Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Origin of Why Christmas is Celebrated on December 25th

No date is given in the Bible as to the actual birthday of Jesus but we have decided to celebrate it on December 25th each year.  The first record of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336AD.  A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared December 25th as the day of celebration for the birth of Jesus.

There are many different traditions and reasons why December 25th was chosen.  Some say Mary was told on March 25th she would have a very special baby and his name would be called Jesus.  Nine months from March 25th is December 25th.

December 25th also might have been chosen because the Winter Solstice took place in December around the 25th so it was a time when people celebrated anyway.  The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year so to the pagans, this was a sign that winter was over and spring was on the way so they had a huge festival to celebrate it.    

The Jewish festival of Lights, called Hanukkah, begins on the 25th of Kislev (the month in the Jewish calendar that coincides with December). Jesus was Jewish so this could be another reason December 25th was chosen for the celebration of his birth.

The name 'Christmas' comes from the Mass of Christ. A Mass service is where Christians remember that Jesus died for us and then came back to life. So we get the name Christ-Mass, shortened to Christmas.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when people write X-Mas instead of Christmas.  In my opinion, that is taking “Christ” out of Christmas and without him, there would be no holiday to celebrate. 

All I can say is Happy Birthday Jesus!

R. K. Avery