Busted Halo
googling god
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.

Have your own question? Then pitch it to us!

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
 
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Our readers asked:

How did December 25 get to be Christmas Day?

Mike Hayes Answers:

CNS/Bridgeman Art Library

CNS/Bridgeman Art Library

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 25, 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 nine months to that date we get … December 25!

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

Lastly, the Romans observed a debaucherous time of year called Saturnalia December 17-23. Thus, December 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” December 25.

 
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
The Author : Mike Hayes
Mike Hayes is the senior editor for the Googling God section at BustedHalo.com.
See more articles by (271).
Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Graham Dennis

    So your basically saying the Catholic Church made up the date of the birth of God in the flesh to fit in with traditions already in place so as to be acceptable to the masses,this begs the question,what other important dates did the Catholic Church do the same thing with,what other important happenings did they adapt to make there God acceptable to the masses? The virgin birth? The resurrection? Both of these things had been part of earlier pagan faiths,it’s like there was a set of rules that had to be followed if you were bringing a new God into existence, a God had to fit a certain ” photofit ” picture,much like a man depicted as a convict will wear a uniform with arrows on it!!!! This would be funny if religious leaders wernt responsible for millions of deaths of innocent non Belivers over the centuries,All the three main Religions worship THE SAME GOD but continue to kill eachother and us non Belivers IN HIS NAME!!!!!!! Please stop now!!!!! Belive what the hell you want,don’t shoot anyone because they don’t share your belife,there’s only one rule anyone needs to follow,TREAT OTHERS AS YOU WISH TO BE TREATED. I’m called an atheist because I don’t belive in God,in reality I don’t belive in RELIGION

powered by the Paulists