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Was Christ Born at Christmas?

Updated on August 9, 2008

Was Christ Born at Christmas?

The Bible is silent on this subject. It seems the emphasis in the Bible is on the birth and not on the date of Christ's birth.

Some hold to the idea that Christ may have been born in the spring. In the Gospel of Luke it states the Shepard's were watching their flock by night and the only time this was done was in the spring during the lambing time. Others claim it was in the fall, either September or October.

It wasn't until about 336 that Christmas was actually celebrated by the church. The reason for picking December for this celebration was to combat the various pagan celebrations, which varied from country to country. Solstice was one of the pagan practices at that time. This was to celebrate the fact that the days would now get longer. In some countries, quite a bit of the cattle were slaughtered so they wouldn't have to be fed during the harsh winter months - this was the one time of the year when meat was then plentiful and this was celebrated. And other pagan practices were celebrated in December.

Later on the Christmas tree was added. This tradition came from Germany, with the tree came tinsel - made with real silver strips. Martin Luther, so tradition holds, came up with the idea of Christmas lights, (actually candles), after seeing stars shinning through some pine trees.

The Yule log came from the Viking tradition of burning a log in December; they would burn the largest log they could find in honor of the gods and for the hopes of good luck in the coming year.

And of course, Santa Claus has to be included in Christmas. Like most traditions, there are no real known facts as to how Santa Claus got his start. For some it was St. Nicholas who was a bishop in the early church. He, so it is reported, gave donations to the poor. Some reports state this was in, what is now Turkey. It was from the Dutch the tradition of Santa Claus came to America.

Than there are the reindeer, mistletoe, candy and other traditions that have been added through the years until the real reason for the season, the birth of Christ has just about faded and pushed into the background. While the actual date of the birth of Christ is not known, the purpose of His birth is known. However, this is still a joyous season, and I would not deter from that, but it would be nice if we had a time when we really focused on Christ's birth and purpose of His birth. In 1970,when my wife and I started our 33 years of missionary service in Puerto Rico, Christmas day was mostly a time of going to church and socializing with family and friends. It was on Three Kings day, (which is the same as epiphany in the USA); the Three Kings gave the gifts. (The children would put banana leafs under their bed's at night for the camels to eat.) In this manner, Christ's birthday was a worship experience and the giving of gifts was at a later time.


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    • soyelude profile image

      soyelude 10 years ago from Lagos - Nigeria

    • soyelude profile image

      soyelude 10 years ago from Lagos - Nigeria

      Thanx for the education...good hub.

    • blessedmommy profile image

      Carisa Gourley 10 years ago from Oklahoma City Metro, Oklahoma

      Very interesting and informative. Thanks for posting.

    • cristina327 profile image

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 10 years ago from Manila

      Great hub. Very informative.

    • MrMarmalade profile image

      MrMarmalade 10 years ago from Sydney

      A very good hub

      Thank you