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The Legend of Jesus Christ

December 18, 2013 | By

Christians all over the world celebrate Christmas to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ to Virgin Mary as was prophesied in the Old Testament.

Nativity of Christ

Ceiling frescoes by the famous Russian painter Vereshchagin in The Nativity of Christ Cathedral (in Riga, Latvia)

Christmas is just a few days away! It is again time to rejoice, cheer and celebrate.

Christians all over the world celebrate Christmas to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ to Virgin Mary as was prophesied in the Old Testament. But the question is how 25th December came to be associated with Jesus Christ’s birthday?

The celebrations of Jesus’ birth are not mentioned in the Gospels and even in the written works of early Christian writers such as Irenaeus or Tertullian. While the exact day and month of his birth is not known, Jesus was believed to be born between 7 and 2 BC.

According to Biblical accounts and legends, Jesus was born in a stable surrounded by farm animals in Bethlehem. It was believed that some shepherds, three wise men or astrologers came to see the infant Jesus and brought him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They reached him following a star that was said to be announcing the birth of the king of the Jews.

To mark this visit, the Feast of Epiphany is celebrated on 6th January especially in the East. So while Armenian churches continue to celebrate Christmas on 6th January even today, majority of the Christians celebrate 25th December to mark the birth of Christ. And over the years, 6th January came to be known as the Feast of the Epiphany, that marks the arrival of Magi (the three wise men) in Bethlehem.

People today celebrate Christmas on 25th December by singing Christmas carols, exchanging gifts and cards, decorating Christmas tree and bonding over good food! Most importantly, it is a day when people attend Church services and celebrations. Kids sing carols and also re-enact the events of the Nativity with children portraying as the infant Jesus in the manger, Mary, Joseph, the three wise men, shepherds along with sheep and angels.

Christmas is much more than the feasts, decorations or gifts. It is the time to reflect on Jesus Christ and pray for goodness to prevail. It is time to pray for love and peace for all.

May this Christmas be special, bright and cheerful for you and your family!

Merry Christmas!

 

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“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” -Thomas Merton