Jesus' birth, the events around it, and the festivities the celebrate those events.

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29
votes
5answers
611 views

In which year was Christ born?

This question is a spin-off from On which date was Christ born? There are differing views on the birth year of Christ, which also affect the dating of the resurrection (as we know Jesus's age on ...
17
votes
3answers
517 views

What is the origin of the Christmas tree and is it accepted in all Christian traditions?

What is the origin of the Christmas tree and is it accepted in all Christian traditions? I'm certainly not aware of a "Christmas" tree appearing in the Christmas story, so I'm curious when it was ...
6
votes
5answers
226 views

What is the biblical basis for commemorating the birth of Jesus?

For many Christian denominations, Christmas is the highest holiday of the year. What is the biblical basis for commemorating/celebrating the birth of Jesus, regardless of the particular day of the ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

What does TS Eliot mean by “old dispensation” in The Journey of the Magi?

In T. S. Eliot's poem The Journey of the Magi he's offering a imaginative view into the interior experience of one of the wise men from the East who came to Jesus's birthplace. The last few lines of ...
18
votes
2answers
15k views

Why is Easter celebrated on a different day every year and Christmas is not?

It is well known that on Easter we celebrate Jesus' resurrection, but every year it is held on a different date, whereas Jesus' birthday—Christmas—is celebrated on the same day every year. ...
1
vote
3answers
106 views

Is celebrating Christmas required of Catholics?

I understand that Catholics are obligated to attend mass and take communion on Christmas — but are they obligated to celebrate Christmas in the traditional tree-in-the-house, gift-giving sense?
-2
votes
1answer
83 views

Why do Christian leaders of today who know that Constantine added Pagan tradition into Church continue to allow it? [closed]

In a study not just on Christmas and Easter, but on every Pagan connection to Christianity. I have found that most Christians from Constantine hold on to Colossians 2:16, Therefore do not let ...
10
votes
4answers
14k views

When is the end of the Christmas season for Latin rite Catholics?

When does Christmas really end for Catholics? I know it starts different for most Eastern Orthodox, but for Latin Rite Catholics, like myself, I don't know when it actually is supposed to end. At the ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Is there a particular order in lighting candles on an advent wreath?

In the Catholic tradition, is there a particular order in lighting the candles on an Advent Wreath? If there is, why? Which candle is lit first, and what order follows to the last candle? Where ...
13
votes
5answers
591 views

On which date was Christ born? [closed]

Most Christians celebrate the birth of Christ (Christmas) on December 25. But was this really the day of Christ's birth? What was the actual date of Christ's birth?
9
votes
1answer
211 views

Are the Sorrowful Mysteries recited when Christmas is on a Friday?

The Rosary has four sets of mysteries, each of which is assigned to specific days of the week. The Sorrowful Mysteries are assigned to Friday. When Christmas falls on a Friday is there any guidance ...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

Why do some Advent calendars have days in random order?

Some advent calendars, such as those made by LEGO are made with calendar days shown in a random order. Why is this?
13
votes
1answer
542 views

What is the earliest historical testimony of the celebration of the nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ?

What is the earliest historical testimony (e.g., in writing) of the celebration (i.e., a feast) of the nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ, whether it be on the equivalent of December 25, January 6, or ...
1
vote
1answer
189 views

Where did the “theology” behind the Cherry tree carol come from?

I love playing this carol on the piano, but it makes me wonder if I'm not being the least bit heterodox. Here are the assumptions that seem to me to be contrary to thriving tradition: When ...
26
votes
3answers
4k views

Is Xmas a secular name for Christmas?

I heard that Xmas is a secular way of "taking Christ out of Christmas". When and why did this practice originate? Is there any truth to the claim that it has a secular or "un-Christian" origin?
2
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the religious significance of Christmas lights? [closed]

What is the religious significance of the modern practice to decorate the outside of the house and front yard with strings of light? Is it entirely secular?
6
votes
4answers
845 views

How did the wise men (Magi) know the country where the new king was born?

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star ...
-3
votes
2answers
155 views

Is Christmas not a christian festival [duplicate]

I have read many times that christ born around october so why do you people(christian) celebrate it as birth of christ you should stop celebrating it on 25 December and set a date in october. we ...
5
votes
2answers
503 views

Why do some traditions *not* celebrate Christmas or Easter in any official fashion?

Following-up to these previous questions, why do some traditions not celebrate the birth and death (or, more accurately, His resurrection) of Christ as "official" church "events"? I understand that ...
2
votes
2answers
201 views

Why Jeremiah 10:5 was changed from palm trees to scarecrows

So, I was interested in reading Jeremiah 10:1-5 as it referred to Christmas trees. I found the comparison is very striking in the King James Version. As I was looking into this, however, I noticed ...
8
votes
3answers
402 views

The Luke 2 census - did everyone travel?

We know from Luke 2 that each person (or, certainly, adult male) was required to register to his own town. We also know that Joseph travelled (with Mary) from Nazareth to Bethlehem so that they could ...
-4
votes
2answers
64 views

What does Greek Christos mean

It is claimed that Greek Christos given to Jesus means anointed one and thus the same as Messiah. But I need to have proof and evidence that Greeks christened (anointed) kings or priests before Jesus ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

Is there a basis for Christian holidays in the Bible? [closed]

I was just curious if holiday celebrations like Christmas and Easter were written in the Bible, not merely mentioned but specifically indicating that people should celebrate them. It seems to me that ...
3
votes
2answers
136 views

Why are wise men common in contemporary [American] nativity scenes?

It is widely supported that the wise men were not present at the time of Jesus' birth. (ie. What is the basis for the belief that the wise men did not arrive in Bethlehem until several months after ...
4
votes
2answers
745 views

What is the Book of Mormon story of Christmas?

The Bible proclaims the birth and life of Jesus Christ. We all know the classic rendering of Luke 2 which is tradition to read every year, as well as all the prophesies concerning the Lord's birth ...
3
votes
2answers
116 views

Within the Catholic Church, when and by whom did the story that Jesus was born in a house arise?

This post is a counterpart to this other question of mine: What is earliest mention of the Church tradition that Jesus was born in a cave? In the World Library Publications Missalettes, which have ...
5
votes
1answer
85 views

What is the basis for the belief that there were twelve Magi?

Matthew, the only gospel of the four Canonical gospels to mention the Magi, does not mention their number. Many traditions say there were three, presumably because of the three gifts. The Syriac ...
4
votes
2answers
99 views

When is earliest mention of the Church tradition that Jesus was born in a cave?

The birth of Jesus as recounted by Luke says that: 7 And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them ...
3
votes
3answers
329 views

Do churches host distinctive, special services on Christmas, Christmas eve, and Easter?

I have read before that some (nominal) Christians only attend worship services on Christmas and Easter. Are there anything special about those two holidays that compel them to attend church during ...
1
vote
1answer
691 views

What is the source of the tradition that animals can speak on Christmas Eve?

If one googles animals talking on Christmas Eve a wide number of hits will mention this practice. I get the connection to the animals in the manager, but I'm trying to ascertain the origin of this ...
6
votes
1answer
459 views

Why do (at least some) Messianic Jews celebrate the birth of Jesus on the 15th of Tishri?

In an (attempted) answer to the question of Why is Christmas on December 25th? from the perspective of Messianic Judaism, it was stated that Messianic Jews believe that Jesus (Yehu’shua HaMashiach) ...
11
votes
1answer
289 views

Why don't Mormons sing the second verse of, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”?

We were singing Christmas Carols tonight and noticed that in the Mormon Hymn book, the following verse has been omitted from, "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing": Christ, by highest heav'n adored: ...
21
votes
5answers
1k views

Why is Christmas on December 25th?

Why was December 25th chosen as the day to celebrate Jesus' birth?
-1
votes
1answer
121 views

good ways to deal with “It's just a pagan holiday, he wasn't even born then” [duplicate]

I roll with some atheist and agnostic friends. At a fundamental level I consider [a lot of things] this question a defeat. It doesn't need to be. I lack the faith to speak the answer with conviction-- ...
4
votes
1answer
128 views

Burying a fish as a Christmas tradition?

To me this almost sounds like a joke, and I want to know if this is really a tradition... I was at a dinner tonight with some vendors, one of whom was from New England. He was telling the group ...
5
votes
4answers
561 views

Was Christmas a replacement of the feast of Hanukkah or of the 'Invincible Sun'?

Was Christmas a replacement of the Jewish festival of Hanukkah that was celebrated by the early Christians or was it to replace the Pagan festival of the 'Invincible Sun' instituted in 274 CE.
1
vote
1answer
226 views

Is Jeremiah 10:2-5 referring to a Christmas Tree? [duplicate]

"Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed by the signs in heaven; For the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth ...
8
votes
2answers
780 views

How did the “wise men” become known as 3 kings?

In Matt 2, the men from east who came to visit Baby Jesus are referred to as wise men. However, now they are also known as three kings. When did they become known as "kings" rather than "wise men" ...
5
votes
1answer
992 views

Why didn't Mary tell Joseph what Gabriel had said to her?

From Gabriel's visitation of Mary in Luke 1:26-38, ending with this famous line: "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May your word to me be fulfilled." Then the angel left her. And also ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What kind of star was shining when Jesus was born? [duplicate]

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Is it immoral to allow children to believe in Santa Claus? [closed]

St. Nicholas, who is one of my favorite saints, is well known for his charitable witness to the Gospel. His legendary reputation, along with his feast days, have carried his spiritual presence down ...
8
votes
2answers
130 views

Why did God enter humanity so silently on Christmas day?

I know it was not absolute silence. A few shepherds, a few wise men from a distant land and some close family witnessed the miracle. Also the new star even led to a mad search to hunt and kill the ...
8
votes
1answer
164 views

When is the Christmas Season?

So, Christmas is, of course, on December 25th* . Technically, Advent precedes Christmas, and Epiphany follows it. But, in several traditions, Christmas is the set of Sundays following Christmas, ...
10
votes
2answers
299 views

Who were the “wise men from the east” (Magi) spoken of in Matthew 2?

I have heard a few ideas about who the wise men from the east were who came to Jesus at his birth (or shortly thereafter) and offered gifts. What are the best theories on this and what evidence is ...
3
votes
1answer
303 views

How did Psalm 124 become associated with the Holy Innocents?

The Holy Innocents are the children mentioned in Matthew's gospel (2:16-18) as having been murdered by Herod. Many churches celebrate a Feast of the Holy Innocents, or Childermass, on one of the days ...
6
votes
2answers
352 views

History of the “three” wise men

From Matthew 2, NIV: 1bMagi from the east came to Jerusalem... 11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their ...
0
votes
3answers
375 views

Is Christmas biblical? [duplicate]

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 ...
11
votes
1answer
752 views

When did Christmas (the birth of Christ) first begin as a Christian celebration?

I remember hearing something about a true Saint Nicholas who maybe helped poor children or something, but to be honest, I really don't know much about when Christmas began to be celebrated by ...