I was watching Bones the other night. I don’t know exactly what day it ran thanks to the wonders of our DVR, but one thing kind of confused me. It was their Christmas show and one of the techs kept saying that she doesn’t celebrate Christmas on December 25th because Christ was really born in March. I didn’t understand where she was coming up with that idea, but it did bring up the question, “Why do we celebrate Christmas on December 25th?”
Many people will tell you that Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25th to combat the pagan festival of the Winter Solstice. The idea is that everyone enjoys celebrating, so why should Christians not be able to have some fun. I know, let’s say that Christ was born on December 25th. That way we can join in all the fun!
I never really agreed with it for no particular reason. Somewhere along the line I learned that there was much study done about when we should celebrate Christ’s birth. In ancient times, it was believed that a person died on the day they were conceived or born. So figuring back from when Christ died, they came up with December 25th for His birth (just adding 9 months, you know).
William J. Tighe approaches this question and comes up with a similar conclusion. He has an article that looks into where the date comes from. You can find the article here. He holds that the exact opposite from what everyone thinks is actually true. Winter Solstice is a response to the Christian celebration of Christmas. It’s not a long article and is quite interesting. I invite you to take a look at it.
Oh, and why did the tech believe that Christmas should be celebrated in March? Well, if you believe that Christ was born on the day He died, then His birth would be in March.
Have a most Blessed Christmas and New Year. Peace be with you!