By Compiled & Edited by BST & Crosswalk Staff, Crosswalk.com
Christmas Day occurs annually on December 25th, however, the day of the week changes year to year.
Advent 2021 will start on Sunday, November 28th, and conclude on Friday, December 24th.
When is Christmas in 2021?
This year, Christmas Day is Saturday, December 25th. The public holiday and Christmas Eve are the day before on Friday, December 24th.
The 12 Days of Christmas this year will begin on Christmas Day and end on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022.
Give thanks for the Nativity of Christ with a FREE 25 Days to a Joyful Christmas Prayer Guide!
Why is Christmas on December 25th?
According to Britannica, the origins of celebrating the Nativity of Christ on December 25th dates back to the 4th century:
In the 3rd century, the Roman Empire, which at the time had not adopted Christianity, celebrated the rebirth of the Unconquered Sun (Sol Invictus) on December 25th. This holiday not only marked the return of longer days after the winter solstice but also followed the popular Roman festival called the Saturnalia (during which people feasted and exchanged gifts)...The church in Rome began formally celebrating Christmas on December 25 in 336, during the reign of the emperor Constantine. As Constantine had made Christianity the effective religion of the empire, some have speculated that choosing this date had the political motive of weakening the established pagan celebrations. The date was not widely accepted in the Eastern Empire, where January 6 had been favored, for another half-century, and Christmas did not become a major Christian festival until the 9th century.
Time of Jesus' Birth in the Bible
In regards to the actual time of year for Jesus’ birth, the Bible states in Luke 2:8-9: "Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid."
According to biblical scholar Adam Clarke, it was traditional for the shepherds of that region to send their sheep to the field from the spring until the beginning of October. As the colder winter months started, the flocks would return from the pastures for refuge and warmth. Because the shepherds were still guarding their flocks in the fields near Bethlehem it can be inferred that the angels proclaimed the message of Jesus’ birth in October at the latest. (Excerpt from Christianity.com)
Bible Readings for Christmas
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." ~ Isaiah 7:14
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." ~ Isaiah 9:6
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." ~ Luke 2:11
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." ~ John 1:14
"And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them." ~ Luke 2:20
"And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior" ~ Luke 1:46-47
Photo credit: Getty/Anastasiia Stiahailo