Christmas/Good Friday Question

How did it come to pass that X-mas was celebrated on the same date every year while Good Friday (and Easter) changes every year.

In other words, why does Christ’s birthday stay constant while the day he died changes every year?

As a matter of fact…I vaguely remember Cecil dealing with the question of the added 2 months in the Julian calendar in one of his books. How is it then possible that either X-mas or Good Friday are celebrated during the correct point in time they should be?

There are dozens of threads on these subjects, but they may not be all that easy to find, so. . . .

Most scholars figure Jesus was born in the spring, so Christmas is obviously arbitrary. Its date was chosen to coincide with the celebration of Saturnalia, a Roman pagan feast celebrating hope (connected with the “rebirth” of the sun after the winter solstice).

Cecil says: Why do we celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25?"

Easter was chosen (eventually, in the Western Church) as the first Sunday following the first full moon following the Spring Equinox. This resulted from several different things. The crucifixion and Resurrection have been associated with Passover at least since the writing of the Gospels. However, the Passover is dictated by the Jewish Lunar calendar while Christianity had moved away from Judaism with the influx of huge numbers of formerly pagan Roman citizens. Rome used a solar calendar. Rather than simply say “Let’s go look at the Jewish Calendar” each year, the Christians came up with their own rules based on their more familiar calendar. (One rule was to keep Good Friday and Easter on Friday and Sunday, while there is no set day for Passover.)

Why did they not pick a fixed date for Easter? Tradition. Actually, the early church did not even agree from one region to another when Easter should be celebrated and there were several bloody fights on the issue. The current date is the date reached as a compromise among the strongest factions and imposed on the weaker factions.

…referred to as the Easter Uprisings :smiley: