Why December 25?

Why December 25?

So why is Christmas on December 25? The old saw is that December 25 was a pagan winter solstice holiday of the Sun and Christians substituted the birth of Christ for it. But that’s not what happened.

In fact, according to this Evangelical source, there’s a much more interesting, even pro-life, reason, which is actually dependent on the dating of Easter.

Mr. Tighe, drawing on the in-depth research of Thomas J. Talley&88217;s The Origins of the Liturgical Year, cites the ancient Jewish belief (not supported in Scripture) that God appointed for the great prophets an “integral age,” meaning that they died on the same day as either their birth or their conception.

Technorati Tags:

  • Another take was given by a very learned priest in his Christmas Midnight Mass sermon—that early Catholics celebrated Christmas on May 20th.

    However, in the 4th Century, Rome deliberately fixed the date on 12/25 specifically to “baptize” the various pagan feasts celebrated around the winter solstice, and to emphasize the “Lumen” of Christ, vs. the darkness of the solstice.

    This fits well with the “baptism” thesis supported to a great extent by St. Paul’s reconciliation of Greek/Roman traditions with Catholicism/Christianity.

    IOW, the “make all things new” writ large.