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This article is part of the series Christianity from the perspective of Islam

Where does Christmas come from?

Christians believe they celebrate Christmas, because that night Christ was born. However, that Jesus was born that night, is nowhere mentioned in the Bible, and certainly not that one should celebrate the birth of Jesus. In fact, the Bible says otherwise:

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. (Luke 2: 8)

According to the Bible, at the time of the birth of Jesus were shepherds with their flock in the field, something that could not possibly have been the case in winter. It is proven historical fact that shepherds did not watch their flocks in the fields at night later than the end of October. This was usually done in fall. The cold, rainy season usually begins in October, and shepherds - especially in the colder highlands, such as those around Bethlehem - brought their sheep into protected shelters at night. The coldest weather, sometimes accompanied by snow, occurs in December.

Another indication that Jesus' birth was in autumn, is the census of Caesar Augustus, who wanted to collect taxes. It makes much more sense to collect taxes directly after harvest, and to send the people to their places of birth, when the weather is accordingly, and not in the winter.

The ancient Romans held celebrations at the end of the year to honor Saturn, their harvest god, and Mithra, the god of light. Various peoples in northern Europe celebrated similar festivals at the same time. As part of these celebrations, people decorated their homes with greenery, prepared special food, celebrated with songs and gave each other gifts. This custom became gradually part of the Christmas celebration. Adherence to the 25th December as Christian feast dates from the fourth century, due to the assimilation with the Mithra festival, where the birth of the sun was celebrated.

The fact that celebrating Christmas is not mentioned or commanded by God anywhere in the Bible, should be reason enough for Christians to distance themselves from these celebrations. Especially if one knows that nations of different cultural spheres celebrated the 25th December with almost exactly the same rites, such as those found today at Christmas.

In the Bible we read:

Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers that it move not. (Jeremiah 10: 2-4)

Here commands the Bible, not to adopt the custom of nations, mentioning adorning a tree. In fact, the Christmas tree has purely pagan origins:

The fir was used by the Romans during their festival of Saturnalia. Among the Egyptians, palm branches were used to honor Baal-Tamar (Judges 20: 33). Adorning an ever-green tree was custom at the worship of Adonis. Celts, Teutons and Germanic used evergreens like mistletoe for their rituals and festivals of the winter solstice. Decorating a tree was also custom at the Yule festival in Scandinavia.

The mutual gifting was known to the Romans as Strenae. It had been practiced during Saturnalia, where lush dishes were served. Wreaths were known as Celastrales.

One may say that the entire pagan Roman faith was simply merged with the (Pauline) Christianity, where one did not even bother to change the packaging. Only a few names were simply exchanged.

Santa Claus however has Germanic origins. Who cares? Certainly not the retail and wholesale trade.

But good God does:

Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? Even so will I do likewise . What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
(Deut. 12: 29, 32)

If the rites of Christmas correspond to those of the heathens, and we know that Jesus was not born on December 25th, whose birthday is actually celebrated on that day?

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Next chapter:

The sons of God
Horus, Mithras, Dionysis, Jesus (in the altered version of Christianity) and many others share the same characteristics such as birth at the winter solstice, the twelve disciples, the crucifixion and resurrection. The common root of these cults is clearly and openly visible ... in the sky.

Index

Preface

What does the Koran say about Jesus?

Jesus, Son of God?

What became of God's commandments?

Where does Christmas come from?

The Sons of God

Original sin and crucifixion

Human sacrifice

Isaac and Ishmael

Bible & Koran - a revelation of God?