Saturday, December 21, 2013

Why do we celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December?

Many question the fact that the Church celebrates the Birth of Jesus Christ on the 25th of December. Historically, the birth of Our Lord is believed to have taken place in Spring or the Summer months. So it is valid for everyone to question the Church’s practice. However, there is a deeper reason for this. The Ancient Church was expanding. In order to attract new members many of the Christian festivities were celebrated on the same day as previous celebrations. 

The 25th of December is the day the Romans worshiped the Sun God. Recognising their dependence on the sun’s annual course, they held feast around the winter solstice in December, when the days are shortest. Part of the ritual was to build bonfires in order to give the Sun God strength and bring him back to life again.
We can understand the relationship between the Sun God and the Son of God. Both are light. In the Creed we read “And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages; Light of Light, true God of true God…” In Greek we claim that Jesus is ο ήλιος της δικαιοσύνης, i.e. the sun of justice. Therefore, the relationship between the Sun God and the Son of God is evident, making the co-celebration of the two events a perfect coincidence.

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