Why is Christmas in December?

Christmas, the celebration of Jesus’ b’day, is on the 25th december why is this when jesus actual date of birth is unknown but thought to be some time in september, don’t give me all that pagan festival bull, 'cos there were many pagan festivals that could have been replaced but why this one?:confused:

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

Sorry Raxel but:

“On December 25th (337 AD), pagan Romans, still in the majority, celebrated Natalis Solis Invicti, ‘Birthday of the Invincible Sun God,’ Mithras. The cult originated in Persia and rooted itself in the Roman world in the first century BC. By AD 274 Mithraism was so popular with the masses that Emperor Aurelian proclaimed it the official state religion. In the early 300s the cult seriously jeapordized Christianity…Thus to offer converts an occasion in which to be pridefully celebratory, the Church officially recognized Christ’s birth. And to offer head-on competition to the sun-worshippers’ feast the Church located the Nativity on December 25th…” Charles Panati, “Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things”

The same essay advances a plausible birthday for J.C. as on or about May 20 “because the Gospel of Luke states that the shepherds who received the announcement of Chruist’s birth were watching their sheep by night. Shepherds guarded their flocks day and night only at lambing time, in the spring; in winter the animals were kept in corrals, unwatched.”

Is that the kind of pagan festival bull you didn’t want to hear?

“Chruist” is a widely accepted alternate spelling in, uh, Belgium.

I guess that last bit was okay and at least you went into detail with the pagan crap .The star that went through the sky on the night of J.C.'s birth was proven to exsist and on that night to be in that town visible in the sky it had to be september…just a theory but seems reasonable if you look at the evidence and research

:smack: nuff sed :dubious:

Actually, “the star” has never been proven to have existed, at all, although there are any number of speculative guesses about what it might have been (from supernovas to conjunctions of various stars and planets in the several astrological systems in use at that time to the raw imagination of Matthew).

The Catholic Encyclopedia article on Christmas notes that we cannot know the true date (and why), then presents several of the different dates selected over the years, giving the Natalis Invicti feast the greatest weight for having beaten out other contenders.

Several explanations have been given for the Star of Bethlehem. They all come down to unusually bright objects in the night sky which would (or at least might…) have been visible from Bethlehem at about the right time in history. The problem is that the star is only mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew, and there it says specifically that the star led the Wise Men not only to the town of Bethlehem but to the specific house where the child was.

Bright objects in the night sky do not lead anyone to specific houses. If you believe that this happened, you must also believe it was a miraculous supernatural event. And if you’ve already accepted that it was a supernatural event, why only consider natural explanations for its occurence?

Well, if there was no December 25, that’d leave a pretty big hole between the 24th and the 26th, now, wouldn’t it? :smiley:

And New Year’s Day would be the celebration of his Bris?

I wish they would move Christmas to another part of the year, one when the shops are less crowded :wink:

Well, yes, actually. Though the tendency these days is to focus on his being named on that day.

But older missals and such list Jan. 1 as the Feast of the Circumcision.

No joke.

Although actual Jewish practice calls for circumcision on the eighth day and I believe that their usual method of reckoning would make that January 2. (In other words, the counting begins on the completion of a day, so December 26, not December 25, would be day 1.)

Planetariums used to have shows that talked about the possibilities each year around Christmas. Planetarium workers even had their name for it: “The Star Of Bethlehem Show,” also abbrieviated to “the SOB Show.”

They don’t all come down to that, mine is a little different.

Here’s one now, the Morehead in Chapel Hill NC

Although actual Jewish practice calls for circumcision on the eighth day and I believe that their usual method of reckoning would make that January 2. (In other words, the counting begins on the completion of a day, so December 26, not December 25, would be day 1.)

Jewish law counts the day of birth as the first day towards a circumcision, so the circumcision of Jesus would have been on January 1. A second significant time period after the birth of a Jewish child was the 40th day, upon which the mother would bring certain sacrifices (see Leviticus ch. 12). Counting 40 days starting with December 25, one arrives at February 2, which besides being Groundhog Day, is also the festival of Candlemas (which I know nothing more about besides its date).
Could the dates that were assigned to New Year’s Day and Groundhog Day have been chosen because of their significance in the life of Jesus?

It possibly gets more bizarre. But Miles Kington usually is joking.

I would be willing to take your word for that (I was raised with that understanding), except that I just saw an exchange on another MB in which an Orthodox Jew argued the version that I just gave.

Barring someone with credentials replying, I will now just say that I am no longer sure which version is accurate.

Kinton may or may not be joking, but the author of that web page was joking or deluded. He has a whole raft of historical errors (not least putting books on the Index over 300 years prior to the first published Index librorum prohibitorum).