Glad you put it on. Welcome to the oldest form of marketing known to man. History and dedicated students in religious studies may know this, but in the average person, we remain ignorant. The Bible does not actually mention the birth date of Jesus Christ, but for some reason people celebrate it every year on December 25th for over two millennia. Why; This question has prompted important religious and cultural debates over time.
It all started with the early Europeans and the Winter Solstice
Centuries before Jesus came to power, the early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter, according to History.com.
Many people were happy in the winter solstice, when the worst of the winter was behind them and they could look forward to longer days and prolonged hours of sunlight.
In Scandinavia the Norwegian celebrated the Yule (yes similar to the Yule Ball by Harry Potter and the Cup of Fire) from December 21, the winter solstice until January. In recognition of the return of the sun, fathers and sons would bring home large logs, which would be set on fire. People will celebrate until the log is burned, which could take up to 12 days.
In Germany, people honored the pagan god Oden during the mid-winter holidays.
If you’ve ever seen the CW Supernatural series, you know that Pagan Gods can be the most scary creatures, killing and scaring shit out of kids around.
While this is of course “haunted”, the feeling of fear was still widespread, especially among Germans. They were terrified of Oden as they believed he made night flights into the sky to observe his people, and then decide who would prosper or perish. For this reason, many have chosen to remain indoors.
In Rome, the winters were not as harsh as the north. But one party, Saturnalia, which celebrates Saturn, the god of agriculture, celebrated the week leading up to the winter solstice and continued for a whole month.
At the same time, the Romans also observed Juvenalia, a feast for the children of Rome.
Pope Julius I and the celebration of Jesus Christ
As time progressed and the early years of Christianity continued to grow, so did the story of the birth of Jesus. In the fourth century, Church officials refused to recognize Jesus’ birth as a holiday. Finally Pope Julius I chose to recognize December 25 as his date of birth, maintaining the tradition of observing special circumstances around the winter solstice. However, many believe that the church chose this date in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the Saturnalia pagan festival.
Keeping Christmas at the same time as man from these traditional winter solstice festivals, church leaders have increased the chances that Christmas has been popularly embraced.
Welcome to the older form of marketing designed to take advantage of similar winter solstice festivals. Born out of his presence, new traditions have come about how Christmas should be observed, as church officials have never recognized how to properly attend the holidays.
Related: Merry Christmas from the Universe: How to Watch the Last Solar Eclipse Tonight
This has led to popular traditions, such as the classic holiday story of the author of Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. This year, FX released a much darker twist on classical history that really takes into account many of today’s hottest issues.