Why Do We Celebrate Xmas On Dec. 25th, And Is Anything Not Pagan?

Why do we celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25?
March 22, 1974

I was just wondering, is there basically anything about Christmas now, that isn’t basically derived in some way from paganism? The only two things I can think of, are the birth of Christ, and the nativity scene.

Not that I think there is anything wrong with this. It all has to do with the spirit in which you celebrate the holiday, in my opinion. And if you need more than that, consider the Magi.

The Magi are where we get the word “magic” from. Yet, when they came to the birth of Christ, in the bible, they weren’t turned away. Jesus, Mary and Joseph certainly welcomed them. Think about it.

But back to my original question. Except for the birth of Christ, and the crèche, is it all just basically “pagan”?


It’s all pagan. The people who started Christianity plagiarized from other religions and co-opted sacred days, etc. whenever they could.

I’m pretty sure Easter is supposed to be based on when Passover is (the Last Supper was a seder), except when they’re a month apart for some strange calendar reason. Is Passover considered pagan in any way?

Then again, since most “ancient” holidays are based on the sun and moon, there would almost always be an association with paganism, even if it wasn’t intentional.

Both Jews and Christians nowadays use mathematical average moons, to simplify planning, and have slightly different equations. Easter comes on the Sunday after the date that the Christian equations say Passover should be.

I should add that the Gregorian Calendar (along with the New Style Calendar, and the Reformed Julian Calendar) is normalized to A.D. 325 (because that’s when Easter was first standardized), not, as some think, to 46 B.C. (when the Julian Calendar started), so around the time of the birth of Jesus, the Solstice did indeed fall around December 25.

Well, it’s not all pagan (or christian either) although its origins are pagan. Some, maybe most, christmas traditions arrived in the 16th through 19th centuries (A.D.).

What else is there?
Things like Christmas trees are only specific to lands influenced by German culture, so they are particular to specific cultures. Similar icons throughout the world are specific to the cultures in which they occur for celebrations and Christmas is a celebration. Most of the foods associated with Christmas are culture-specific. Midnight Mass and various dawn services reflect the traditions of celebrating the birth.

Gift giving is not expressly pagan, but more a universal phenomenon of celebrations, particularly of births. Again, most of the celebratory phenomena are more universal than explicitly pagan.
The date is artificial, with some pagan influence.

Beyond the birth of Jesus, what is there “about” Christmas that raises the question?

You could, if so inclined, divide the elements of Christmas into Christian, pagan, and other elements. Pagan elements would include celebration at about the winter solstice and the use of Christmas trees. Christian elements would include the birth at Bethlehem, the Star of Bethlehem, and the visit by the Magi; the Magi, if they existed, presumably would have been pagan, but the tradition of a visit by them is exclusively Christian. Then elements such as gift-giving are neither particularly Christian nor pagan.

The mistletoe was almost certainly drawn from pagan lore.