Christmas day, why the 25th of December?
#1
Hi,

So I was talking with someone, and they were saying that Christmas on the 25th of December was because they didn't know when Christ's actual birthday was so they decided to celebrate it on the 25th of December to hijack a pagan festival which was also apparently on the 25th (Winter Solstice).

My 'bs' senses were going off, but I don't have resources to refute it, so any resources or information on why Christmas is actually on the 25th would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and God Bless :)
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#2
I assume they're talking about Saturnalia. At least that's what most stupid atheists and anti-Christians are referencing. Just one small problem. Saturnalia wasn't on 25 December. Saturnalia was an ancient Roman festival in honour of the god Saturn, held on 17 December of the Julian calendar and later expanded with festivities through to 23 December. So even with it's extended festivities, it was over by the time Christmas came.
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

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#3
(11-03-2019, 01:31 AM)josh987654321 Wrote: Hi,

So I was talking with someone, and they were saying that Christmas on the 25th of December was because they didn't know when Christ's actual birthday was so they decided to celebrate it on the 25th of December to hijack a pagan festival which was also apparently on the 25th (Winter Solstice).

My 'bs' senses were going off, but I don't have resources to refute it, so any resources or information on why Christmas is actually on the 25th would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and God Bless :)

The answer with which to blow their minds: The Feast of the Annunciation predates the celebration of the Feast of the Nativity. The Annunciation has always been celebrated on the 25th of March. Tell them to do the math. So why the 25th of March? The ancients held that as the literal first day of Creation. God created the world on the 25th of March and recreated the world by incarnating among us on the 25th of March. It's not about the birthday of Christ, it's about the Incarnation of God.
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#4
The one I like is that the winter solstice, the 22nd of December, is the darkest day of the year and the sun rises three days after.
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#5
(11-03-2019, 09:21 AM)jack89 Wrote: The one I like is that the winter solstice, the 22nd of December, is the darkest day of the year and the sun rises three days after.

Not at the time of Christ. The 21st or 22nd was the solstice (also the spring solstice in March) at the time of the Council of Nicaea, which set the rules for Easter. 300 years earlier, since the Julian calendar was adding too many leap days, it was three days earlier.

But there’s also no good reason to think Jesus wasn’t born on December 25. Christmas wasn’t a replacement for the celebration of Sol Invictus, because Christmas was already being celebrated when the emperor added Sol Invictus to the Roman calendar, maybe to try to get people back to paganism by offering an alternative to Christmas.

The “but the shepherds” argument doesn’t work, either. Bethlehem is fairly far south; equivalent latitudes in North America are southern Georgia, and northern Mexico. It’s further south than Phoenix. I’ve also read that these shepherds were tending flocks of sheep for the Temple sacrifices, and those occurred all year.
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#6
See this page for info about the date of Christmas: https://www.fisheaters.com/customschristmasnotes.html
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#7
(11-03-2019, 08:42 AM)boredoftheworld Wrote: So why the 25th of March? The ancients held that as the literal first day of Creation. God created the world on the 25th of March and recreated the world by incarnating among us on the 25th of March.

Interesting, since the Old Testament and the Eastern Churches, both Catholic and Orthodox, put the Creation on or around 1 September. 'On or around', because the OT uses a lunisolar calendar and we now use a a purely solar calendar That's why the liturgical year of the Eastern Churches begins on 1 September, and in Anno Mundi, the dating system since the Creation, New Years Day is 1 September. For instance, today is 3/11/7528 A.M., and 3 August was 3/08/7527 A.M.
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

Vive le Christ-roi! Vive le roi, Louis XX!
Deum timete, regem honorificate.
Kansan by birth! Albertan by choice! Jayhawk by the Grace of God!
“Qui me amat, amet et canem meum. (Who loves me will love my dog.)” 
St Bernard of Clairvaux

My Blog 'Musings of an Old Curmudgeon'
FishEaters Group on MeWe
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#8
(11-03-2019, 10:37 AM)VoxClamantis Wrote: See this page for info about the date of Christmas: https://www.fisheaters.com/customschristmasnotes.html

Thank you all for the replies. This is pretty good, thanks Vox. :)

The Orthodox also celebrate it on a different date, so any more information on why we believe it to be the 25th and why the Orthodox believe it to be January 7th would be greatly appreciated, who settled on the 25th and how did they determine that date? The article goes into other dates and thus I gather it's deduced from those, but then I can't defend those dates. It might be good enough though, I'll see what they come back with.

Thank you and God Bless :)
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#9
(11-04-2019, 08:20 AM)josh987654321 Wrote: The Orthodox also celebrate it on a different date, so any more information on why we believe it to be the 25th and why the Orthodox believe it to be January 7th would be greatly appreciated, who settled on the 25th and how did they determine that date? The article goes into other dates and thus I gather it's deduced from those, but then I can't defend those dates. It might be good enough though, I'll see what they come back with.

The Orthodox don't celebrate Christmas on 7 January. They celebrate on 25 December according to the Julian calendar, which has not only the 10 days that Pope Gregory removed from the calendar in 1582, but also additional leap days in 1700, 1800, and 1900. Starting in 2100, it'll be on 8 January in the Gregorian calendar, 9 January in 2200, and so on, gaining a difference of 3 days every 400 years. Eventually, if there isn't a change, they'll be celebrating Christmas in the summer, although that's tens of thousands of years from now.

There are two possible reasons why the Annunciation is 25 March. One is that was the spring equinox at the time of Christ, and the symbolism between spring and renewal is obvious. Or perhaps Mary told the disciples that 25 March was the day the Angel Gabriel appeared, and it happened on that day because God wanted it to, for all the symbolic reasons.
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#10
I thought this image always made a lot of sense, assuming it's accurate.


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Ave Christus Rex!
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