Why Do We Celebrate Christmas?

The establishment of Jesus’ birth date is something that is worth taking note of all around the globe, with universal agreement among theologians throwing doubt on December 25. During the decline of the Roman Empire, an annual celebration known as “Sol Invictus” or the “Unconquered Sun” took place on December 25, honoring the sun god.

Why Do We Celebrate Christmas

Some argue that the choice of this date for Christmas was an intentional attempt to Christianize or replace existing pagan festivities – an attempt to construct a Christian alternative on a date already significant to Roman Christians. Alternatively, an opposite viewpoint emerges.

The proximity of December 25 to the Northern Hemisphere’s winter solstice, which marks the shortest day and longest night, adds another degree of complication. Various pagan traditions associated the winter solstice with the sun’s rebirth and the extending of days.

Notably, feasts like the Roman Saturnalia, which was marked by revelry and gift-giving, coincided with this celestial occurrence. Saturnalia, a festival honoring the god Saturn, involved joyful exchanges and feasting. According to supporters, early Christians purposely linked Jesus’ birth with December 25 in order to absorb or surpass Saturnalia with a Christian holiday.

Following Emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity, the Church strategically repurposed the pre-existing pagan winter solstice festivities, which ran from December 17 to December 25.

Taking advantage of the population’ eagerness to participate in celebrations during this time, newly created Christian customs smoothly melded with the celebratory atmosphere, transforming these festivities into Christmas.

Also Read: What is the Meaning of Christmas?

A unique theory introduces Sextus Julius Africanus, who is said to have officially proclaimed December 25 as Christmas Day in AD 221. Africanus set off on a historical journey based on rigorous calculations, beginning with his estimate of the world’s genesis in 5499 BC. Africanus meticulously braided the strands of biblical genealogy, significant events, and cosmic observations.

His goal was to determine the most appropriate date for commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. His tireless efforts culminated in December 25, a watershed moment for Christians to commemorate the birth of their Savior. Africanus’ erudition and exactitude have left a lasting legacy, expanding the tapestry of beliefs around Jesus Christ’s birthdate.