What Do We Actually Celebrate on 25 December and Why?

Most of the Christians and Catholics are of a view that what we rejoice on 25 December is the real date of birth of Jesus Christ. Catholics may become surprised, outraged and can also go in an aggressive mood while the others like Jehovah witnesses are of a view that it must not be true. The result is that we the real date of Jesus birth is not known. Patrick Duffy describes what is celebrated on December 25 and the reason behind it.


We first look at the historical data available for when the birth of Jesus was rejoiced for the first time as a partying time in Rome. The facts available in front of us describe why it was started to celebrate it on that day. Now we look at the religious aspects of the feast i.e., how December 25 is regarded in the Europe, North America and East. We further move on to describe why most of the Orthodox Churches specially those of Serbia, Russia, many of Greece and the monastery of Mount Athos. Christmas was being celebrated after a period of 13 days i.e. on January 7.

Evidence of a feast

The oldest of the proofs available that provides the date on which Jesus was born is in the Roman Chronograph of Furius Dionysius Philocalus, which is usually known as the Philocalian Calender. It was written in between a period starting 336 to 354 AD. Philocalus was interested in collecting data in order and he was Christian.

Christmas Feast

This article comprises of 2 lists in chronological order. The first list signifies the consuls of the Rome therefore representing a year. The second list is significant of various dates like death dates and other memorable dates of the most popular Christian martyrs and saints named Depositio Martyrum. Following are some of the listed people:

  • Saints Peter and Paul (June 29)
  • St Sylvester (December 31)
  • Saints Perpetua and felicity (March 7)
  • St Cyprian ( September 16)
  • Chair of Peter (February 22)

This is significant of the fact that Christmas first celebrated by the Christian of Rome between periods of 336 to 354. The actual date of birth of Jesus Christ is still not known.

Although are certain facts available about the disputes on various dates on which Jesus was born- January 6 or 10, April 19 or 20, May 20 and November 18 but there is no trustworthy data available on the original birth date of Jesus.

Sextus Julius Africanus puts together the dates of the zeal of Christ and annunciation on March 25. This will lead to December 25 as the date of birth.

The Alexandrian Christian theologian, Origen provided that only the sinners rejoiced the birthdays of their kings like Pharoah and Herod and the Christian rejoiced the date of death of their martyrs as their birthday in the heaven.

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