10 – All I want for Christmas …
… is you.
That’s what Mariah Carey uses to sing.
Most people would say: “All Christmas is about is Jesus.”
Or the birth of Jesus.
Did it really happen at this time of the year?
In former times people were more interested in the day of death, as they used to be for any martyr.
But since the 2nd century they got more and more interested in the birthday of Jesus.
When checking the gospels you will find out that it isn’t mentioned.
Yes there is the story with the Star of Bethlehem. But don’t forget, the gospels have been written long time after the death of Jesus.
So the governments in the 2nd and 3rd century decided to fix the date on December 25.
No it was not the church, because the institution which we all know as church and which has been very powerful during the middle age and is still very powerful, didn’t exist at that time.
It was a group of believers, this small but growing group of early Christians. But they haven’t become a powerful organization yet.
Actually they had been chased and punished for being Christians, for not believing in the local Gods of the Roman Empire.
And it wasn’t very long ago that Emperor Constantine adopted the Christian faith and establishing this faith as a state religion.
And now they fixed the date for the birthday of Jesus for December 25th.
This was very convenient, many so called pagan religion celebrated a religious festival at that time.
Remember the Celts. They used to celebrate Winter solstice, which is December 21st. That’s the darkest day of the year, and after that day the light comes back to our world.
Celebrating Solstice on December 21st is because of our calendar, which is called the “Gregorian Calendar”.
According to the “Julian Calendar” – the calendar of Constantine – , which was launched by the famous Julius Caesar, Winter solstice was celebrated on December 25th.
Other feast have been celebrated too at this time of the year.
- birth of Sol Invictus, a sun cult established in the late 3rd century.
- birth of Mithras, the one with the golden hand.
Interestingly the presumed birth of Jesus is connected with former festivals of light.
Or as the church says: “Jesus is the light of the world”.
So they picked up people again where they used to be.
Clever marketing strategy!
So what is Christmas about? A question everybody has to answer for herself.
To me it is about love, family and light – so about our hearts.