Christmas is celebrated to psychic the bear of Jesus Christ, who Christians think is the son of God.
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The name "Christmas" originates from the massive of Christ (or Jesus). A Mass company (which is sometimes dubbed Communion or Eucharist) is whereby Christians remember the Jesus died for us and then came earlier to life. The "Christ-Mass" business was the only one the was allowed to take ar after sunset (and prior to sunrise the following day), so people had it in ~ Midnight! for this reason we acquire the name Christ-Mass, shortened come Christmas.
Christmas is now commemorated by people around the world, even if it is they are Christians or not. It"s a time when family and friends come together and also remember the an excellent things they have. People, and also especially children, likewise like Christmas as it"s a time once you give and receive presents!
The date of Christmas
No one knows the real birthday of Jesus! No date is offered in the Bible, so why perform we celebrate it on the 25th December? The at an early stage Christians definitely had many arguments as to as soon as it need to be celebrated! Also, the bear of Jesus probably didn"t happen in the year 1 but slightly earlier, somewhere in between 2 BCE/BC and also 7 BCE/BC, possibly in 4 BCE/BC (there isn"t a 0 - the years go from 1 BC/BCE to 1!).
The an initial recorded day of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time the the roman inn Emperor Constantine (he to be the an initial Christian roman Emperor). Yet it was no an official Roman state festival in ~ this time.
However, over there are plenty of different traditions and also theories regarding why Christmas is commemorated on December 25th.
A very early Christian tradition said that the day as soon as Mary was told the she would have actually a really special baby, Jesus (called the Annunciation) was on march 25th - and it"s still commemorated today on the 25th March. Ripe months ~ the 25th march is the 25th December!
March 25th was likewise the work some early on Christians assumed the civilization had been made, and also the day the Jesus died on as soon as he to be an adult (Nisan 14 in the Jewish calendar) and also they thought that Jesus was conceived and had died on the very same day that the year.
The Winter Solstice is the day where there is the shortest time between the sun rising and the sun setting. It happens on December 21st or 22nd in the northern Hemisphere. (In the southern Hemisphere, this time is the Summer Solstice and also the Winter Solstice happens in late June.)
To pagans this supposed that they knew the the days would certainly start getting lighter and longer and also the nights would become shorter - marking a change in the seasons. To celebrate people had a mid-winter festival come celebrate the sun "winning" end the darkness that winter. At this time, pets which had actually been retained for food were also often eliminated to save having to feeding them all through the winter and also some drink which had been brewing because the autumn/harvest would likewise be ready to drink. For this reason it was a great time to have actually a celebration event with points to eat and also drink prior to the remainder of the winter happened. (We tho have brand-new Year celebrations near this time now!)
In Scandinavia, and also some various other parts of north Europe, the time roughly the Winter Solstice is known as Yule (although the word Yule only seems to date to about the year 300). In east Europe the mid-winter festival is called Koleda.
In Iranian/Persian culture, the winter solstice is well-known as "Yalda Night" or "Shab-e Chelleh" and also it"s a time once families and also friends come together to eat, drink and recite poetry. Shab-e Chelleh way "night the forty" together it happens forty nights into winter. Words Yalda method "birth" and comes from early on Christians living in Persia celebrating the bear of Jesus approximately this time. Eating, fruits, nuts, pomegranates and watermelons are necessary at Yalda/Chelleh and you can get Yalda cakes i beg your pardon look like watermelons!
The roman Festival of Saturnalia took place in between December 17th and also 23rd and honoured the roman god Saturn. The Romans additionally thought the the Solstice took ar on December 25th. It"s additionally thought that in 274 the roman inn emperor Aurelian developed "Dies Natalis Solis Invicti" (meaning "birthday that the unconquered sun") likewise called "Sol Invictus" and it was hosted on December 25th.
Because the the dates, some civilization say that the christians "took over" December 25th native these roman festivals and/or Yule. However, there are documents going earlier to around 200 of at an early stage Christians connecting the Nisan 14 come the 25th March, and so 25th December to be a "Christian" festival date many years prior to "Sol Invictus"! (More recent studies have also found the the "Sol Invictus" connection didn"t show up until the 12th century and also it"s indigenous one scribbled note in the spare of a manuscript. There"s also evidence that "Sol Invictus" might also have happened in October and also not December anyway!)
Christmas had likewise been commemorated by the at an early stage Church top top January 6th, as soon as they additionally celebrated the Epiphany (which way the revelation the Jesus to be God"s son) and also the Baptism of Jesus. (Like the December 25th date above, this was based on a calculation of Jesus"s death/conception yet from the 6th April not the 25th March.) now Epiphany largely celebrates the visit of the Wise men to the baby Jesus, but ago then it celebrated both things! Jesus"s Baptism was initially seen as more important than his birth, together this was as soon as he began his ministry.
The Jewish festival the Lights, Hanukkah beginning on the eve of the Kislev 25 (the month in the Jewish calendar that occurs at around the very same time as December). Hanukkah celebrates once the Jewish human being were able come re-dedicate and worship in their Temple, in Jerusalem, again following numerous years of not being permitted to exercise their religion.
Jesus to be a Jew, therefore this could be one more reason that assisted the early on Church choose December the 25th for the date of Christmas!
Most the the civilization uses the "Gregorian Calendar" applied by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. Prior to that the "Roman" or Julian Calendar was supplied (named after Julius Caesar). The Gregorian calendar is much more accurate 보다 the roman calendar which had too many days in a year! once the switch to be made 10 days to be lost, so that the work that followed the fourth October 1582 was 15th October 1582. In the UK the change of calendars to be made in 1752. The work after 2nd September 1752 was 14th September 1752.
Many Orthodox and also Coptic church still usage the Julian Calendar and also so storage Christmas on the 7th January (which is when December 25th would have actually been top top the Julian calendar). And also the Armenian Apostolic Church celebrates it on the 6th January! In some component of the UK, January 6th is still called "Old Christmas" together this would have been the day the Christmas would have celebrated on, if the calendar hadn"t to be changed. Some people didn"t want to usage the new calendar as they believed it "cheated" them the end of 11 days!
Christians believe that Jesus is the irradiate of the world, therefore the early Christians thought that this to be the best time come celebrate the bear of Jesus. They likewise took over some of the custom-mades from the Winter Solstice and gave lock Christian meanings, prefer Holly, Mistletoe and even Christmas Carols!
St Augustine that Canterbury was the human being who most likely started the prevalent celebration the Christmas in big parts the England by introducing Christianity come the regions run through the Anglo-Saxons in the 6th century (other Celtic parts of brother were already Christian but there aren"t countless documents about if or how they celebrated the bear of Jesus). St Augustine of Canterbury was sent by Pope Gregory the an excellent in Rome and that church used the roman inn Calendar, so western nations celebrate Christmas top top the 25th December. Then people from Britain and Western Europe take it Christmas on the 25th December all over the world!
If you"d choose to know much more about the background behind the dating of Christmas, then review this very an excellent article ~ above Bible history Daily (goes to an additional site).
So when was Jesus Born?
There"s a solid and practical reason why Jesus could not have actually been born in the winter, however in the feather or the autumn! It can get an extremely cold in the winter and also it"s unlikely the the shepherds would have been keeping sheep out on the hills (as those hills can acquire quite a many snow sometimes!).
During the spring (in march or April) there"s a Jewish festival dubbed "Passover". This festival remembers as soon as the Jews had escaped from slavery in Egypt around 1500 years before Jesus was born. Many lambs would have actually been needed throughout the Passover Festival, to be sacrificed in the temple in Jerusalem. Jews from anywhere the Roman realm traveled come Jerusalem for the Passover Festival, so the would have been a an excellent time because that the Romans to take a census. Mary and Joseph visited Bethlehem because that the census (Bethlehem is about six mile from Jerusalem).
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In the loss (in September or October) there"s the Jewish festival of "Sukkot" or "The Feast of Tabernacles". It"s the festival that"s mentioned the most times in the Bible! it is as soon as Jewish human being remember that they relied on God for every they had actually after they had actually escaped indigenous Egypt and also spent 40 years in the desert. It also celebrates the end of the harvest. During the festival, Jews live external in short-term shelters (the word "tabernacle" come native a latin word meaning "booth" or "hut").