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Are you truly celebrating Jesus’s birthday?

By: Joelle De La Vina, Reporter

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Christmas Lore

 

Although most Christians celebrate December 25, as the birthday of Jesus Christ. According to belief.net, it’s an unlikely date for Christ’s Birthday to be December 25. Church leaders argued that since the world is supposedly created in the spring equinox (late March), then Jesus would have been conceived by God around that time. The Virgin Mary, pregnant with Jesus, would hence have given birth to Jesus nine months later on the winter solstice, but Jesus was really born in the winter equinox. The popular belief may not be the true story.

Santa Claus warning letter from reddit.com

Most researchers believe that Christmas originated as a Christian substitute for pagan celebrations of the winter solstice; after the Roman Emperor converted to Christianity. Christmas was spread to other Christian churches going from Rome to the east and west, and soon most Christians were celebrating Christmas. The Roman celebration later added other winter-solstice rituals observed by various pagan groups, such as the lighting of the Yule log and decorations with evergreens by Germanic tribes. If you’re interested to see other “Christmas” traditions visit thoughtco.com.

As Christianity began to take hold in the Roman world, in the early fourth century, church leaders had to struggle to surmount with a popular Roman pagan holiday commemorating the “birthday of the unconquered sun” (natalis solis invicti)– the Roman name for the winter solstice.

Every winter, Romans honored the pagan god, Saturn, the god of agriculture, with a festival that began on December 17 to December 25. The winter solstice celebration was held in honor of the beginning of the solar cycle. The festival was time of merrymaking and a place where families and friend would exchange gifts.

Stonehenge from pizabay.com

At the time of Rome converting to Christianity, a popular medieval festival of St. Nicholas of Myra, a saint said to visit children with gifts just before Christmas. The story began to evolve into the modern practice of leaving presents for children that are said to be brought by “Santa Claus,” a derivative of the Dutch name for St. Nicholas-Sinterklass. HISTORY.com has more information about the topic if you’re interested on reading further into the topic.

There’s some version of the anti-Claus in every culture, there is Belsnickel, Krampus, and Black Peter, or whatever it’s called. Most people describe Krampus as a “half-demon, half-goat” or as “the Christmas Devil”. There’s all sorts of lore around the world, say back in the day Santa’s brother went rogue and now he shows up around Christmas time, but instead of bringing presents, he punishes the wicked. It is said that during the Christmas season children start to go missing or are beaten with birch branches, they are then placed into a sack and taken to the Krampus’ lair where they are either tortured or beaten. On Dec. 6, St. Nick then treats the good children to delicious candy which is placed in their shoes while naughty children receive twigs or rods placed in their footwear. More facts and details about Krampus can be found at gotquestions.org.  So have you been naughty or nice this year? Merry Christmas.

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Are you truly celebrating Jesus’s birthday?