10 Things You Didn’t Know About The First Christmas
You may even have some family Christmas Eve traditions of your own that you look forward to year after year. I do think it would be fun in this particular hunt to have the final destination be the Christmas tree, but it is totally up to you! The symbol of the Swastika and its 12,year-old history. The ass on which Balaam rode in the Reims mystery won for the feast the title Festum Asinorum Ducange , op. Single women date for free! Hymns and Christmas offices abound in instances; the texts are well arranged by Cumont op.
The Words of God
Ruins of the Temple of Saturn eight columns to the far right. Prudentius, in the fourth century, is the first and in that century alone to hymn the Nativity, for the "Vox clara" hymn for Lauds in Advent and "Christe Redemptor" Vespers and Matins of Christmas cannot be assigned to Ambrose. The three wise men are a staple in almost every Nativity scene, each carrying a gift for the newborn king. But were there really only three of them? It was a great shame in the Middle East to refuse hospitality to someone in need.
Though the sermon abounds in references appropriate to the Epiphany the marriage at Cana, the multiplication of loaves, etc. Usener, indeed, argues p. In the West the Council of Saragossa still ignores 25 December see can.
Pope Siricius , writing in P. Unless there were two visits, Vienne in A. By the time of Jerome and Augustine , the December feast is established, though the latter Epp. From the fourth century every Western calendar assigns it to 25 December. At Rome , then, the Nativity was celebrated on 25 December before ; in the East, at Constantinople, not before , unless with Erbes, and against Gregory , we recognize it there in Hence, almost universally has it been concluded that the new date reached the East from Rome by way of the Bosphorus during the great anti-Arian revival, and by means of the orthodox champions.
The earlier hypothesis still seems preferable. Origin of date The gospels Concerning the date of Christ's birth the Gospels give no help; upon their data contradictory arguments are based. The census would have been impossible in winter: Again, in winter it must have been; then only field labour was suspended. But Rome was not thus considerate. Authorities moreover differ as to whether shepherds could or would keep flocks exposed during the nights of the rainy season.
Zachary's temple service Arguments based on Zachary's temple ministry are unreliable, though the calculations of antiquity see above have been revived in yet more complicated form, e. The twenty-four classes of Jewish priests , it is urged, served each a week in the Temple; Zachary was in the eighth class, Abia. The Temple was destroyed 9 Ab, A.
From these untrustworthy data, assuming that Christ was born A. Analogy to Old Testament festivals It seems impossible, on analogy of the relation of Passover and Pentecost to Easter and Whitsuntide , to connect the Nativity with the feast of Tabernacles, as did, e. Natalis Invicti The well-known solar feast, however, of Natalis Invicti, celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date.
For the history of the solar cult, its position in the Roman Empire, and syncretism with Mithraism , see Cumont's epoch-making "Textes et Monuments" etc. Mommsen Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, 1 2 , p. Filippo del Torre in first saw its importance; it is marked, as has been said, without addition in Philocalus' Calendar.
It would be impossible here even to outline the history of solar symbolism and language as applied to God , the Messiah , and Christ in Jewish or Christian canonical, patristic, or devotional works. Hymns and Christmas offices abound in instances; the texts are well arranged by Cumont op.
The earliest rapprochement of the births of Christ and the sun is in Cyprian, "De pasch. Christ should be born. Sed et Invicti Natalem appelant. Quis utique tam invictus nisi dominus noster? Who indeed is so unconquered as Our Lord. Or, if they say that it is the birthday of the Sun, He is the Sun of Justice. Pope Leo I Serm. Sun-worship has bequeathed features to modern popular worship in Armenia , where Christians had once temporarily and externally conformed to the cult of the material sun Cumont, op.
But even should a deliberate and legitimate "baptism" of a pagan feast be seen here no more than the transference of the date need be supposed. The "mountain-birth" of Mithra and Christ's in the "grotto" have nothing in common: Mithra's adoring shepherds Cumont, op. Other theories of pagan origin The origin of Christmas should not be sought in the Saturnalia December nor even in the midnight holy birth at Eleusis see J. The reckoning, moreover, is wholly in keeping with the arguments based on number and astronomy and "convenience", then so popular.
Unfortunately, there is no contemporary evidence for the celebration in the fourth century of Christ's conception on 25 March.
Conclusion The present writer in inclined to think that, be the origin of the feast in East or West, and though the abundance of analogous midwinter festivals may indefinitely have helped the choice of the December date, the same instinct which set Natalis Invicti at the winter solstice will have sufficed, apart from deliberate adaptation or curious calculation, to set the Christian feast there too.
Liturgy and custom The calendar The fixing of this date fixed those too of Circumcision and Presentation ; of Expectation and, perhaps, Annunciation B. Till the tenth century Christmas counted, in papal reckoning, as the beginning of the ecclesiastical year, as it still does in Bulls ; Boniface VIII restored temporarily this usage, to which Germany held longest. Popular merry-making Codex Theod. XV, 5,5 forbids, in , circus games on 25 December; though not till Codex Just.
The Second Council of Tours can. Popular merry-making, however, so increased that the "Laws of King Cnut", fabricated c. The three Masses The Gelasian and Gregorian Sacramentaries give three Masses to this feast, and these, with a special and sublime martyrology , and dispensation , if necessary , from abstinence, still mark our usage. These Masses, at midnight, dawn, and in die , were mystically connected with aboriginal, Judaic, and Christian dispensations , or as by St.
The Gloria was at first sung only in the first Mass of this day. The historical origin of this triple Mass is probably as follows cf. The second Mass was celebrated by the pope in the "chapel royal" of the Byzantine Court officials on the Palatine, i.
The second Mass would therefore be a papal compliment to the imperial church on its patronal feast. Ruins of the Temple of Saturn eight columns to the far right.
Saturn, once the principal deity of the Italians, was the god of time, agriculture and things bountiful. He reigned over the Golden Age, an era of peace, happiness and plenty. Indeed, the pleasures associated with the Golden Age were perhaps re-enacted in the Saturnalia itself.
The Saturnalia celebrated the god in his role as overseer of a season of anxiety. Winters were harsh and food sometimes scarce. And as the days became shorter and the earth symbolically died, the seasonal time needed to be commemorated and the god kept happy. With revelries and hijinks, feasting and the cessation of formal business, the Romans looked forward to the coming of the light of the sun.
With the return of spring, there would be renewed fertility. Crops would grow and farm animals would give birth, providing another year of bounty and full bellies. As part of the revelries, the Romans exchanged gifts: These were exchanged during or after a feast, served by the head of the household and perhaps his children while the slaves enjoyed their time off.
But, as Macey knows, Saturn had a shadowy side and, like many Roman deities, there were skeletons in his closet! Then again, some kids find Santa pretty scary. As television was not yet invented, and the internet light years away, the poor old Romans had to occupy their Saturnalian leisure time with human interaction. Drinking, the modern scourge of the holiday season, was also a feature of the Saturnalia.
While some of us take offence at the barbed comments at Christmas get-togethers, the Romans simply regarded them as a ritualised part of the upside-down world of the silly season. Besides the Saturnalia, there was another important Roman festival with influential ties to Christmas: The Calendar of Philocalus is therefore cited by some scholars as potential evidence for the coalescence of the festival of the Unconquered Sun with the celebration of the birth of Christ. By the end of the late Roman period, Christmas was part of the Christian calendar.
The pagan festivals may have officially disappeared but traces of the old ways remained. The Saturnalia was a festival and worship of the Birth of the Sun. Baal is the sun god. In ancient Egypt he was the 36th highest god of the zodiac. He was symbolized as the magic square of 36 which add us up to a total of However I think it would not be wrong to say that what we celebrate now is actually Geol pronounced Yule since there is only a faint nod these days towards anything to do with a birth in Bethlehem.
From the Norsemen we get the gifts down the chimney idea, as Odin Allfather was said to gallop through the sky on his eight legged horse Sleipnir at this time of the year. Children would put hay for Sleipnir in their boots and stand them by the hearth, and Odin would drop gifts through the smoke holes of the dwellings. Later, Bishop San Nichlaus became, because of his secret generosity, associated with this aerial gift giving and his name transmogrified into Santa Claus.
There is very little new under the sun. Push the yule log into the fire, please, and pass the mead! Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.
By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. With so many ideas from gifts to games, surely you will find several new activities for your Christmas Eve at home with your family!
It is always fun, too, when you discover something your family loves so much you continue the tradition year after year! Some of my favorite memories growing up are the Christmas Eve Traditions we had over the years and many of them I am continuing now with my own family.
In search of unique as well as classic Christmas Eve traditions, we sought suggestions from our fellow Divas and scoured the internet for fabulous Christmas Eve traditions that we ourselves are excited to try! We have so many Christmas traditions to share ahem, 50 ideas! Christmas Eve Gift Ideas. Many families have a Christmas Eve tradition to open at least one special gift.
Often these gifts include something that the family can use or play that evening! Check out these ideas: Make sure you snap a few pictures of everyone in their matching attire! This post has of our favorite games for families. Capturing the Magic of Santa. Christmas Eve is the night Santa sets out to deliver his gifts to the children. PLUS, try a fun new recipe when leaving cookies for Santa. Upload a photo of your Christmas tree and family room and they will add Santa to your picture.
There is a small fee, but how cool would this be? You can see him feed Rudolf and more! We always had a neighbor wear a Santa suit and stop by our house before we left to deliver presents. You have the family all gathered together and now what? There are so many fun activities to do with your family and here are just a few: This fun post adds fun printables to this tradition including awards, decorating templates and more!
Imsges: our first christmas dating
I had no ideal there were so many beautiful women in town!
Unfortunately, there is no contemporary evidence for the celebration in the fourth century of Christ's conception on 25 March. The Big Short hits UK cinemas:
I have now been a member for about six months and have loved every bit of it. She reiterated this in her iPad memoir: This post has 45 storybooks with links that all center around Our first christmas dating and the true meaning of Christmas. Were the Chalki manuscript of Hippolytus genuine, evidence for the December feast would exist as early our first christmas dating c. I am a former theatre teacher who now stays at home with a handsome baby boy. A painting in the chrisfmas of Saints Peter and Marcellinus displays smart dating rules wise men, while one in the cemetery of Domitilla shows four. There is a small fee, but how cool would this be?
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