Though the Bible makes no mention of the birth of Christ, Christians eventually came to settle with December 25th. Other dates such as March 28th were drummed up by an unknown writer of North African origin and later, there were speculations of November 18th and September 11th.
But prior to establishing this date, Rome’s pagan population celebrated a holiday which they called Saturnalia from December 17-25, a period during which, courts were closed and lawlessness reigned as no one could be punished during this period of celebration. Brutal murder, rape, injury to human and damage of property were marked features of its observance.
Christian leaders, who were well aware that these festivities were far removed from the basic tenets of Christianity, were hard put to convert the pagan masses, consequently in the 4th century CE they dedicated December 25th as the date of Jesus’ birth with hopes of metamorphosing the pagan celebration with the sanctity and religious symbolism that is implicit with the birth of Christ.
There are claims that the Roman Catholic Church under Pope Paul II revived the Saturnalia observance for the amusement of Roman citizens and forced Jews to race naked through the streets of the city. An eyewitness account reports, “Before they were to run, the Jews were richly fed, so as to make the race more difficult for them and at the same time more amusing for spectators. They ran… amid Rome’s taunting shrieks and peals of laughter, while the Holy Father stood upon a richly ornamented balcony and laughed heartily. It was not until 1687 that some success was attained along with the eventual introduction of the decorated trees and gift giving.
Christians are unapologetic about the celebration of Christmas today, with the deep recognition of avatar hood in Jesus, spiritual renewal of faith, gratitude, charity, kindness, guidance and council, on the religious based teachings on life through Christ.
We pause today in the midst of our own spirit filled recognition of this, to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with prosperity, the manifestation of deeper dreams and your highest achievements.