Pentecost (today) is the last day of our Spring Campaign. Please be generous.
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

‘How December 25 Became Christmas’

Catholic World News - December 12, 2012

Writing for the website of the Biblical Archaeology Society, Andrew McGowan, president of Trinity College at the University of Melbourne, discounts the theory that Christmas is celebrated on December 25 because a pagan Roman holiday was celebrated around that time.

Instead, McGowan notes that some fourth- and fifth-century writers, including St. Augustine, believed that Christ was both conceived and crucified on March 25, and thus Christmas was celebrated on December 25.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Defender - Dec. 12, 2012 2:10 PM ET USA

    Though the article does not mention it, this is obviously part of the Golden Legend (Bishop de Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa, 1275)- I taught this to 8th graders. As the Annunciation occurred on March 25, it only makes sense that Christmas happened 9 months later on December 25. Also on March 25 in different years, of course: Adam was created; Cain slew Abel; Melchisdech's offering in the presence of Abraham; Abraham offered Isaac; John the Baptist was beheaded; and Jesus was crucified.

Matching Campaign
Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Urgent! We need extra financial support between now and May 24th. May 22
What's wrong with these pictures? May 22
What can we learn from the dignity of military services? May 22
Was Lewis “basically Catholic”? May 21
Reading The Diary of a Country Priest: Scandal May 20

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days