Christmas and Paganism

Hello all! Firstly, Merry Christmas to all!

I do have a few questions.
How do you explain where Christmas comes from? I hear many claim it is a pagan holiday…

Another thing, I know many say it’s the birthday of Jesus, although I know it’s not literally the exact day, we celebrate it at this time. However, there are some who find it misleading and say no to this. Is there a good way to say something about how Christ is the reason for the season? Is it good enough to say “Merry Christmas! Remember that Jesus is the reason for the season!”

I’ve heard many doing that, plus the old #CHRISTmas, etc.

Thank you!

I think the following will answer your questions:

If shepherds were truly “watching their flocks by night” then Jesus was born in the springtime. The only time shepherds watched their flock by night was when the lambs were born, and the lambs were born in the spring only.

Note that shepherds will watch their flocks any time the flock is in the fields and they feel there is danger around; be in from animals or humans. In the lower latitudes sheep are graze in the fields most of the winter months.

Hello beautiful person. I’m sure most Christians would agree with me in saying Christmas proper, the current version, is not pagan. If for no other reason than to say that “Christmas” in its current form was a Christian invention. That being said however it also has incorporated into it many pagan customs and rituals over the years ,under the assumption originally I believe , in order to entice lure and make more comfortable various pagans in being converted over to Christianity. Not the least of which is its date of celebration, December 25. Several differing theories have been offered as to why this date but given the events happening arround the early church in the 3rd century or so it seems most probable that this date was chosen as a compromising competitive celebration for the pagans of the day. However if we go by evidences found in the bible we would probably be closer to the truth if we picked any other season in which to celebrate his birth than winter. This seems to be beside the point though since it’s a celebration of his birth and not his birthday. We could at least attempt to pick the correct season though in my opinion. Its creation seems to all boil down to that most distasteful of words, human politics sadly.
Our modern version has picked up many traditions along the way for various reasons. So much so that it looks to me as if more and more people who celebrate Christmas with different traditions have become more enamored of them than of the intended focal point for the celebration in the first place. Hence one of the common phrases passed arround these days for appeasement -“Jesus is the reason for the season.”
I can easily believe that it has become the one religious celebration that a pagan gladly “celebrates”/tolerates in joyful anticipation of exchanging/getting gifts, getting time off from work, and the parties to attend etc. while carrying an open contempt for Christ. It seems to me that the early attempts at pagan appeasement are starting to come full circle so that “Christmas” is becoming more and more worldly while retaining some Christian overtures instead of vice versa. Christmas pagents, holiday exstravaganzas, tv specials and on and on seem more and more of a celebration of human achievment and creativity than of a celebration of divine salvation. And these self touting philanthropic pet projects of the wealthy or famous under the pretence of being good Christians is bewildering. So much for that early pagan compromise. Men compromise and it ends in failure. God does not compromise and is always victorious.
There is all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the “Christmas mass” etc. I’ll grant you but it seems to be a once a year expanded show of piousness on a day which we know the event we’re celebrating didn’t happen. A day we should be celebrating all year anyway. Just seems too much like playing dress up for a day. For some anyways.
I guess one should expect these kinds of twisted behaviors in the latter days.
I for one, ironically, nearly want to wash my hands of the whole thing and get back to simply practicing the mere Christianity that instead of appeasing pagans Pisses them off. As if I have the strength.
God save me from my ignorance.

Does it really matter if the day we celebrate the birth of our LORD really corresponds to the season it took place, given we do not know when that occurred?


When Christianity was decrimminalized by the Edict of Milan in 313, Christianity had already spread throughout the empire. The Church began to take over and convert the pagan temples. The Church “baptized” any practices that were not contrary to the faith and chose pagan holidays to celebrate saints and feasts of the Church.

There are many cultures around the world that still have rituals on the various solstices.

Christmas comes from the birth of Christ.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is of the opinion that the 25th is the correct date. The baptized pagan holiday theory doesn’t work. Loads of sources out there on why. I seem to recall a good article by Jimmy Akin about it.

Baptized pagan holidays work just fine. Many of the feast days were chosen specifically to fall upon days of celebration for non-Christian activities, like the whole month of May being dedicated to our lady.

Pascha March 20/21 – (Ostara – Spring or The Vernal Equinox)

Our Lady, Queen of the May-----May 1 (May Day)

Our Lady of Consolation ----- June 20/21 (Summer Solstice)

I am sure there are many more, especially regionally.

Scripture does not specify the date if Jesus’ birth, and the Church has the authority to celebrated on any day she so chooses. Same with all the other feast days.

Well said.
I realize that it is tough to explain that to Fundamentalists because they just say “show me where it says his birthdate?” And “it’s a pagan celebration, we should not celebrate it” and “we were warned about worshipping other gods” and “we should not carry other traditions of men as said in the Bible.”
Good to know, though.

If they make the claim, they should be able to provide primary evidence for the claim. Ask them for their proof. And then do good scholarship and you will find their claims are erroneous.

Educate yourself so that you can refute these false claims. There are some good tracts here on Catholic Answers showing the truth. Also, get the book “Essential Catholic Survival Guide”. It will help you counter many of these false claims.

As I’ve said. It is what it is. It’s a celebration of the Lord’s birth and not birthday. In my opinion though, it would make more sense to me to choose a season which he may have been born in than one we know he wasnt. The latter being more politically motivated than religiously significant. When politics is involved it seems to be usually for more quite worldly reasons. This of course is just my opinion though since I’m not privy to the thinking which went on that made these decisions.

May God continue to allow me to exist.

How exactly did Christmas come from Christ’s birth? Christmas is an invention by man to celebrate a divine event.

The bible itself indicates a winter birth highly unlikely. If your sticking with December.
I can’t find any good references which eliminate the “pagan holiday” theory. Could you point me in a good direction? Of course I may not under stand what theory this is if you would care to enlighten me.
Thank u in advance. May God bless all you do.

If we should not carry other traditions of men then how can we tolerate the incorporation of pagan traditions into the celebration of the birth of our lord?

Oh lord how great your patience is wit me!

There is nothing inherently wrong with the traditions of men. Human beings create culture - it is in our nature to do so. Not all of our customs (traditions) are contrary to God’s intentions for us. It is only when we replace His ways with our ways that it causes problems.

If you attend a religious service of any kind, you will always see the traditions of men. Some have a set order. There are customs about where furniture is placed, where different people sit or stand, where the choir or music ministry is located, etc. Any time a community does something more than once, a tradition can be created.

We can incorporate any traditions that do not contradict our faith. For example, we have incorporated the evergreen as a sign of everlasting life (though Christmas trees are usually cut and dont’ go on living). We have the tradition of St. Nicholas, who was said to give anonymous gifts to others.

We have the tradition of many candles, representing the light of Christ, and His light within us. We have many Christmas Carols that honor the reason for the season. As long as these traditions do not detract from our faith, they are not a problem.

Setarcos - Start here:

The Winter Solstice was NOT a Roman Civil holiday until 274 AD. The Emperor Aurelian made December 25th a civil holiday because the Christians were already using it to celebrate the Birth of Jesus and he was trying to detract from the Christian celebration!

None of the Sun Cults used December 25th before then. It appears that the Winter Solstice was originally a CHRISTIAN feast that the pagans tried to paganize,
** not the other way around.**

Can you give any references for this? I think what you are saying about Roman Emperor Aurelian but it seems to me that many ancient archeological sites are structured to celebrate or at least recognize the winter solstice.

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