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The pagan origins of Christmas customs

 Gift box under a Christmas tree

As millions around the world make merry during Christmas, few know that they will be celebrating an event deeply steeped in paganism.

While December 25 is a day set aside to celebrate the day Jesus is supposed to have been born, the Bible, which is the only book outlining Christian customs, is silent about the day he was born, only outlining events that surrounded his birth.

Jesus was born at a time when the then ruling Romans class had ordered Judean subjects to present themselves in Bethlehem for registration, akin to our national census.

This may explain why all lodging places were full forcing Jesus’ mother to give birth in a manger. The Bible also says shepherds were out with their flocks at night when they received a message about the child’s birth, an unlikely scenario in the winter month of December when flocks would be sheltering. 

Religious researchers have used these very facts to dispute about December 25 being Jesus’ birthday.

The online Biblical Archeology states: “celebrations of Jesus’ Nativity are not mentioned in the Gospels or Acts; the date is not given, not even the time of year. The biblical reference to shepherds tending their flocks at night when they hear the news of Jesus’ birth might suggest the spring lambing season. In the cold month of December, on the other hand, sheep might well have been corralled.”

In addition, jw.org quotes The Encyclopedia Americana saying: “Saturnalia, a Roman feast celebrated in mid-December, provided the model for many of the merry-making customs of Christmas. From this celebration, for example, were derived the elaborate feasting, the giving of gifts, and the burning of candles.” 

What is not in doubt is the global acceptance of Christmas across the entire religious spectrum and the overall commercialisation of the day around the world with almost brands using the day to boost flagging sales. 

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