Why is Christmas Celebrated on the 25th December

Why is Christmas Celebrated on the 25th December

Christmas is an annual festival celebrated worldwide commemorating the birth of Jesus. The word Christmas is a shortened form of “Christ’s mass” or “Christian mass” and is referred to by the abbreviation Xmas. It is known by different names and traditions in various parts of the world.

Was Jesus born on the 25th of December?

The history behind how Christmas came to be celebrated at the end of December may have little to do with the actual date of Jesus’s birth.

Bible gives no date for Jesus’ birth and nobody knows the real birth of Jesus and still, this subject is argumentative. Bible is actually silent for the date of Jesus’ birthday when Mary was said to have given birth to him in Bethlehem. The date we celebrate was adopted by the Christian church as the birthday of Christ in the fourth century.

In ancient pagan times, the last day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere was celebrated as the night that the Great Mother Goddess gives birth to the baby Sun God. It is also called Yule, the day a huge log is added to a bonfire, around which everyone would dance and sing to awaken the sun from its long winter sleep.

The holiday was celebrated as the Roman pagan solstice, or “birthday of the unconquered sun,” which began on December 17 and ended on December 25. Since there wasn’t a specific date attached to Christ’s birth, church officials decided to schedule the holiday to coincide with pagan celebrations in order to redeem and Christianize them. Proponents of this theory point to pagan elements that have become part of Christmas celebrations.

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It is also believed that since Jesus was a Jew, and Kislev 25 (Jewish month that occurs at about the same time as December) is the time for the Jewish festival of Lights, Hanukkah. It is a festival when Jewish people were able to re-dedicate and worship in their Temple, in Jerusalem. So this could be the reason why the church chooses December 25th as the date of Christmas.

Many argue that, historically, evidence suggests that Christmas day was indeed celebrated back in 354 AD as a Christian liturgical feast of the birth of Jesus. Many popular customs associated with Christmas developed independently of the commemoration of Jesus’ birth, with certain elements having origins in pre-Christian festivals that were celebrated around the winter solstice by pagan populations who were later converted to Christianity.

Suggested read: Christmas Traditions Around The World

While the exact month and date of Jesus’ birth are unknown, by the early-to-mid 4th century, the Western Christian Church had placed Christmas on December 25, a date later adopted in the East. The date was chosen to coincide with the pagan Roman celebrations honoring Saturnus (the harvest god) and Mithras (the ancient god of light), a form of sun worship. These celebrations came on or just after the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, to announce that winter is not forever, that life continues, and an invitation to stay in good spirit.

Today all Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25th in the Gregorian calendar, the date of Christmas may (as many believe) to have initially been chosen to correspond with the day exactly nine months after the day on which early Christians believed that Jesus Christ was conceived.

Christmas is celebrated globally on both December 25 and December 24, or Christmas Eve, with church services. Every country celebrates Christmas with different traditions and customs which are closely related to Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, and Christkind, which are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season and have their own body of traditions.

Christmas is a wonderful time to be able to share it with your family to make new memories together. to have friends get together, have merry, forget your worries and relax and have fun, giving and receiving gifts, and enjoy the holidays at their best.


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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.