Was Jesus Christ born on Christmas day?

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Christmas is so close and I’m sure you have already made your houses sparkle with all the cheerful, festive lights and I am pretty sure that a richly decorated Christmas tree is brightening the living rooms where you, your families and friends will gather to celebrate the Nativity, the birth of the baby Jesus. But, are you fully aware of what you are about to celebrate? As, you have to know, if you don’t know it already, that Jesus Christ was not born at all on Christmas day; the 25th of December was the birthday of Mithras.

Mithras who? I guess, some of you would ask ; just wait a minute as I have to give you some information first. You have to know that there is no real evidence about either the precise year or the day of Christ’s birth. It seems that around the third century AD some Christians had started celebrating Christ’s birth, as well as his death, on March 25th, the spring Equinox, a day that symbolized the “rebirth of the earth”, but as far as we know the celebration of Christ’s birth was not general until the fourth century.

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Aureliano

By the time of Aurelian’s reign (around 214-275 AD), it appears that the god Mithras (originally a Persian deity who was said to be either the son of the sun or the companion of the sun) was earning popularity among traveling Roman soldiers. Aurelian decided to seize on an opportunity to bring a monotheistic cult to the Roman Empire, and it is likely that his motivation was to compete with Christianity – a growing monotheistic religion that he saw as a threat to the empire. Hence, the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, “The Birth of the Unconquered Sun,” was  established to celebrate Mithras on the twenty-fifth of December 274 AD . The choice of the day was particularly symbolical, as, at that time, it was considered the winter solstice, that is, the moment when days begin to lengthen and the power of the sun to increase; the fittest day for the son of the sun.

jesus3The Egyptians represented the new-born sun by the image of an infant, which they used to bring forth and exhibit to his worshippers on his birthday and kindle lights in token of festivity. When the doctors of the Church perceived that this celebration was becoming dangerously popular even among the Christians, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should be solemnized on that day and the festival of the Epiphany on the sixth of January. Accordingly, along with this custom, the practice has prevailed of kindling fires till the sixth of January. That’s why we keep on lighting our towns and houses after so many centuries: in memory of the god of the sun!! In short, Christmas is nothing but a relic of the worship of a pagan god known by the Persians as Mithra or Mithras dressed in Christian symbolism and a lot of lights.

Let me wish you then, Merry Mithras day and a Happy New Year!!! 🙂

 

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45 thoughts on “Was Jesus Christ born on Christmas day?

      • I’m not a strict catholic observant. Before I enjoy it. After I read the Bible and Once I research on the history of Christmas and how Christmas is commercialized, I feel so upset for setting other god’s birthday as Christ’s birthday. Therefore, I choose not to celebrate.

      • You are right, everything sounded like a business strategy. Do you want to have a parfume sold? Just use the most beloved and popular actor or actress ! It is just the same!

  1. There are traditions we continue to practice to this day. Sometimes, we do not actually base them on facts but still we consider them as accepted ways. What is more important is the belief to a creed.
    I believe the birth of Jesus happened, the exact date we will never know for sure. (The calendar, invented centuries later, is not also a good source because it was revised so many times in the past. Back then, February was the last month (28 days, during a leap year, 29 days) not December as we know today. (If we follow the rule of adding one day during a leap year, should we be adding one day to December instead?)
    Historical accounts from various sources compete for authenticity. Which one is actually correct? 😀

  2. I think the logic behind the hijacking by the Christians of an existing day of celebration for the pagans was that people enjoy an excuse for a party, whoever the host, but better the party governed by a philosophy where everybody is welcome, however lowly their station, and where the promise of a wonderful eternal life is on the menu for all willing to dump Mithras in favour of a God who had the guts to come to earth and feel human pain.
    But all this aside, basically, the Early Church had better PR men (and women, although many would deny it) than the pagan religion of the time.
    Happy 25th December for tomorrow, whatever!

    • You are right, because the dominant trait of the Early Church was the conquest of the market of faith. The first Popes were actually generals always involved in many political questions. They really were “soldiers” in Christ.

  3. I have to admit when in my younger days a Catholic priest taught us at church school that Jesus was not born on December 25th — it came as a shock. It helps me now to remember it is not the date that matters but the message that matters. We are loved. ❤

  4. Stefy:
    Always enjoy reading your thoughtful and literary posts. Your students are very lucky to have such an intelligent and eloquent writer as a teacher. As always I am so appreciative of your loyal support of Bookshelf. Readers like you remain a steady source of inspiration. I wish you a very happy, joyous, and memorable holiday season (with thanks to Mithras for introducing some of the traditions). Cheers, Alex.

    • Oh Alex, thank you for your words of appreciation and if the support has been so loyal, you must have deserved it. You have been more than once a true source of information and inspiration for me. Wish you a glorious Christmas.
      Stefy. 🙂

  5. This is a really interesting post Stefy. Gives people something to talk about ! I think it’s what is in one’s heart that counts. The 25th December for Christmas is fine with me. 😀 ❤

  6. Why would you shatter my dreams like that?….so no little Jesus on the 25 then? Although here in Spain we got double wammy celebration since here in Spain the 6 of January is when the three kings(Melchor, Gaspar y Baltasar) come to bear gifts to the little boy a.k.a Jesus or as I call him J. C. So the name was Mithra was it? Anyways, quite a fascinating history class Mrs.Tink.

      • I was a weird kid, since a very young age I was telling other kids that Santa didn´t exist. They would go home crying saying to their parents that they have lied to them that they where the ones giving out presents and not Santa. What a way to screw up little kids….while I was a little kid………..even more weird. But now I have grown up and realised I made a mistake, I like to believe in the big fat old burly dude with white beer(did I just say that?) beard? Anyways I like Santa, cool guy and I´m the exception I hate all types of holidays really. But yes, I feign pretty good to others that I like them, not now though…… 😉

  7. On December 25, Christians around the world will gather to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Joyful carols, special liturgies, brightly wrapped gifts, festive foods—these all characterize the feast today, at least in the northern hemisphere. But just how did the Christmas festival originate? How did December 25 come to be associated with Jesus’ birthday?

    The Bible offers few clues: Celebrations of Jesus’ Nativity are not mentioned in the Gospels or Acts; the date is not given, not even the time of year. The biblical reference to shepherds tending their flocks at night when they hear the news of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:8) might suggest the spring lambing season; in the cold month of December, on the other hand, sheep might well have been corralled. Yet most scholars would urge caution about extracting such a precise but incidental detail from a narrative whose focus is theological rather than calendrical.

  8. Humankind has a natural tendency, even an emotional need, to give symbolic significance to seasonal changes — we are part of nature after all. If not a deity’s birth (the return of increasing hours of daylight and the promise of growth and warmth suggest hope for the future) then some other celebration of ritual significance would have been highlighted.

    For the irreligious among us like myself this is primarily an appropriate time to cheer ourselves up. So, Stefy — writing now in January — let me be the first to wish you good cheer for late 2015!

  9. Although millions of people celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on Dec. 25, most scholars agree that he wasn’t born on that day, or even in the year 1 A.D.

    The Encyclopædia Britannica says that church leaders probably chose it “to coincide with the pagan Roman festival marking the ‘birthday of the unconquered sun,’” at the time of the winter solstice. According to The Encyclopedia Americana, many scholars believe that this was done “in order to make Christianity more meaningful to pagan converts.”

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