Although it seems surprising, in the Christian family there are some religions that do not celebrate Christmas. The reason is not necessarily that they do not recognize the birth of Jesus Christ and his role in saving mankind from sin, but for various reasons.
The most cited reason is that the Holy Book, the Bible, does not mention even once that the Savior celebrated a birthday or even any apostle or other saint of his .Indeed, if we read the Bible we see that Jesus during his life respected Jewish tradition, but not even once did he celebrate a birthday.
Others use as an the argument the fact that if they celebrated someone’s birthday, including the birthday of Jesus it would be like they did not obey the commandments of the Old Testament that say only to give homage to God . How do they argue? When we celebrate one’s birthday we bring him gifts, sing hymns and dedicate to that person. This excludes God, therefore attracting the divine wrath.
But which are the religions that do not celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ? In this article we will talk about the Christian religions and not about the religions that have another foundation (Muslim, Hindu, etc.). One of the most controversial religious groups who do not celebrate Christmas or the birth of Christ is the religion of “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” the most controversial religious group from the last two centuries.
Note this article does not condemn or encourage feelings of hatred toward any religion or faith. Each individual has the right to choose what to think and how they manifest faith, as long as it does not counter and does not cause negative social activities. The role of this paper is to present just a fact and not to judge or condemn.
So why do “Jehovah’s Witnesses” not celebrate Christmas? These Christians, like the others, accept Jesus Christ as Son of God. Yet Jehovah’s Witnesses, although Christians, do not commemorate the birth, but only the death. Let’s see the reasons behind such a decision quite controversial for the Christian world.
Their reasons are:
• Nowhere in the Bible do they mention the exact date that Christ was born as well as whether he celebrated the day or not. Moreover during his pilgrimage through the Jew territory none of the 12 Apostles celebrated a birthday. What is interesting is that the Bible mentions only two birthday celebrations and they are associated with an unpleasant event. As an example we find the birthday celebration of Herod, the day which resulted in cutting the head of John the Baptist. The second example is found in the Old Testament and refers to Pharaoh’s birthday, during which he decided to execute the head baker. So two celebrations of birthdays, two crimes.
From calculations it was shown that Jesus Christ was born in the first half of October and not December 25th. This fact is demonstrated by biblical account of that holy night when shepherds with their flocks were out. If we analyze a little the weather in Palestine at the time we celebrate Christmas now we see big discrepancies between biblical descriptions and weather at that time of year. More specifically in terms of time, around Christmas temperatures drop in Palestine and the weather is generally rainy. This causes the cattle to be kept in pens and not out onto the field.
• Another aspect that contradicts December 25th is mentioned throughout the Bible, but also in history. Before the birth of Christ, Emperor Augustus Caesar gave orders that the entire Roman Empire start the registration of people and each had to go to the place of origin to be registered. It is unlikely that the king gave this order in the cold season. The risk of starting riots throughout the empire was high.
• More, the time of celebrating Christmas coincides with an ancient pagan festival dedicated to the Sun God. Many pagan rituals are present at the celebration of Christmas – the date, winter tree, gifts, superstitions, etc.. Most of the times for the transition from pagan to the Christian faith to take place more easily, many pagan customs were adopted. We can see this aspect from a very simple reality. The early Christians did not celebrate Christmas, as they did not celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Do not forget that Jesus’ apostles lived even for decades after the death of the Master, yet not even one celebrated his birth, only the death and resurection. Later Christians began to celebrate Christmas. In the fourth century Christmas was celebrated by Egyptian Christians and since the fifth century the date of December 25th has been adopted.
But in Christian history not only Jehovah’s Witnesses refused and still refuse to celebrate the birth of Christ. Long before this religion to emerge, specifically in 1644, the Puritans were determined to pass a law to condemn the “pagan festival”. So for a great Christmas time was considered a pagan holiday and banned in the United British. The same happned in U.S. Since 1650 this event was pulled out of the law and anyone who celebrated Christmas was fined five shillings.
There are very few religions that do not celebrate Christmas. Generally they are the tiniest fractions derived from the mother religion, which at one time rebelled against it and moved away. As a conclusion to the presented article is that one should not condemn or praise any doctrine of a religious group. I repeat what I said in the beginning of the article. Each individual is free to believe what they want and associate with people of the same religion.