THE ORIGIN OF CHRISTMAS
– Kumaru Nadesan
The whole world is gearing up for celebrating Christmas on 25th December as usual with every year. This festival is celebrated not only by Christians, but by non-Christians too, around the globe with much fanfare. The season will witness festive glamour with residential apartments, business houses, hotels and malls decorated with flags and festoons, Christmas trees decked with five pointed stars, animated multi-color lamps etc, etc. ‘Crib’ with statues of Jesus, Mary and Joseph recreating Palestine hamlet will be an added attraction to the occasion. Santa clause would distribute gifts and sweets. Special meals and meats, besides drinking, dancing making merriment through the night will be a common sight.
Was Jesus born on the 25th December?
Many Christians and non-Christians alike have the wrong notion that the Lord Jesus was born on the 25th December. The Holy Bible does not give even a hint about the precise time and day of the birth of our Lord. The angelic communication of the Lord’s birth to the shepherds of Bethlehem came as they were feeding their flocks by night in the open fields. The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, I bring you good News of great joy that will be for all the humanity. Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger”. December to February are extremely cold months in Palestine. And it was impossible for the shepherds to keep their flocks in the open fields in the extreme cold climate. Besides, our Lord’s words, “pray that your flight be not in the winter” lends credence to this argument that the Lord Jesus was born not on 25th Dec. If the winter was so bad a time to flee to safety, it would never be fit time for shepherds to lie in the open fields.
How 25th December did come to be associated with the birth day of our Lord?
The date as well as the customs and practices associated with Christmas have its origin in pagan religious practices borrowed from legend and tradition that existed long before the birth of Christ. In pre-Christian era, a festival was celebrated among the heathen, at that precise time of the year, in honor of the birth of the son of the Babylonian queen of heaven. And with a view to make it acceptable to the heathen, and to accelerate adherents of Christianity, the same festival was adopted by the Roman Church with a label of Christ. December 25th is also associated with Saturnalia a pagan harvest festival that marked the winter solstice—the return of the sun—and honored Saturn. Saturnalia is characterized by week long period of lawlessness celebrated from December 17-25. Roman law gave full freedom to indulge in vices and wickedness with absolute impunity for any offence during the weeklong celebrations.
Emperor Constantine & Paganism:
Emperor Constantine proclaimed Christianity as the official religion to bring about internal peace within the Roman Empire. He initiated mass conversion of the pagans by baptizing them into the Roman Church and blended paganism and Christianity as a single religious system. The result was disastrous. The pagan Babylonian mystery with its idolatrous practices and rituals found its way into the Roman Church by beginning in 313 A.D. The unregenerate pagans flocked into the Roman Catholic places of worship, for worshiping their favorite deities, though under different names- whether they worshiped “Isis and Horus”, the Egyptian goddess mother and her child or under the name, “Virgin Mary” and the “Infant Jesus”. It did not matter to them.
The blasphemous “Christ’s Mass” abbreviated as “Christ-mas” or “Christmas” is a special mass performed by the Catholic priest, who by representing Christ, imitates to offer as a sacrifice each time the mass is performed, contrary to the teachings of our Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ came into this world to offer Himself on the cross as a sacrifice for the sin of the world. Those who trust in the risen and living Savior and confess their sins to Him will receive pardon and life eternal. Christ has “finished” the redemptive work and nothing more is needed to be added.
Long before the Christian era, the heathen Anglo-Saxons called the 25th of December “Yule day”. “Yule” is a Chaldean word, which means “infant.” “Yule day” thus means, “infant day” – the day they celebrated as the birth of “Tammuz” (the sun-god) their “false messiah”. The night before “Yule day” was called “Mother night” not called after Mary, the mother of our Lord, but after Semiramis (Nimrod’s wife). “Mother night” was observed centuries before the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Today it is called “Christmas Eve.” It is obviously the “infant’s day” or “Tammuz day” is being celebrated as the birthday of Christ.
The Yule log was considered by the ancient Celts as a sacred log to be used in their religious festivals during the winter solstice; the fire promises of good luck and long life. Each year’s Yule log had to be selected in the forest on Christmas Eve for the fulfillment of the superstitious beliefs associated with it. In Babylonian paganism, the log placed in the fireplace represented the dead Nimrod, and the tree which appeared the next morning (which today is called the “Christmas tree”) was Nimrod reincarnated in his new son (sun), Tammuz. Ezekiel 18:13-14 records a picture of the women of Israel “weeping for Tammuz.” (god of fire). The Babylonians called him Tammuz (as Nimrod, resurrected in the person of his son).
Nativity Scenes & Idolatry:
Another attraction of the Christmas Eve is the replicas of the Nativity scenes called “crib’. In this scene, wooden figures of Mary, Joseph, the infant jesus, sheep, and shepherds are placed and copiously illuminated in giving an impressive spectacle where the votaries of Rome accompanied by the priest bows down and worships. This tradition is very popular in many parts of the world even unto this day, although the Sacred Scriptures expressly forbids it. “Thou not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath…, Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God…”Exodus 20:4-5.
For centuries evergreen trees have symbolized immortality, fertility, sexual potency, and reproduction, and were often brought into homes during winter as magic symbols of fortune and hope for a promising New Year. The Christmas tree is decked with five pointed stars, which was a sacred symbol of Nimrod. The Chaldean astrologers depended on this five pointed star for astrological guidance. Thus the Christmas customs and rituals point to something which is other than that of the birth of the Savior of mankind.
The concept of “Santa Claus” too had its pagan origin. “Santa” was a common name for Nimrod throughout Asia Minor. This was said to be the same fire god who came down the chimneys of the ancient pagans, who burned and ate infants in human sacrifice. Santa Claus has become one of the most popular and widely accepted myths subtly brought into the holy faith of Christianity. This folklore personage entertains onlookers and blinds them with his appearance and successfully takes the attention away from God our Savior. The Santa doctrine advocates that God can be pleased with “good works”. It also teaches that no matter how evil man is, he will still be rewarded by God. Santa Claus has thus become a symbol and focal point of Christmas displacing effectively the Lord Jesus Christ in the affections of mankind and preparing them to everlasting torments in hell!
We do not find any records about the existence of Christmas celebrations in the historical book of the Acts of apostles, which records the history of the early church after the ascension of our risen Savior. For the first 300 years of the history of the early Church, Christmas was not celebrated, commemorated, or observed, neither by the apostles nor by the apostolic church. What the early church observed, remembered and celebrated was the “Lord’s death: and not His birth”. To them, the Lord Jesus Christ was no longer, “a babe laid in the manger”, but a risen and exalted Christ, who will come again to the earth any day, any time. Christmas is nothing but the celebration of the festival of Saturnalia and the birthday of Mithras and its pagan counterparts celebrated in Babylon in the pre-Christian era. The revelry and the merriment with which the festival is celebrated, the rituals and the customs observed prove its origin beyond doubt that Christmas festival is nothing but a pagan festival under the garb of the name of “Christ”, robbing men of salvation. If we had been deceived, oh! Let us make haste and come out of the deceits of Rome and confess the Lord Jesus right now and be saved!
1. The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop , Loizeaux Brothers, Neptune, New Jersey,
1959,Chapter III, Festivals; Secton I. Christmas and Lady day pp.91-103.
2. The True Origin of Christmas by David C. Pack (article)
3. Christmas: Its origin & meaning by Dr. Scott Johnson, Providence Baptist Ministries
4. When was Jesus Born by Lawrence Kelemen.
5. The Catholic encyclopedia.
For any clarification on this article please write to the author. Mr. Kumaru Nadasen. Email ID: email@example.com