplicate by Peter Turner, Flimzy, David Stratton, Caleb Jan 18 '12 at 12:34

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Potential dup (or near question) Christmas on December 25th

Regardless, the information there (and in its sources) help form an answer to your question.

December has carried significant "spiritual" weight throughout humanity, probably attached to the Winter Solstice. In addition to the things that you've mentioned, the traditional date for the purification of the Temple by the Maccabean Revolt (leading to a brief period of Jewish independence just before the birth of Jesus) is Dec. 25th (V-Day for the Maccabees). Also, it was the day that Sol Invictus became the official cult religion of the Roman Empire in the 200s which gave rise to a celebratory festival in the honor of the cult god on the 25th.

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Extending this, there is the potential that early Christians walked the fine line between being good citizens of both Heaven and Earth by not completely disrupting the societal norms (and holding a festival) but explicitly dedicating it to the birth of Jesus. As Christianity became more readily-accepted (ultimately with Constantine) perhaps the festival took on the more Christian understanding.

The relationship to Sol Invictus and the solstice is reason for 15th C. Christians rejecting its celebration.

Justo Gonzales has some good stuff in The Story of Christianity vols 1 & 2 which I am drawing upon (memory, though).

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I'm gonna look for those books... –  Gerep Jan 11 '12 at 20:29
    
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If Christians were left to celebrating sacred events on days where no other pagan celebration has ever occurred, there would be no days available for Christian celebrations. So, on a day where some people at a certain time celebrated the birth of a god that never existed, Christians (Catholic and Protestant) choose to celebrate the birth of Jesus the Messiah. The two celebrations have absolutely nothing to do with each other, other than that they occur on the same day. (The common days for the Orthodox Christmas are January 6 and 7).

It is certainly possible that it was originally selected because it had been the celebration of a birth of a false deity before. That would make sense. The idea of redeeming a day of worshiping the birth of a false deity by celebrating the birth of the one true Lord and Messiah and worshiping Him is a great idea.

This would be especially so for people who come out of false religions worshiping false gods. As they continue to live in a culture that has various sacred observances, why not provide an alternative to these that worship the true and living God?

So, Jesus was definitely born, and it's a great thing to remember this incredible event each year in worship. We don't know exactly what day He was born, but December 25th is certainly fine. The kids are out of school, there are a lot of sales going on, and we have a day off of work. Why not?

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this commercial opportunity bugs me a lot..we can't use Jesus birth as a opportunity to sell more, it is just wrong, as the episode on scriptures when Jesus became very angry about people selling things on His temple –  Gerep Jan 11 '12 at 20:28
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@Gerep The focus should obviously be on worship. However, giving to others is certainly commendable, and is in remembrance of the gifts given by the Magi to Jesus. I really enjoy worshiping Jesus, and I also enjoy giving gifts to people. –  Narnian Jan 11 '12 at 20:34
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-1: It is insulting to Pagans, both ancient and modern, to call their Gods nonexistent. Is it possible to avoid insulting those who worship the Roman pantheon? The Gods of ancient Rome existed then, and exist now, just to the same extent as the Christian God does, although with less worldly impact. They survive through the ancient texts that describe their attributes, in our literature and arts. Whatever "existence juice" you refuse to them, will in turn be refused to your God. –  Ron Maimon Jan 12 '12 at 1:32
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@RonMaimon If you notice, this is Christianity.stackexchange.com. As such, answers are given from a Christian perspective. You could vote down most of the answers on this Christianity site if you demand that Christians never suggest that Christianity is true and any other religion that disagrees with that is false. If any answer on this Christianity site suggests Jesus is the Messiah, that may be offensive to Jewish unbelievers, but this is a Christianity site. –  Narnian Jan 12 '12 at 12:49
    
@Narnian: There is a huge difference between asserting that Christianity is true and asserting that other religions are false. –  Ron Maimon Jan 12 '12 at 18:12
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There are two 'holidays' celebrated on December 25 in America.

  1. A secular holiday celebrating good children and awarding them with gifts.
  2. A Christian religious holiday celebrating the incarnation of the logos.

It is NOT a birthday party. Originally Jesus' birth was not celebrated. Because of Christian assimulation, the Christians wanted a reason to have a celebration on an already popular date full of tradition. Some of which is tied to the secular holiday such as praising children. Another holiday celebrated by the Romans was something like Holloween for adults. Slaves would act as the master and the master would act as the slave for the day. Early Christians made a holiday on this day as a feast day to celebrate the incarnation of the logos. Years later it was simplified to the birth of the christ child (same event, but different... meaning).

Different groups had different holidays on this day. Some people believe it was for the solstice.. and it was... but it isn't the only reason or the origin of the holiday.

I make mention of America because this holiday (secular or not) is not celebrated the same way through the world.

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