By: Prerana Aggarwal
1. Early Christians did not celebrate Christ's birth. However, by the 4th century, the Western Christian Church set the date of Christmas at December 25 to coincide with existing pagan midwinter festivals.
1. The date of December 25 may also have been chosen to match a Jewish holiday, Hanukkah, which falls in late December some years. Hanukkah celebrates dedicating the temple in Jerusalem.
There are mentions of December 25 as a possible date for Jesus' birth by Hippolytus of Rome (170-240) and John Chrysostom (349-407), important early Christian figures.
1. The first recorded observance of December 25th as the official feast day celebrating Christ's birth was in 354 AD in Rome, which set the standard date for future Catholic observances and later most Protestant celebrations.
1. Fixing December 25th as the standard date also resolved numerous calendar issues in early Christianity over when to properly commemorate Jesus' birth, allowing unity rather than disparate local choices.
1. As Christianity spread throughout Europe so did the tradition of Christmas on December 25th, celebrated by Roman Catholics and Protestants and becoming entrenched over time.