By definition, Christmas refers to the time of annual festival that people use to commemorate the Jesus Christ’ birth. Most commonly, this time is observed on December 25 every year as both cultural and religious celebrations among the multitude of people globally. A feast central to the liturgical year of Christian, it is preceded by the Nativity Fast before initiating the Christmastide’s season. Historically, this period lasts about twelve days in the West. It also culminates on the twelfth night. Christmastide includes an Octave in some traditions. In several nations of the world, the day of Christmas is a public holiday. Majority of Christians celebrate this day religiously. Celebrating the eve of Christmas in several countries has the primary focus.
History of Christmas
The Luke and Matthew’s nativity stories are prominent in the early Christian writers and gospels who suggested several dates for the anniversary. It is reported that the first recorded celebration of Christmas occurred in Rome in 336. Indeed, the time of Christmas played a significant role in the fourth century’s Arian controversy. Epiphany later overshadowed the Christmas time in the early middle ages. After 800, the feast started to regain prominence following the crowning of Charlemagne as the emperor on the day of Christmas.
In the 17th century, Christmas was banned by the Puritans because it was associated with various forms of misbehavior that includes drunkenness. However, in 1660, the Christmas was restored as a legal holiday even though it remained disreputable. The Oxford movement of the church of Anglican marked the revival of the Christmas in the early 19th century. Several writers including Charles Dickens played a crucial role of reinventing the holiday through putting a lot of emphases that Christmas is the time for social reconciliation, religion, family, giving gifts as opposed to the entertainment.
The Choice of the Date of Christmas
The Jesus’ date of birth was the subject of both great uncertainty and interest in the 3rd century. Several factors resulted in the selection of the December 25 as the celebration date for Christmas. It was the winter solstice date on the Roman calendar. December 25 is about nine months after the date linked to the Jesus’ conception on March 25.
Date of Solstice
The winter solstice date on the Roman calendar was on December 25. For symbolic reasons, Jesus decided to be born on the year’s shortest day. Various passages of the bible supported the idea of linking the Sun to Jesus. For this reason, he was considered the “righteousness Sun” as Malachi prophesied. The symbolism of solar was enough to support more than one date of birth.
Hypothesis of Calculation
The calculation of hypothesis suggests that an Incarnation was associated with the earlier holiday that was held on March 25. People celebrate March 25 as Annunciation in the modern times. Even though it was created in the 17th century, this holiday was assigned a specific date that is 9 months before the birth of the Jesus Christ.
Without a doubt, Christmas day, the December 25 is the time for social reconciliation, religion, family, giving gifts as opposed to the celebration. This date should always remain a public holiday as it is the best time that the Christians globally use to remember the birth of Jesus Christ. Needless to say, the date comes only once a year so it must be utilized accordingly.