Why December 25th?
Why December 25th?
No one really knows the birthday of Jesus! No date is given in the Bible, so why do we find ourselves celebrating it on the 25th of December? The early Christians had many arguments as to when it should be recognized! In addition, the birth of Jesus probably did not happen in the year 1 but earlier, somewhere between 2BC and 7 BC.
We find that the first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of Roman Emperor Constantine. However, there are many different traditions and theories as to why Christmas is actually celebrated on December 25th. A very early Christian tradition indicated that the day when Mary was told that she would have a very special child, Jesus was on March 25th and it's still celebrated today on the 25th of March. Nine months after the 25th of March is the 25th of December! March 25th was also the day some Christians thought the world had been created, and also the day that Jesus died on when he as an adult. It was also thought that Jesus was conceived and had died on the same day of the year.
There appears to be a rather strong reason why Jesus might not have been born in the winter, but in the spring or the autumn! The weather can get rather cold in winter and it is not likely that the shepherds would be keeping sheep out on the hills. During the spring there's a Jewish festival called 'Passover'. This festival remembered when the Jews had escaped from slavery in Egypt around 1500 years before Jesus was born. In the autumn there is a Jewish festival called 'Sukkot'. This is the festival that is mentioned the most in the Bible!
Most Bible scholars believe that Jesus was born between 2-7 BC. So whenever we celebrate Christmas, remember that you are actually celebrating a real event that happened 2000 years ago, that God sent his Son into the world as a Christmas present for each of us.