Questions tagged [christmas]

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

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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 ...
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30 votes
8 answers
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Why is Christmas on December 25th?

Why was December 25th chosen as the day to celebrate Jesus' birth?
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27 votes
3 answers
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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?
The Freemason's user avatar
20 votes
5 answers
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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. ...
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18 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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13 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
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13 votes
3 answers
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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: ...
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11 votes
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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 ...
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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 ...
Narnian's user avatar
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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 ...
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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" ...
RowenSmith's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
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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 is ...
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8 votes
2 answers
154 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 ...
Mike's user avatar
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3 answers
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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 ...
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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, ...
Affable Geek's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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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 a ...
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What is the Mass obligation for Catholics when Christmas is on a Monday?

This year Christmas is on a Monday. My wife read in a neighboring parish's bulletin that we had to go to Mass on the Fourth Sunday of Advent (i.e. sometime Saturday night or Sunday Morning) and this ...
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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.
gideon marx's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
3k 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 ...
Kris's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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1 answer
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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 ...
history curious's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
3k 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 ...
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1 answer
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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) ...
bruised reed's user avatar
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5 votes
10 answers
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Given many questions as to whether Jesus was born on 25 December or not, I ask if the ambiguity in scripture is meant to teach us something?

Are we going all round the houses debating whether it was autumn, winter, or spring when Jesus was born, when it’s what the Bible does not say about the date of his birth that should speak volumes to ...
Anne's user avatar
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2 answers
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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 in ...
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5 votes
2 answers
351 views

Did Oliver Cromwell ban Christmas or is this an unfounded rumour?

I've read various articles/questions/answers that claim Oliver Cromwell took it upon himself to ban Christmas in the U.K. The Puritans were also implicated. Is this true, or is it an unfounded ...
Lesley's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
6k 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?
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5 votes
3 answers
288 views

Christmas Tree Angel holding bread in one hand and coal in the other?

A friend of mine grew up in England and she recounted a pious Christmas tradition they had in England when she was a little girl while decorating their Christmas Trees. This tradition was in use where ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
warren's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
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Why does Christmas end on the Baptism of the Lord and not on the Presentation of the Lord?

The Presentation of the Lord is celebrated exactly 40 days after Christmas, yet Christmas ends on the Baptism of the Lord, which is the beginning of Ordinary Time. Why is the Christmas season short ...
BJ Dela Cruz's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
Matt's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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Did Charles Dickens play any role in renewing the spirit of Christmas in modern times?

I just finished watching the movie: The man who invented Christmas. This got me asking the question: Did Charles Dickens played any real role in renewing (reviving) the spirit of Christmas (in the ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
520 views

Feast of the Holy Innocents traditions?

Outside the Sacrifice of the Mass and the use of the Roman Ritual, are there any Catholic historical traditions that are have been or are in use amongst the Catholic faithful for the feast of the Holy ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
186 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 ...
David Stratton's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
373 views

What are the earliest references to Jesus' birthday being December 25?

One of the arguments in favor of the traditional date of December 25 being the actual date of Jesus birth is that of church tradition. Of course, it's possible that the early church just picked a date ...
Jess's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
4k views

Do Mormons celebrate Christmas on/or around the 25th of December?

Being a denomination which prides itself of the restored beliefs of the original church before false doctrine infiltrated the truth, do Mormons celebrate Christmas on/or around the 25th of December? ...
David's user avatar
  • 397
3 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
user2864740's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
user23601's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
Mawia's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
196 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 an ...
user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
588 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 ...
Double U's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
419 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 ...
James T's user avatar
  • 21k
2 votes
5 answers
558 views

Could December 25 as the birthday of Jesus have come from Pagan influences?

Could December 25 as the birthday of Jesus have come from Pagan influences? I am asking this due to the information in the following sources: “NIMROD” – The LORD of Christmas Church of Satan ...
Siju George's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
2k 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 Joseph ...
Peter Turner's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
6k 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 ...
user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
262 views

Christ-'MAS' = 'Mæsse' = Latin 'Missa' = Catholic 'Mass' / Holy Eucharist

It is well known that the word behind Christ-'mas' (shortened form of 'Christ's Mass) is 'mæsse', which comes from the Latin 'missa', the same word used for the Roman Catholic 'Mass' / Holy Eucharist. ...
Thomas Lorenz's user avatar