Let's Learn About Christmas

THE BIRTH OF CHRIST

Although the year of Jesus Christ's birth date was estimated by most modern theology scientists and historians somewhere between 7 and 2 BC, the debate continues about the exact month and day of Jesus' birth. Dionysius Exiguus, a Scythian monk has determined the year of Jesus' birth through his own calculation using the foundation of the City of Rome "ab urbe condita" thus 1 AUC signifies the birth year of Rome. Dionysius counted the reign of Roman Emperor Augustus to Emperor Tiberius and in the New Testament, the Gospel of Luke 3:1, 23, indicates the 15th year of Tiberius reign where Jesus turned 30-years-old. Jesus lived 15 years under Augustus in his 28th year of reign as a Roman Emperor. Dionysius concluded that the Christ was born 754 AUC, the year Augustus' reign started. However, the Gospel of Luke 1:5 placed Jesus birth under Herod and Herod died in 754 AUC, for this reason, most modern biblical scholars discredit Dionysius' calculation.

ORIGINS OF CHRISTMAS

Many traditional elements of Christmas pre-date Christianity. In other words, Christmas was pagan before it was adopted (and renamed) by Christians. The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1908 states that "Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church Irenaeus and Tertullian omit it from their lists of feasts" - those authors lived into the 3rd century. The CE article concludes that when later Christians adopted the date of the 25th of December for Jesus' birth, "the abundance of analogous midwinter festivals may indefinitely have helped the choice of the December date, the same instinct which set Natalis Invicti at the winter solstice will have sufficed, apart from deliberate adaptation of curious calculation, to set the Christian feast there too." 

Professor Hutton, a respected and careful primary-sources historian, mentions Christmas in his valuable book on the history of modern Paganism. How December 25 did officially become the world's most grandeur festive day in the calendar? We all know that Christmas is being observed around the world and generally commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ among Christmas communities. The word Christmas is from the old English "Cristesmaesse," the pre-historic Christian churches referred the meaning to "Christ's Mass," the Eucharistic feast celebration of Christ's birthday.

HOW DID CHRISTMAS DAY END UP AS DECEMBER 25TH?

Did you know that earlier before the date of Christmas was established, the ancient Roman feast of Saturnalia, called "Temple of Saturn," was first introduced by Roman pagans? It is an ancient Roman festival of cruelty, lawlessness, adultery, brutal violence, and human sacrifices from the 17th to the 23rd of December. Pagans started the Saturnalia festival by dragging the prisoner, or "the enemy of the Roman people" to the center court on the first feast day to represent the "Lord of Misuse." Every pagan community chose a victim within their community and forced them to indulge in sexual pleasures and eat festive foods before sacrificing them on the 23rd of December as the festival day concluded.

From 4th Century CE history, early Western Christians Church adopted and brought the Saturnalia festival into other regions of pagan masses, converted them to Christian faith with the promise to continue the Saturnalia Festival as Christians. Although the early Christian Church leaders described it as unbiblical and a contradiction to the fundamental belief of Christians at the time, Christian leaders managed to change the pagan's cultures by naming the 25th day to be Jesus Christ's birth day.

HOW DID THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS START?

Other Christian churches celebrate Christmas every 25th of December using the Julian calendar, which the festival currently corresponds to January 7 in the Gregorian calendar, that is the day after the feast of Epiphany concluded. From the Council of Tour of 567, the Christian church declared the 12 days of Christmas as the unifying period of the Christmas festival season "Christmastide," giving the essential importance of Christmas Days between the feast of Christmas and the feast of Epiphany.

LEARN MORE THROUGH COMPANION VIDEOS

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