Each of the Four Gospels provides detailed information about the time of Jesus’ death.
According to John, Jesus is crucified just as the Passover lambs are being sacrificed.
The earliest mention of December 25 as Jesus’ birthday comes from a mid-fourth-century Roman almanac that lists the death dates of various Christian bishops and martyrs.
Its observance could even be implied in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 5:7–8: “Our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed.
Therefore let us celebrate the festival…”); it was certainly a distinctively Christian feast by the mid-second century C. But over time, Jesus’ origins would become of increasing concern.
In the East, January 6 was at first not associated with the magi alone, but with the Christmas story as a whole.
So, almost 300 years after Jesus was born, we finally find people observing his birth in mid-winter.
A blanket of snow covers the little town of Bethlehem, in Pieter Bruegel’s oil painting from 1566.
Although Jesus’ birth is celebrated every year on December 25, Luke and the other gospel writers offer no hint about the specific time of year he was born.
Jesus is crucified the next morning—still, the 15th.
Easter, a much earlier development than Christmas, was simply the gradual Christian reinterpretation of Passover in terms of Jesus’ Passion.
The most loudly touted theory about the origins of the Christmas date(s) is that it was borrowed from pagan celebrations.
The Romans had their mid-winter Saturnalia festival in late December; barbarian peoples of northern and western Europe kept holidays at similar times. E., the Roman emperor Aurelian established a feast of the birth of Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun), on December 25.
On December 25, Christians around the world will gather to celebrate Jesus’ birth.