Yes and no. Yes it is a celebration of the day God became man, but it was a pagan holiday first. There was a Roman emperor who became a Christian while he was exploring-. December 25th was a celebration of the Roman god of the sun's "birth," and he felt guilty that he celebrated it for so long. He decided to officially celebrate it as the Christ's birthday, because the actual date of his birth was, and still is, unknown. The emperor made it a law that all people of Rome had to celebrate this day, and it was a holiday from then on. The name "Christmas" comes from the German (I'm pretty sure, but not positive) They called it "Christ's Mass," in honor of their church service on that day. It be3came Christmas because the English people didn't understand their accent and accidentally messed up what they were saying. At no place incan you read where one is to celebrate Christmas. However we are to remember His death. One example in 1 Corinthians 11 verse 23 starting. 23: For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24: and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 25: In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying,"This is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me" 26: For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lords death till He comes.
That's not a simple yes or no question. The history of the holiday which has come down to us as Christmas has always been two-faced, drawing from both religious and secular elements. A short answer would be: YES, the core of the current holiday is Christian. Its modern expression is rooted in the celebration of the legendary birth of Jesus, and it is considered one of the more important parts of the Christian calendar year. ''However ... '' NO, the larger holiday did not begin as Christian, and many of its most popular elements continue to be non-Christian. For example, the very date, December 25th, is a non-Christian element, being instead a date associated in folklore with the winter solstice and the turning of the New Year; Christians chose December 25th for Christmas because they wanted to connect their celebration to the already popular holiday period. Definitely ''not'' a simple question. But the more I read about the answer, the more fascinating the season becomes! How can anything that has pagan elements in it and began as a pagan holiday be considered a Christian holiday? We are to worship in spirit and TRUTH. 2 Cor. 6:14-18 says "What fellowship do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what does light have with darkness? Further, what harmony is there between Christ and Be'lial? (A demon whose name means without worth) Or what what portion does a faithful person have with an unbeliever? And what agreement does God's temple have with idols?....'"Therefore get out from among them and separate yourselves"' '"stop touching the unclean thing"' Another example is found in Exodus 32:4-10. Here the Israelites adopted an Egyptian religious practice and re-named it "a festival to Jehovah." The new name didn't fool God and he punished them. Here are more answers from WikiAnswers contributors: * Christmas is suppose to celebrate the birth of Christ, but, according to some scientific studies and going through the Bible and paying close attention Christ was not born during the winter months. However, someone started it and so Christians celebrate this great day. Does is really matter if it's the right month? Not at all! Then in Holland a rich Dutchman decided to help out the poor children by giving gifts and coins and when the Dutch landed in America they brought this tradition with them. The Westerners slimmed it down and added their own touches to it, and then of course, the advertising business saw a good thing and out came Santa Clause with his jolly big belly, red nose and a ho, ho, ho and his reindeer (Rudolph leading the pack.) No matter whether one is a Christian or not this is a time to reflect on one's life and try to do better each year by giving to those less fortunate and doing good deeds. Christmas has never been Christian. You can dress up a pig, clean it up and make it look good and call it holy but it is still a pig. Christ-mass was started by the Catholic Church to entice pagans to celebrate Christ rather than worship their pagan deities, however, the rituals surrounding Christmas is far from Biblical. Even Christians place the wise men at the manger when the Bible is clear that they came into a house where the child was. It was several years after Christ's birth before the wise men found him. If a holiday is based on lies then it cannot be "Christian".
We know that Herod, according to Matthew, killed all the male children
under the age of 2 years old. Why two year olds if Jesus was being born at
that very time? We also know from the writer of Matthew that when the
Wise men came Jesus was no longer in a stable. He was in a house whereas
when the shepherds of Israel came, He was "lying in a manger" in a stable.
(Matt. 2:11) The shepherds of Israel would NOT be in the fields during this month. (Luke 2:8) When the Magi came, Luke informs us that Jesus was a "paidion" (toddler), not a "brephos" (infant). So while Jesus was surely not born during what we call today, the Christmas season, He may have received a visit from the Magi of Babylon over a year later during that season. These Wise Men were very familiar with Sun-god worship, they had worshipped
fire and the Sun for many centuries. The reason why December 25 was
selected for the Great Day of Sun-god worship among the pagan countries
was because it was the shortest day of the year, the Winter Solstice. The
Sun was dying and needed man's help in order to regain the strength to
come to full length again. And so, man offered much fire during that day
to strengthen the sun. We get the term "bonfire" from when the pagans
burned the bones of sacrificed animals on that day.
ANSWER It depends on denomination. Some believe it is pagan and don't celebrate it. Some believe it is not pagan, or that its origins are not important and do celebrate it.
Pre-Christian origins. A winter festival was traditionally the most popular festival of the year in many cultures. Reasons included less agricultural work needing to be done during the winter, as well as people expecting longer days and shorter nights after the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. Modern Christmas with pagan customs include: gift-giving and merrymaking from Roman Saturnalia; greenery, lights, and charity from the Roman New Year; and Yule logs and various foods from Teutonic feasts. Such traditions are considered to have been syncretised from winter festivals including the following: Natalis Solis Invicti. The Romans held a festival on December 25 called Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, "the birthday of the undefeated sun." The use of the title Sol Invictus allowed several solar deities to be worshiped collectively, including Elah-Gabal, a Syrian sun god; Sol, the god of Emperor Aurelian (AD 270-274); and Mithras, a soldiers' god of Persian origin. Emperor Elagabalus (218-222) introduced the festival, and it reached the height of its popularity under Aurelian, who promoted it as an empire-wide holiday. December 25 was considered the day upon which the winter solstice, which the Romans called bruma, fell. (When Julius Caesar introduced the Julian Calendar in 45 BC, December 25 was approximately the date of the solstice. In modern times, the solstice falls on December 21 or 22.) It is the day the Sun proves itself to be "unconquered" and begins its movement toward the north on the horizon. The Sol Invictus festival has a "strong claim on the responsibility" for the date of Christmas, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia. Several early Christian writers connected the rebirth of the sun to the birth of Jesus "O, how wonderfully acted Providence that on that day on which that Sun was born . . . Christ should be born", Cyprian wrote. Yule: Pagan Scandinavia celebrated a winter festival called Yule, held in the late December to early January period. Yule logs were lit to honor Thor, the god of thunder, with the belief that each spark from the fire represented a new pig or calf that would be born during the coming year. Feasting would continue until the log burned out, which could take as many as twelve days. In pagan Germania (not to be confused with Germany), the equivalent holiday was the mid-winter night which was followed by 12 "wild nights", filled with eating, drinking and partying. As Northern Europe was the last part to Christianize, its pagan celebrations had a major influence on Christmas. Scandinavians still call Christmas Jul. In English, the Germanic word Yule is synonymous with Christmas, a usage first recorded in 900. The New Testament does not give a date for the nativity. Early Christians believed that Christ was crucified on March 25, the date of the spring equinox on the Roman calendar. In Chronographai, a reference work for Christians published in AD 221, Sextus Julius Africanus argued that Jesus was also conceived on this date, an event now marked as Annunciation. The idea that Jesus was conceived on the same date that he died is consistent with a Jewish belief that a prophet lived an integral number of years. December 25 is nine months after Annunciation and also the date of the winter solstice on the Roman calendar. The celebration of Christmas as a feast did not arise for some time after Chronographai was published. Tertullian does not mention it as a major feast day in the Church of Roman Africa. In 245, the theologian Origin of Alexandria denounced the idea of celebrating birthdays. He contended that only sinners, not saints, celebrated their birthdays. The earliest reference to the celebration of the nativity on December 25 is found in the Choreography of 354, an illuminated manuscript compiled in Rome in 354. In the East, early Christians celebrated the birth of Christ as part of Epiphany (January 6), although this festival focused on the baptism of Jesus. Christmas was promoted in the Christian East as part of the revival of Catholicism following the death of the pro-Arian Emperor Valens at the Battle of Adrianople in 378. The feast was introduced to Constantinople in 379, and to Antioch in about 380. The feast disappeared after Gregory of Nazianzus resigned as bishop in 381, although it was reintroduced by John Chrysostom in about 400. The Twelve Days of Christmas are the twelve days from the day after Christmas Day, December 26, which is St. Stephen's Day, to the Feast of Epiphany on January 6 that encompass the major feasts surrounding the birth of Christ. In the Latin Rite, one week after Christmas Day, January 1, has traditionally been the celebration the Feast of the Naming and Circumcision of Christ, but since Vatican II, this feast has been celebrated as the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. In some traditions the 12 days of Christmas start on Christmas Day (December 25) and the 12th day is therefore January 5. In the Early Middle Ages, Christmas Day was overshadowed by Epiphany, which in the west focused on the visit of the magi. But the Medieval calendar was dominated by Christmas-related holidays. The forty days before Christmas became the "forty days of St. Martin" (which began on November 11, the feast of St. Martin of Tours), now known as Advent. In Italy, former Saturnalian traditions were attached to Advent. Around the 12th century, these traditions transferred again to the Twelve Days of Christmas (December 26 - January 6); a time that appears in the liturgical calendars as Christmastide or Twelve Holy Days. The prominence of Christmas Day increased gradually after Charlemagne was crowned Emperor on Christmas Day in 800. King Edmund the Martyr was anointed on Christmas in 855 and King William I of England was crowned on Christmas Day 1066. By the High Middle Ages, the holiday had become so prominent that chroniclers routinely noted where various magnates celebrated Christmas. King Richard II of England hosted a Christmas feast in 1377 at which twenty-eight oxen and three hundred sheep were eaten. The Yule boar was a common feature of medieval Christmas feasts. Caroling also became popular, and was originally a group of dancers who sang. The group was composed of a lead singer and a ring of dancers that provided the chorus. Various writers of the time condemned caroling as lewd, indicating that the unruly traditions of Saturnalia and Yule may have continued in this form. "Misrule" - drunkenness, promiscuity, gambling - was also an important aspect of the festival. In England, gifts were exchanged on New Year's Day, and there was special Christmas ale. Christmas during the Middle Ages was a public festival that incorporating ivy, holly, and other evergreens. Christmas gift-giving during the Middle Ages was usually between people with legal relationships, such as tenant and landlord.
Reformation into the 19th century During the Reformation, some Protestants[who?] condemned Christmas celebration as "trappings of popery" and the "rags of the Beast." The Roman Catholic Church responded by promoting the festival in a more religiously oriented form. Following the Parliamentarian victory over King Charles I during the English Civil War, England's Puritan rulers banned Christmas, in 1647. Pro-Christmas rioting broke out in several cities, and for weeks Canterbury was controlled by the rioters, who decorated doorways with holly and shouted royalist slogans. The Restoration of Charles II in 1660 ended the ban, but many clergymen still disapproved of Christmas celebration. In Colonial America, the Puritans of New England disapproved of Christmas. Celebration was outlawed in Boston from 1659 to 1681. At the same time, Christian residents of Virginia and New York observed the holiday freely. Pennsylvania German Settlers, pre-eminently the Moravian settlers of Bethlehem, Nazareth and Lititz in Pennsylvania and the Wachovia Settlements in North Carolina, were enthusiastic celebrators of Christmas. The Moravians in Bethlehem had the first Christmas trees in America as well as the first Nativity Scenes. Christmas fell out of favor in the United States after the American Revolution, when it was considered an English custom. attacked Hessian mercenaries on Christmas during the Battle of Trenton in 1777. (Christmas being much more popular in Germany than in America at this time.) By the 1820s, sectarian tension had eased and British writers, including William Winstanly began to worry that Christmas was dying out. These writers imagined Tudor Christmas as a time of heartfelt celebration, and efforts were made to revive the holiday. Charles Dickens's book A Christmas Carol, published in 1843, played a major role in reinventing Christmas as a holiday emphasizing family, goodwill, and compassion as opposed to communal celebration and hedonistic excess. In America, interest in Christmas was revived in the 1820s by several short stories by Washington Irving which appear in his The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon and "Old Christmas", and by Clement Clarke Moore's 1822 poem A Visit From St. Nicholas (popularly known by its first line: Twas the Night Before Christmas). Irving's stories depicted harmonious warm-hearted holiday traditions he claimed to have observed in England. Although some argue that Irving invented the traditions he describes, they were widely imitated by his American readers. The poem A Visit from Saint Nicholas popularized the tradition of exchanging gifts and seasonal Christmas shopping began to assume economic importance. In her 1850 book "The First Christmas in New England", Harriet Beecher Stowe includes a character who complains that the true meaning of Christmas was lost in a shopping spree. Christmas was declared a United States Federal holiday in 1870, signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant. The Nativity of Jesus refers to the Christian belief that the Messiah was born to the Virgin Mary. The story of Christmas is based on the biblical accounts given in the Gospel of Matthew, namely Matthew 1:18-Matthew 2:12 and the Gospel of Luke, specifically Luke 1:26-Luke 2:40. According to these accounts, Jesus was born to Mary, assisted by her husband Joseph, in the city of Bethlehem. According to popular tradition, the birth took place in a stable, surrounded by farm animals, though neither the stable nor the animals are mentioned in the Biblical accounts. However, a manger is mentioned in Luke 2:7 where it states "She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." Early iconographic representations of the nativity placed the stable and manger within a cave (located, according to tradition, under the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem). Shepherds from the fields surrounding Bethlehem were told of the birth by an angel, and were the first to see the child. Many Christians believe that the birth of Jesus fulfilled prophecies from the Old Testament. Many modern scholars view the two Gospel accounts as theological fictions. Remembering is a central way that Christians celebrate Christmas. There is a very long tradition of the Nativity of Jesus in art. The Eastern Orthodox Church practices the Nativity Fast in anticipation of the birth of Jesus, while much of the Western Church celebrates Advent. In some Christian denominations, children perform plays re-telling the events of the Nativity, or sing carols that reference the event. Some Christians also display a small re-creation of the Nativity, known as a Nativity scene, in their homes, using figurines to portray the key characters of the event. Live Nativity scenes and tableaux vivants are also performed, using actors and live animals to portray the event with more realism. Nativity scenes traditionally include the Three Wise Men, Balthazar, Melchior, and Caspar, although their names and number are not referred to in the Biblical narrative, who are said to have followed a star, known as the Star of Bethlehem, found Jesus, and presented gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. In the U.S., Christmas decorations at public buildings once commonly included Nativity scenes. This practice has led to many lawsuits, as groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union believe it amounts to the government endorsing a religion, which is prohibited by the United States Constitution. In 1984, the U.S. ruled in Lynch vs. Donnelly that a Christmas display (which included a Nativity scene) owned and displayed by the city of Pawtucket, Rhode Island did not violate the First Amendment. == ==
Yes, it is our holiday and commemorates the day Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Other people celebrate it too, but for a different reason.
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