since when is christmass a religions event?

The_Echo

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Christmas was at one point a Christian holiday.

It has since evolved (or devolved, as the case may be) into a commercial holiday, just like Valentine's Day.
 

Irony's Acolyte

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Um, it's been a religious holiday for a while...

I don't know if the holiday always was Christian, but it has been for quite some time last I checked. And it's only been recently that it's started to become a commercial holiday. Which of course means that people of other faiths can celebrate it in a non-Christian way. Although I would say that these people aren't the majority. Most people of other faiths probably have similar holidays during that time that they celebrate instead. I could be wrong though...
 

NapoleonWilson

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Actually,...an ancient symbol for Christianity is a "P" that has a big "x" drawn through the p's stem. As I understand it, that "X" is what legitimizes using the x in "Xmas." It is still basicially saying "Christ-mass" through iconography rather than word.
 

SckizoBoy

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A Hermit's Cave
Vault101 said:
First off, I think it's already been mentioned a heap of times, but Christmas was effectively adapted (from western world origins) from the Pagan festival 'celebrating' (or rather doing some weird crap to ward off bad luck or some such...) the winter solstice. Lots of fire burning and dancing around flames etc. Christ's birth has been conjectured to have been closer to, and in all likelihood, probably after, what is known as the 'Epiphany' (6th Jan).

As for Santa, that was Coca Cola's machination, and I don't begrudge them for it at all. I find it pleasantly quaint and endearing.

Now, I will let the Christian in me spout verbative:

Christmas as the gift-giving celebration of the world is, to me, a load of utter crap, and not even for reasons associated with the commercialisation of the festival (not that I'd even call it a festival). No, I disapprove of the concept of giving gifts for the reason of what those original gifts represented. The gifts given on the titular 'Christmas Day' were: gold; frankincense; & myrhh.

The first was a representation of everything that Christ didn't want people to like: wealth; greed; envy etc. Gold was the common mark of the nobility, the royalty, basically, the rich. It was the common material of tender of the time but only among the wealthy. Conceptually, Christ and his view of material possession was closer to Diogenes of Sinope than any other religious standard (i.e. there is infinitely greater wealth to be found in wisdom than any amount of money you are apt to obtain). Frankincense, or rather 'khunk' as it probably would've been called at the time, was used a lot in probably several practises which Christ would've viewed with indifference if not no little amount of contempt. To the Jews, it was a symbol of life, and given his lessons later on in life, I highly doubt he would've given much stock in burning a stick as the equivalent of 'yay! a boy is born! woohoo!' (you may point at frankincense's restorative capabilities but I doubt even Arab alchemists of the time would've understood them). And myrhh, probably the least bad of the three. The signifier of death, and I'm sure with his Jewish upbringing he would've nodded with bug-eyes if he learnt that he was given something that dead Egyptians are smeared with. Regardless, all three would've been associated with everything Christ wished to remove from society: capitalism; social and financial elitism etc.

And the kicker of all this was that the Magi were expecting a royal child, one who would become king, hence the princely gifts. But consider that Christ would spend his definitive final three years effectively condemning the wealthy and noble classes, I doubt very much that he would look upon his first 'Christmas/birthday presents' with any great liking. And this begs the question: just what happened to those gifts? Probably, and all due respect to Joseph, but he probably used the gold to invest in his carpenter's shop and sold most of the frankincense and myrhh (like a good Jewish businessman), I mean, come on, a working class Judean had no place/right (in the eyes of the Romans and wealthier Judeans) to possess such luxuries.

So, what do I think should happen to Christmas? Just make it a day when everyone can get drunk, eat a lot and generally be merry (don't think God/Christ would have any problem with that, Christ attended many a party where the wine was flowing freely, so he's hardly going to complain), but it's gotten to the point where we no longer remember why gifts are exchanged. Christ received that day and I don't think he was in much position to give being a couple hours old at most, but it has only perpetuated because we as a society (even Christians, deluded bunch of dicks that a lot of us are) do not realise what we are giving for.

Instead, I am a great believer in exchanging Easter gifts. If Christians really understood the meaning of 'giving' they'd agree. When we as people give to charitable organisations, our friends, our family, our colleagues, we give something to mankind and there is genuine intent to benefit, make happy or something similar there, someone else. Christ died for absolution... we won't be able to do the same thing... ever, but at least we'd be doing some small thing to propagate the representation of that gift. And it really becomes about the giving, not the receiving.

And for those who've studied Christian theological history, what significance would Christmas have, if Easter never happened? Huh?

Now, excuse me while I prepare my flame shield.
 

Lunar Templar

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for about 4+ thousand years or so.

its current incarnation though is about the birth (gift giving and all) of Jesus. not sure where the tree fits in though >.>

but its ALWAYS been a religions event, technically, also, being 'christian' has nothing to do with celebrating the holiday, since the real over riding theme is friends, family and getting together, not getting stuff.


give us a hard one now

like what a fucking RABBIT has to do with the death and resurrection of christ
 

Dfskelleton

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Christmas is a Christian holiday (Christ-mas), but anyone who thinks that non-Christians shouldn't be able to celebrate it has no Christmas spirit.
Christmas is fun, and saying "Nobody else can have fun but us!" is a very non-Christian attitude.
 

DanielBrown

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In Sweden Christmas is the time of year where the family gathers around the television to watch Donald Duck cartoons.
Not shitting you. That's what we all do every year.

I miss Arne Weise.
 

Fusionxl

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Actually, Jesus' birthday is somewhere in June. They just moved the date to the 25th of December to make it easier for pagan people to replace their winter solstice with it.
 
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it has lots of different religious meanings and traditions involved in it, not just christian, but just because you aren't of that specific faith, i don't think that means you can't celebrate it?

*giving/recieving gifts
*coming together with family
*wrapping up the year
*joy and lots of awesome christmas cookies

what's not to love?

back in the day i went to lots of my jewish friends bar mitzvah's, and most of us weren't jewish, but that didn't mean we couldn't be respectful and celebrate it. same principle applies here.
 

meepop

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ChupathingyX said:
Yes, Christmas is in fact a Christian holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Ever wondered why it's called "Christmas"?

Giving presents to each other is just something that has developed over time.
Yes, it developed from the mythology of the Norse god Odin bestowing prosperity on those that had been particularly welcoming that year, but this was obviously not for children. It's a religious event because of the celebration of the "birth of Jesus" even though it's not until March. The date was taken because the only day for Romans to celebrate without abandon was December 25th, the Winter Solstice.

Here's something a bit off-topic that I think I need explained: Why is the phrase "Oh my God!" used by Atheists, who clearly don't believe that there even is a God, or by people in public schools or other places in general, but don't allow praying? You're calling out for something you don't believe in, or that isn't accepted. My brain can't comprehend this. Can someone explain?
 

aei_haruko

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wel... it USED to be a christian holiday, yes the date was taken from pagens, but in the general theme it was a christian holiday. nowadays its a matirialistic orgy. But I celebrate just the spirit of the season and try to be a good guy to folks, maybe help around with folks and give gifts
 

Sethzard

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Christmas happens when it did because it was meant to make the transition from the Sattenalia to Christmas. The giving of gifts and setting up of trees is entirely commercial therefore the only bit about Christmas which is truly religious is the praying.
 

chowderface

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lithium.jelly said:
Christmas, under a variety of names, has been a religious event for at least four thousand years, probably longer. Christianity is a relative newcomer to the whole midwinter feast/celebration idea.
As a matter of fact, what Christmas theoretically celebrates isn't even true; Jesus was born in the spring sometime (and he was probably around two by the time the wise men got there). You see, once upon a time Christians knew that you attract more people with honey than with vinegar*, and knew the value of buddying up to folks. So when the pagans were talking about their upcoming solstice feast, the Christians said "well fancy that! We have one coming up too! Why not get together and make the feast all the bigger?" Then they just kind of insinuated the religion into it, and before too long the pagan parts were out.

*Yeah, I know, but it turns out you actually attract more flies with vinegar.
 

Zyxzy

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Denamic said:
gummibear76 said:
Denamic said:
Besides, there is actually a passage in the bible that explicitly forbids dressing up trees in celebration.
Never encountered that one... Educate me.

OT: The way I heard it, it was originally a pagan holiday, but the Christians moved Christmas to the 25th either to compete with it, or so that Christians would have the opportunity to celebrate without going against their beliefs.
It's under Jeremiah 10
1 Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:
2 thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.
etc.
http://www.bartleby.com/108/24/10.html
Yes, because we festoon our trees out of worship to it, not simply to be decorative.
 

walrusaurus

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Of course "Christmas" is a religious holiday. Its right there in the name. Is it a unique holiday? Of course not. Mankind has held celebrations at the winter solstice for millennia, prior to the birth of christ. Much as christianity supplanted/subverted previous dominant solstice traditions with christmas, modern secularism is supplanting Christmas with X-mas. X-mas is the celebration of family and friendship through gift giving and communion with one another, and also protecting oneself from Robot-Santa.
 

aprildog18

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thaluikhain said:
There are moves to bring it "back" to Christianity, people saying that you shouldn't call it Xmas because the a cross shaped letter couldn't have anything to do with Jesus etc

But, eh, it's a public holiday whatever your beliefs are. Except for police, every year they tell us that this year there will be more police on duty than ever.
Well those people must be filled with herp de derp.

From wiki: "X" comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Χριστός, translated as "Christ"
 

walrusaurus

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meepop said:
Here's something a bit off-topic that I think I need explained: Why is the phrase "Oh my God!" used by Atheists, who clearly don't believe that there even is a God, or by people in public schools or other places in general, but don't allow praying? You're calling out for something you don't believe in, or that isn't accepted. My brain can't comprehend this. Can someone explain?
For the same reason that when someone screws something up and they say "Fuck me" they aren't literally requesting for someone to have sex with them. Its a colloquialism. Vulgarity is in intent, not the words themselves. Thats why I am so irritated by people who say 'o dang' or 'shoot.' Your still saying 'damn it' and 'shit.' Just because the words you said vibrate on a slightly different frequency in my ears, doesn't make them less vulgar. Your still swearing, just in a profoundly stupid way.

If i actually meant the words literally i would say 'O your god.' But I don't, so I use the culturally normal expletive.

edit: I love futurama. Its so topical!
 

walrusaurus

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aprildog18 said:
thaluikhain said:
There are moves to bring it "back" to Christianity, people saying that you shouldn't call it Xmas because the a cross shaped letter couldn't have anything to do with Jesus etc

But, eh, it's a public holiday whatever your beliefs are. Except for police, every year they tell us that this year there will be more police on duty than ever.
Well those people must be filled with herp de derp.

From wiki: "X" comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Χριστός, translated as "Christ"
It also has the convenient symbolism of being the default variable in mathematics. Thus indicating a 'mass' (observance) of a variable principle/personhood.
 

Arkynomicon

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Don't really care about the religious importance of the holiday and just think it is a good excuse for family to get together, eat good food, share presents and just hang out a bit.

Not everything needs to be so complicated.