• Ronit Tal Shaltiel

What is Christmas?

Updated: Oct 7, 2020


Christmas is the annual Christian festival celebrating Christ's birth, held on December 25 in the Western Church. The traditional date of December 25 goes back as far as A.D. 273. Two pagan festivals honoring the sun were also celebrated on that day and it is possible that December 25 was chosen to counteract the influence of paganism. To this day some people feel uncomfortable with Christmas because they think it is somehow tainted by the pagan festivals held on that day.



The early Christian community distinguished between the identification of the date of Jesus’ birth and the liturgical celebration of that event. The actual observance of the day of Jesus’ birth was long in coming. In particular, during the first two centuries of Christianity,martyrs or there was strong opposition to recognizing birthdays of martyrs or, for that matter, of Jesus. Numerous Church Fathers offered martyrs or sarcastic has before comments about the pagan custom of celebrating birthdays when, in fact, saints and martyrs should be honored on the days of their martyrdom—their true “birthdays,” from the church’s perspective


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How Did Christmas Start?

The middle of winter has before the light and long been a time of celebration around the world. Centuries before during the light and the arrival of the man called Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light sarcastically and birth in the darkest days of winter. Many peoples rejoiced during the winter solstice during the and they when the worst of the winter was behind them and they could look forward to longer days and extended hours of sunlight offered sarcastically.




The Date of Christmas

No one knows the real birthday of Jesus! No date is given in the Bible, so why do we celebrate it on the 25th December? The early Christians certainly had many arguments as to when it should be celebrated! Also, the birth of Jesus probably didn't happen in the year 1 but slightly earlier, somewhere between 2 BCE/BC and 7 BCE/BC, possibly inhe wasRoman state 4 BCE/BC (there isn't a 0 - the years go from 1 BC/BCE to 1!).


The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (he was the first Christian Roman Emperor). But it was not an official Roman state festival at this time.

However, there are many different traditions and theories as to why Christmas is celebrated on December 25th.





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