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Christmas Traditions-Where did we get the traditions of Christmas from?

Free gifts, tons of parties, good will and merriment abound, festive lights decorating everything... It's a beautiful holiday. But where did all those Christmas traditions come from? Who came up with the idea to string lights on almost everything? Why do we give presents? Why do we chop down Christmas trees?

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  1. Don't you know anything...?! It all started when Jesus was born in a manger and 3 wise men brought him gifts.! DUHHH. You should look into it... Bout time you find out yer self.
  2. pagan's December 25 was chosen because of its being the day for the pagan celebration of “the birth of the Unconquered Sun,” known as the Brumalia in the Roman Empire. This followed the week-long festival of the Saturnalia (December 17-24) at the time of the winter solstice. At this time of year the daylight period begins to get longer. The pagan Romans believed that the sun-god, Mithras, was conquering the darkness and gloom of winter. According to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, this second point of view “remains the most plausible explanation for the dating of Christmas.” Take a lesson from what happened to Catholics in Japan during the shogun era. When suppression of Catholicism began in 1614, some 300,000 Japanese Catholics had three choices: become martyrs, abandon their faith, or go underground. The ones who went underground were called hidden Christians. To camouflage their faith, they conformed to various Buddhist and Shinto customs. In their liturgy, they used Maria Kannon, which was Mary disguised as a Buddhist bodhisattva in the form of a mother holding a child. Their festivals mixed Buddhism, Catholicism, and folk religion. However, when forced to attend Buddhist funerals, they chanted Christian prayers and performed modoshi, a ceremony to nullify the Buddhist service. What has become of those “Christians”? “As far as the majority of the Kirishitans [Christians] were concerned,” explains the book The Hidden Christians, “a religious attachment grew in them making it difficult to abandon the worship of Shinto and Buddhist gods.” When the ban was lifted and Catholic missionaries returned to Japan, the majority of those “hidden Christians” clung to their type of fusion religion. However, could the Catholic Church reasonably criticize those “hidden Christians” who refused to be restored to Roman Catholicism? The Catholic Church has likewise adopted many pagan teachings and festivals, including Christmas. If Catholics and Protestants, though professing to be Christians, have paganized their “Christianity” with heathen festivals, could they not also be rejecting Jesus also From its inception in the fourth century, Christmas has been surrounded by controversy. For example, there was the question of Jesus’ birthday. Since the Bible does not specify either the day or the month of Christ’s birth, a variety of dates have been suggested. In the third century, one group of Egyptian theologians placed it on May 20, while others favored earlier dates, such as March 28, April 2, or April 19. By the 18th-century, Jesus’ birth had been associated with every month of the year!
  3. For some Christmas Traditions the answer has to be "not known" - though some people are very keen on inventing origins - usually supposedly pagan - for them. The present giving seems to have come from St Nicholas Day. He was an early medieval Saint with a reputation for giving anonymous gifts to poor children. Hence on his feast day, 6th December, people gave gifts to children from Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus). This custom is still observed in some european countries. It others, particularly protestant countries where people did not approve of saints, it moved to Christmas. Christmas trees are another European custom first noted in the 16th century. Although some pagans may have had sacred trees, there is no record of them being cut down and decorated or taken into homes. Hence the most likely origin is in medieval mystery plays which featured the tree from the garden of Eden hung with fruit - early Xmas trees were decorated with fruit and nuts. Lights, of course, are modern from the late 19th century, candles were introduced earlier, though were not common because of the fire risk. There is no historical evidence of pagan origins for any Christmas custom. There is no evidence for any link to solstice celebrations. There is no evidence that it was ever anything to do with Mithra (a bull god, not a sun god). There is evidence that both Christmas and a Roman festival on Dec 25th were instituted around the same time, but nothing to say which was first. Christmas is Christian and its traditions are as well.