What really is Christmas? How do people in today’s world view and celebrate it? It’s the time for some to go out and shop till they drop with maxed-out credit cards. For others, it is a time to reflect on the reason for the season. While for some, the holiday excitement is not permitted on their doorsteps. Their indifference stems from their conviction that the meaning of Christmas cannot be explained. As Christmas Day nears, below are some facts to remember as you inventory why and how you celebrate Christmas.
Nobody really knows the exact day or month Jesus Christ was born.
No verse in the Bible indicates the exact date or month Jesus Christ was born. During the early centuries and today, many Christians are still trying to find the exact date of the birth of Jesus Christ. Some have come up with arguments that support dates in November, May, April, and March. However, the date or month when Jesus was born is up in the air, although He is the reason for the season. In light of this, Christmas should be an everyday thing. We must celebrate others at any given opportunity and not just on December 25th of every year.
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There was no annual celebration for the birth of Jesus for the earliest Christians
In our generation, Easter and Christmas have been considered the major and biggest celebrations in the Christian year. However, Christians in the first centuries celebrated only Easter. The resurrection and death of Jesus were emphasized more than His birth. Seize this traditional Christmas period as an opportunity to reflect on why Jesus was born and how you can make a difference in the lives of others as He did. Do not wait for Easter to do this.
Why Christians started the 25th December celebration is unclear.
According to the earliest documents from 300AD, Christians observed the 25th of December as an annual remembrance of Jesus’ birth. It would be better if there were an official document from a person of authority that reads, “This is the year we will start celebrating Jesus’ birthday party because of this reason.” In reality, there is no such document. All that is known is the date chosen was in the middle of the three pre-existing winter parties in Rome. These were the Saturnalia; a late-harvest festival celebrated in mid-December, the Kalends, a five-day party celebrated in early January and 25th of December, and the Mithras birthday. Mithras is a form of confusion between the warrior god and sun god. Whether this date was chosen by Christians as a way of changing the sun god’s birth to “God Son’s birth” to curtail, compete, or get rid of the Roman ritualistic celebration is unknown. Christmas ever since has been a combination of the Christian faith honoring Jesus Christ amid winter celebrations. This is why Christmas should be a lifestyle and not an annual festival.
The end of 12 days of Christmas is not on Christmas day.
Before Jesus’ birth started being celebrated by Western Christians, Eastern Christians were already observing Epiphany. This was a celebration at the beginning of January in remembrance of the ways by which Jesus showed himself to humanity in the world from the time of His birth. Thus, 25th December acted as a day of remembering nativity, while January 6th to 12th was the period of remembering the three wise men’s arrival. Thus, the 12 days were technically the Christmas season.
The meaning of Christmas is “Christ’s Mass.”
The English language uses Christmas as the annual Jesus nativity celebration. This term comes from the middle ages, and it refers to Christ’s Mass. This is a special service that honors and celebrates His birth.
Christmas was opposed by the Puritans.
The New England and Puritans within England were opposed to Christmas. This is because they aimed to eliminate what to them were unscriptural innovations of the Catholic faith. They aimed to establish a purer church. According to them, Christmas was not celebrated by the earliest Christians. Therefore, they felt the need to oppose what was rowdy behavior with fines as punishment. However, the holiday was liked by the general public.
According to some people, these historical facts and roots give Christmas connections to activities that are non-Christian. Nevertheless, the celebrations can be seen as a way of celebrating and surviving winter while searching for meaning and joy.
Article Courtesy: The Article is written by Mannaexpressonline.com. Online Christian magazines that empower the minds and inspire hearts