Talk:Christmas

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Are all the external links in the History section to BibleGateway needed? (Also, what does this article have to do with America?) George8211 // Give a trout a home! 15:40, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

Nothing about date[edit]

I was looking to see what Wikipedia had to say about why Chrismas is celebrated on December 25, and saw nothing. Somehow I ended up seeing the information in the lead, but that doesn't count. As I recall, the lead is only intended to summarize what the article says.— Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 17:55, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Good point. I've noticed this in the past but didn't want to get drawn into a long-drawn-out-debated about astronomy vis religion and the solace festivals. The sun on the 25th advances on the noon meridian. The ancients could thus use simple posts to indicate the start of the new year (a new son is born of a virgin mother ). Every four years they (the ancients) would have witnesses that the year was out by one day and so add a day. After 28 years the sun would then be a little behind. Yet, wait 5 years instead of four and then add a leap day. You then have the stable 33 year cycle. This method does not need a Century leap year to be taken into account. However, the Gregorian calendar notation was a lot easier to write down in Roman numerals – so it has persisted into the modern day. The celebration of the birth of the profit prophet Jesus was not transferred to this date of the 25th until long, long after his death.--Aspro (talk) 22:41, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
I've never seen any of this stuff in any sources about "The ancients could thus use simple posts to indicate the start of the new year (a new son is born of a virgin mother)." Which "the ancients"? Please do not just make stuff up. Many careful studies have been done about recorded beliefs in virgin mother births and it was much more rarely referred to than you would wish to suggest to be an annual event. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 22:56, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
There's a good reason why you've never heard of this stuff, it's because it bears no relation to Christmas. You see. "the ancients" did not celebrate their new year at the end of December. It wasn't until Pope Gregory XIII's reformation of the calendar in 1582 that we started celebrating the new year in January, and Christmas had been celebrated on December 25 for centuries at this point. Walter Görlitz (talk) 23:08, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, that's what I thought.... now that corresponds with the reality on my planet! Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 00:09, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
  • What might make things clear, is to add a [Analemma] diagram to this article's History section. This would show the significances of this annual solar event date or datum. It was the early era's anchor for separating Luna time from Solar. The 25th is the old traditional start of 'a' new year. What we now know as the the 26th (Boxing day) was occasionally added to keep 265 days or there about ( i.e., leap year). Therefore, the ancient calendar never wondered off by more that a day, where as later calenders... well, read the history about bringing the calendars back in line. The church of Rome's calendar was Luna based, just as Easter still is. The sun crossing the meridian on 25th ties it all together. I'm sure that I could have put that more simply but somethings need to be explained more fully -for clarity.--Aspro (talk) 23:56, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
  • After considering this further, I think the best course of action would be to stick to what can be found in sources - especially for particulars such as the start of the year, length of the year, type of calendar etc. Cheers, Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 00:27, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
  • The science of astronomy and accepted history is the source. There is no problem there but as I said in my first post I -”didn't want to get drawn into a long-drawn-out-debated about astronomy vis religion and the solace festivals”. As this puts oneself into the position of Galileo: [1] Ie,. No evidence is good enough for those that have blind-faith in what they have been instructed to believe -rather than, what they have strived to understand.--Aspro (talk) 01:07, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
It's not a debate about astronomy with respect to religion or anything. It's simply history. Walter Görlitz (talk) 01:26, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
I say for the third time “didn't want to get drawn into a long-drawn-out-debated about astronomy vis religion and the solace festivals”. So don't twist my words around. History 'includes' what was learned from observations of the heavens. The significance and origin, of the day of Christmas and another dates gives 'context' to understanding of our history. Much of this article goes no further than what is taught in kindergarten. It does not promote understanding. WP is supposed to be an encyclopedia. Being able to fix the 25th was the watershed that enabled mankind to move from the hunter-gather-nomadic stage into the agricultural revolution. It is the founding datum of the agricultural calendar. This was the blessed miracle – not all the later on stuff, that bulks-out this article into the synopsis, that one tell little children before they can comprehend the bigger picture. The 66 books of the Bible even starts off here: In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread (Genesis 3:19 (King James Version)). This may be what the OP was asking “why Christmas is celebrated on December 25”. Why shouldn’t this article promote proper understanding and included its observational significance? --Aspro (talk) 18:12, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
All that Aspro has said so far sounds like original research. WP:OR. Esoglou (talk) 19:36, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Oh come on! You must admit... This article is too superficial. The date of Christmas Easter etc., weren’t plucked out of thin air. The Church of Rome defined and absorbed them. They are fixed by observation. Yet, the article does not explain the significance of the 25th. So, how can my repeating what I was taught, (when I wanted to know more than what I was taught at school) be OR? Go-away-and -study-it. Then come back and tell me, that the church and everybody else has got it wrong - and how/but, they just got lucky on the astronomical dates.--Aspro (talk) 23:31, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
You clearly do not understand the subject. That's clear. Now before I get slapped with an NPA, let me explain.
Easter is (or at least should be) a fixed-date event based on the Jewish calendar, but it's not. The events are supposed to be tied to traditional Passover celebration. That has never been a question. What has been is calculating the date for it. But this article isn't about Easter so I'll leave that discussion for another article. So it's clear that you don't understand the subject by lumping Easter's date in with Christmas'.
Christians don't resort to personal attacks. They listen to both sides, consider and use the quite voice within to reveal to them the truth. I introduced Easter to show that the church employs both the solar and lunar calendar. See Moveable feasts regarding Easter.--Aspro (talk) 21:07, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
Diagram of an analemma looking east in the northern hemisphere.


Also, the church was celebrating Christ's birth as early as the first century. There were debates as to when they should celebrate it, but some already had a date near our modern date of December 25 very early, but there was stronger support for other dates. Not until Christianity became the State religion was it important. That should be recorded, with references. Walter Görlitz (talk) 01:02, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
  • @User:Aspro:- Anyone can have an opinion (like they say), but in the end wikipedia is built on material that is found, or at least can be found, in sources. That is why I keep stressing the importance of sources here. Repeating what you are taught is not OR only if what you were taught appears in print somewhere. Otherwise, we have to consider it the same as OR. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 14:12, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
  • @ Til Eulenspiegel . I now repeat for the forth time -”didn't want to get drawn into a long-drawn-out-debated about astronomy vis religion and the solace festivals”. As this puts oneself into the position of Galileo vis common received belief. Bind, unexamined ideology that forgets, then denies, the foundations of its faith loose those anchors where the Sheeple will end up believing anything their told. You want sources... . Even Wikipedia has an article on the Ephemeris, Analemma etc. What more do you want? [2].Each age, adds and build upon the age that went before. So, therefore, and etcetera, you are probably posting this via a computer that is the combination of some millennia of assimilated knowledge about the world and how to use its resources. This article as it stands is no more than piffle, unless its foundation is explained, but bind, unexamined ideology appears to censor anything illuminating from creeping in. So as I said at the start, I have been watching this article for some time and it appears that more enlighten editors have just given up due to the Galileo persecution effect. The opinions (as you say) of what a few editors will or will not allow in this article should not be given such undue and over-riding credence in this modern day and age. Do I make myself clear on this?--Aspro (talk) 21:07, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
No, not really clear, because I keep asking you specifically about sources and I'm not seeing anything in your responses addressing sources, so how is that a clear answer? Let me ask you point blank, what is your opinion on finding sources for any of this? Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 22:06, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
The Analemma for a start. The sun advances on the noon meridian on the 25th. Do you understand how your calender came about?--Aspro (talk) 22:56, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for referring me to that article, I confess I am not very expert on Analemma. However I did not see any mention in that wikipedia article about anything happening on the 25th, so I am still rather lost. Also when I say "sources" I do not mean wikipedia articles, I mean WP:RSS. You say you were taught this, I must presume you were taught it orally, because evidently you did not read it anywhere, if so, where did you read it? Otherwise how are we to attribute such information in the article? Can we put something like "[ref] Orally transmitted to Wikipedian User:Aspro. [/ref]" ? I don't think we can. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 23:35, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
An Ephemeris then! Available to all navigators. Not oral but clearly printed in black and white. The SUN advances on noon meridian as pro the Analemma.--Aspro (talk) 23:56, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
Well sir, I think you are playing games, because I am asking you how the information you would like in the article can be attributed to references per several of our cornerstone policies such as WP:VER, WP:CITE, etc. and you directed me to yet another wikipedia article that also makes no mention of anything happening on the 25th and otherwise helps me very little. So without any reliable, externally published references I don't see how you hope to accomplish much with regard to improving this article as you would wish. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 00:33, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
And I think you Sir are employing every fallacy you can come up with. Games People Play (book) describes your game playing. Why don't you want to work with us to improve this article? Ignorance can be over come by inquiry. Let me ask you this: when you go to Midnight Mass on Christmas eve, do you do so, simply because of a sheet of paper on the wall telling you that it is Christmas eve? Where did the authority come from, that stipulates that, that sheet of paper can denote 24th as Christmas eve? Leap years, centenary leap years etc.... the lot. Hello, I can see a light on upstairs but is anybody home?--Aspro (talk) 01:51, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
You are assuming wrong, not everyone celebrates Christmas on December 25, as the article should inform you. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 02:15, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Read the Original Poster question: I was looking to see what Wikipedia had to say about why Christmas is celebrated on December 25--Aspro (talk) 02:35, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
In some countries Christmas is Jan 6 and in others (for an entirely different reason) it is Jan 7. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 03:13, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
For the second time read the Original Poster's question. He asked pacifically about the 25th -'not any other dates'. All you have done is to come up with OR and things that just wants to throw a spanner in the works. It is quite understandable, if the Christen Church wanted to downplay, and not publicly admit, that the 25th is not its own original historical date, and instead have adopted another date -from the pagans. Bring you back to the OP's question. It is about the date itself. It is 'that' significance that needs addressing. Encyclopedia Britannica and some others, may not have dared to address this, because they knew of the backlash they would receive – however, here in the 21st century, are we not now, living in a more enlighten age? Martin Luther saw to it, that the common man could read and understand the bible in his own language. Isaac Newton explained God's Cosmos. Many other scientists have taken us out of the world of superstitious thinking of the old primitive church... The OP's question is about the 25th. Does anyone think, I have still not answered it fully? --Aspro (talk) 21:19, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Now you're accusing me of OR? Ha ha, that's rich... I'm not making any claims here, all I'm doing is asking you to please show us what sources you get your claims from. You don't want to play along, you want to just repeat these bizarre uncited claims that contradict everything that makes sense to me, like the Catholics used a lunar calendar (no they didn't), that there was some calendar of "the ancients" that supposedly started on Dec 25 (gee, really? What was this calendar called? "The Calendar of the ancients"?) that this was done to commemorate virgin births, etc. So until you are willing to come up with a reliable externally published source (and sorry but an encyclopedia everyone can edit cannot be an acceptable source per WP:OPENSOURCE) I don't even know why I'm bothering to respond to you. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 22:06, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
I did not say 'your OR' but Wikipedia: subject OR. I meant your accusations of OR against me -'as an argument' and spanner throwing.--Aspro (talk) 01:58, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
When you ask what calendar? The heavens have not changed over two thousand years nor the constellations. So it is both your calendar and my calendar. When the Pope asked his astronomer to fix the date of Pisces guess what... He did not come up with the birth of the prophet `Jesus of Nazareth' but did what he was asked to do. He fixed the date of the dawning of Pisces over the setting of Aries. Why are you having such a problem with this? Are you saying “I don't even know why I'm bothering to respond to you” because you are lost for any rational explanation that stands up to the evidence? History is history. This story about the birth of Jesus in a stable and the nativity with the three Magi is the simplified stuff we tell children until they are old enough to comprehend more complexity. Why are you having such a problem with this? --Aspro (talk) 02:46, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
I think it was more along the lines of list of calendars, and of those there I think it's safe to assume the discussion is centred on either the Gregorian or Julian calendar, although the Magi may have been using the Old Persian calendar, the Zoroastrian calendar or something else. Walter Görlitz (talk) 03:15, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
As for your derision of the Christian faith's claim of the Magi, etc. I would like to remind you not to. It's not a fairy tale we tell children at all. Walter Görlitz (talk) 03:18, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Where did I say the Magi was fairy tale ? Their part and meaning has been reduced to a simplification we tell children. Going into to the analogy that the three wise men signify, is however, going off on a tangent to the OP's question. The 25th is of the current calendar Julian calendar and of the very early Gregorian before it wondered off. Even Bead spoke of the 25th as a pagan festival back then, in the 7th century. --Aspro (talk) 03:43, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Sounds way too much as if there is no connection to other winter solstice celebrations. Where did the March 28th conception come from? Did the "virgin" record the date? I don't see how a serious article on Christmas can be written without including other legitimate winter solstice observances and their obvious influences. If you're writing an article for children you should just put up a full page image of "Santa Claus" instead. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DeeCee10000 (talkcontribs) 03:44, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 6 January 2014[edit]

Please change "An anonymous work known known as De Pascha Computus" to "An anonymous work known as De Pascha Computus". The word known was used twice in a row. CyHack (talk) 13:21, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Martin of Sheffield (talk) 13:37, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

There is a misspelled word on the section, Etymology. "Messiah", meaning "annointed". annointed should be spelled as anointed. CyHack (talk) 13:28, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Martin of Sheffield (talk) 13:40, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

There is a misspelled word on the sentence, "This also started the cultural conflict between the holiday's spiritual significance and its asssociated commercialism that some see as corrupting the holiday." The word asssociated should be spelled as associated. CyHack (talk) 13:30, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Martin of Sheffield (talk) 13:41, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

There is a misspelled word on the sentence, "Taking an aze to an oak tree dedicated to Norse god Thor, Boniface chopped the tree down and dared Thor to zap him for it." The word aze should be spelled as axe. CyHack (talk) 13:32, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Martin of Sheffield (talk) 13:44, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 14 February 2014[edit]

Christmas is celebrated on the 24th in Sweden, Denmark and other countries. Could this be added to the infobox?2.108.49.192 (talk) 11:53, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Can you provide a citation to support this statement please. Thanks. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 12:14, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
Christmas Eve is celebrated on December 24. Christmas is still celebrated on December 25. We should discuss that here though. Walter Görlitz (talk) 15:29, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
There's a "Christmas Eve around the world" section, and the articles isn't protected. Walter Görlitz (talk) 15:31, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
It's on the article named Jul (Sweden). While you give gifts etc. on the 25th, our main celebration is on the 24th. 2.108.49.192 (talk) 16:06, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
Don't assume. I give gifts on Christmas Eve as well. The article I linked to explains it as well. Walter Görlitz (talk) 16:41, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm not assuming. I can tell you as a Swede (With a Danish father, and therefore Danish family) that we celebrate on the 24th. The 24th is when our main celebration is. We barely do anything on the 25th. The first link I provided says the same thing.2.108.49.192 (talk) 17:11, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
http://sweden.se/traditions/christmas/ is a source. 2.108.49.192 (talk) 17:12, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
Just a few things:
  1. You did assume when you wrote, "you give gifts etc. on the 25th". If you had written that "the article says ..." that would not have been an assumption.
  2. This isn't an article on the Swedish version of the Wikipedia article but on the English one. The majority of those in the English world celebrate Christmas on December 25.
  3. This isn't about when to exchange gifts, it's about the celebration of Christmas in general. In the English world, December 24 has a different name, and there's an article for that and there's an article related to what you're talking about.
If you have a concrete change that you'd like to make, suggest it, otherwise, this general complaint is misplaced and won't get you anywhere. Walter Görlitz (talk) 18:06, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Just hang on a mo there Walter Görlitz. 2.108.49.192 has a very good point! Everybody these days (now we have clocks) unquestionably accept that the new day start at midnight GMT/UTC. Even Greenwich Mean Time once started the new day at noon. Anyone and everyone that has studied history knows these festival traditions date back, long back before the invention of the mechanical clock. Like, the Sabbath, the new day started the moment the sun goes down. So, on our modern calendar and clock time, the 25th started back then, on what we now consider still to be the 24th. Too many editors seem to be applying their 'modern' orthodox religious beliefs rather than than the true origin of the significance of the 25th. Thereby trying to massage this article to conform their legends and myths. Wikipedia is supposed to be an unbiased encyclopedia. For a naïve reader (who I remind you, we are writing for) they need the basics, spelt out, in terms they understand, in order to gain an sound understanding. Swedish/English versions of Wikipedia doesn't come into it, because a common foundation leads to understanding. Division allows for confusion to creep in. So this article 'Christmas' still needs a lot of work. And as 2.108.49.192 has brought up, it is important therefore to point out why the the Scandinavians start celebrating on the 24th. My calendar tells me that this year is 2014, lets stop editing as though we are still living back in the time of Martin Luther when we could have been burnt at the stake for telling things as they really are. Come on -lets knock this article into shape.--Aspro (talk) 20:53, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

No one is suggesting that the anon isn't making a good point, but it's not a constructive one. You aren't making either type of point since this is discussed in the Christmas Eve article, which you clearly have not read. We are not writing for naïve readers, that's what the simple English version of Wikipedia is for. If you too have a concrete change that you'd like to make, suggest it, otherwise, this general complaint is misplaced and won't get you anywhere. Walter Görlitz (talk) 21:19, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
The article already mentions that several areas celebrate Christmas on January 6th, 7th and 16th. Why is it wrong to assume that it should equally be mentioned the the 24th is the day that Sweden, Denmark and Norway (Probably more) celebrate on the 24th? Especially when the article is faulty in saying that all western churches celebrate on the 25th? 2.108.49.192 (talk) 23:28, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
Scandinavian and Germanic nations do not celebrate Christmas on December 24, they celebrate Christmas Eve. I'm sure you understand that there is noting faulty here other than confusing the two distinct terms because they share a common word. There is no Western church that celebrates Christmas on December 24 and a reliable source would be need to confirm your statement that they do in Scandinavia. When I was in Norway in December 1991, it was clear that the service I attended on December 24 was Julnatt, not Jul.
And further to my earlier comments, if you'd like to change some content in the article, feel free to suggest what you would like to see changed using exact wording. Vague suggestions don't work well. Walter Görlitz (talk) 23:35, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
Then that's only in Norway. This article SPECIFICALLY mentions that Christmas is on the 25th. The Swedish and the Danish DO NOT celebrate Christmas proper on the 25th. There's a reason for why there is an article named Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. Neither of them have anything to do when the main celebration of Christmas occurs. We do not celebrate Christmas Eve on the 24th, we celebrate Christmas proper. 2.108.49.192 (talk) 23:40, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
I've just had a quick read of the source that the anon posted. It clearly states that Christmas Eve was the high point of the celibrations and in the "origins" box refers to the church service on Christmas day, linking it to the birth of Jesus. All of this reinforces that Christmas ("Christ's Mass") is the 25th (whenever that starts) in Sweden as elsewhere. If the Swedes start their celebrations early that is fine, the high point of the secular celebration does not define the day of Christmas. In contrast in the UK people in times past people kept Christmas day fairly religiously, but then gave presents ("Christmas boxes") on Boxing day. That didn't mean that Christmas was on the 26th, merely that the 26th was the high point of the secular celebrations. Consider also New Year: the high point is the eve, the day itself is often quiet. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 23:49, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) You're confusing Christmas Eve with Christmas Day again. Swedes celebrate Christmas Eve on December 24. It's called sv:Julafton which is distinct from sv:Juldagen. Do you read Swedish? Read those articles. The opening sentence for Julafton reads, "Julafton infaller den 24 december, det vill säga dagen före juldagen den 25 december" and for those who can't read Swedish it says "Christmas Eve falls on December 24, that is, the day before Christmas Day on December 25". Clearly Julafton is a larger article than Juldagen because of the importance placed on the day, but the distinction between the two days is clear, even to Swedes.
I understand that you're writing from Denmark where they only have one article, da:Jul, with two separate headings, one each for Juleaften and Juledag.
So if you'd like us to change our article, you'll have to support your opinion with some reliable sources.
If you'd like us to expand the discussion of some aspect I'd like to draw your attention to what we currently have:
Infobox: "Related to Christmastide, Christmas Eve,"
Middle Ages: "the date of giving gifts changed from December 6 to Christmas Eve"
Gift-bearing figures: "and the date of giving gifts changed from December 6 to Christmas Eve."
(emphasis above is mine) If you'd like to add a section somewhere explaining that gift giving and other celebrations are traditionally done on Christmas Eve in many nations, I'm sure you could use the references from those two sections above or possibly add another. If you want a section in the lede that states similar, feel free to suggest it. However don't confuse Christmas Day with Christmas Eve because there is a clear difference between the two, even in Scandinavia. And there is a link at the top to Christmas worldwide. Walter Görlitz (talk) 23:56, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
And the official Swedish site does make a clear distinction between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Walter Görlitz (talk) 00:01, 16 February 2014 (UTC)