As we countdown the days until Christmas (5 more!), we thought we take some time to share with you some random facts about Christmas. Today’s facts are brought to you by the History Channel:
For example, did you know that the first recorded mention of Christmas was in 336AD? Prior to that the Epiphany (the celebration of the arrival of the Magi) on January 6th and Easter (the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus) were the focus of Christian celebrations.
In fact, church officials were the ones who selected the date of December 25th to coincide with the existing pagan holidays celebrating Saturn, the Roman God of Agriculture, and Mithra, the Persian God of Light. Church officials thought it would be “easier to convince Rome’s pagan subjects to accept Christianity as the empire’s official religion.”
As time went on, the celebration of Christmas and the birth of Jesus spread through most of the Western world, except in part of colonial Puritan New England, where its observance was banned “because they viewed its traditions—the offering of gifts and decorating trees, for example—as linked to paganism. In the early days of the United States, celebrating Christmas was considered a British custom and fell out of style following the American Revolution.” In fact, at one point anyone in Massachusetts caught celebrating Christmas was fined 5 Shillings! Christmas in America did not became a federal holiday until 1870.
Below is a video from the History Channel, if you’d like to learn more.
Stay well—and live a good life!
Philip & Marilyn Langner