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The Busted Halo Question Box
Ask our spiritual experts virtually anything!
This is the place where you can ask all of those burning questions that you wouldn't dare ask in person. We will post questions here (using your byline only with permission); we guarantee an answer to everyone.

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Caitlin Kennell Kim
Mary
Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
General Questions
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP
Ecumenical, Interfaith
Neela Kale
Culture, Moral Theology
Ann Naffziger, M.A., M.Div.
Bible
Mike Hayes
Swingman/Editor
 
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Our readers asked:

How did December 25th get to be Christmas Day?

Mike Hayes Answers:

An exact date was attempted to be calculated for the Nativity of the Lord but it was deemed impossible (there was/is not enough information available to determine this).  So originally, March 25th the first day of spring was discussed as an appropriate day to celebrate the birth of Christ to coincide with the re-birth of the spring!   However, other scholars noted that this would be a better day to place Jesus’ conception, as we believe that God becomes incarnate at the moment he is in Mary’s womb.

Therefore, if we add 9 months to that date we get…December 25th!

Secondarily, many Romans were sun worshipers.   Many celebrated a kind of sun feast day on Dec. 25, while others note a virility god named Mithra with the same birthday.

Lastly, the Romans observed a debaucherous time of year called Saturnalia Dec. 17-23. Thus, Dec. 25 offered a date with a good theological basis that also would counter several pagan holidays.

In 336, the Emperor Constantine officially named the “birth day of Christ” Dec. 25.

 
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The Author : Mike Hayes
Mike Hayes is the senior editor for the Googling God section at BustedHalo.com.
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