Why is Christmas on the 25th?

By Emily Evans


To many, Christmas symbolizes the birth of Jesus. Yet there is no time frame to know when he was actually born. It is actually believed that Jesus was born sometime in the spring due to the fact that Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem for Passover and the census. Also such shepherds, like the ones guided by the Star to see the newly born baby, would not have kept sheep out in the fields in the winter. And in order to have a successful Passover, many sheep would be needed to sacrifice. Many historians also believe Jesus was born in September, due to the Jewish festival of 'Sukkot' or 'The Feast of Tabernacles'. It is a festival that is mentioned many times in the Bible, just like Passover. The Jewish people remember that they depended on God for all they had after they had escaped from Egypt and spent 40 years in the desert. It also celebrates the end of the harvest. Sukkot or Passover were very crowded which explains why there would be “no room in the inn” which would be the reasoning Mary gives birth to Jesus in a barn, which in itself is ironic in the fact that Jesus is a God. Though the exact date of Jesus’s birth is not known; Some also think that December 25th might have also been chosen because the Winter Solstice and the ancient pagan Roman midwinter festivals called 'Saturnalia' and 'Dies Natalis Solis Invicti' took place in December around this date - so it was a time when people already celebrated things. Most scholars now think that Jesus was born between 2 BCE/BC and 7 BCE/BC, possibly in 4 BCE/BC. Whenever Jesus was born, we as a society celebrate his birth on the 25th of December. We remember this time to humble us, and give ourselves a time to reflect on religion and family.

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