…since it remains Christmas in the West while now also being Christmas in the East too, I have two points. First, there’s this sinister revelation:
Second, the fact that today is Christmas in the Eastern Church demonstrates yet again that Fundamentalists and atheists (but I repeat myself) perpetually demonstrate their Protestant provincialism with the eternal refrain about Catholicism being warmed-over paganism and Christmas “really” being the solstice, etc. It’s like the entire eastern Church doesn’t even exist.
Dudes: January 7 is not the solstice. And you will notice that the ultima prime feast of the Church–Easter–is even more dubiously located on the Equinox. Indeed, it’s almost impossible to get it near the equinox since it is tied to the first full moon *after* the Spring Equinox (placing it, this year on the ridiculously unequinoctial date of April 20). You will also notice the fact that the summer solstice, while it celebrates the birth of John the Baptist (get it? Forerunner of the True Light?) six months before that of Jesus, does so without a huge amount of fanfare in the Church. Similarly, the Autumnal Equinox passes without much fanfare, despite the fact that the Hebrew calendar gives it a fair amount of importance. If Christianity is “really” just a cult of the seasons, than why is Christmas alone what stands out as sketchily tied to a solstice, and only in the Western Church?
Nope. What drove the dating of Christmas in both east and west were local traditions on when Jesus died, not when he was born. The theory current in Jewish piety was that a prophet died on the day he was born or concieved. In the West, that date was assumed to be March 25. In the East, April 7. Add nine months and there you are. There is no evidence that paganism provided the basis of the Church’s thinking here.
And, by the way, this goes for the whole silly “Easter=Eostre worship” thing. Attention English speakers: you are not the center of the universe. Easter only has that name in tongues descended from Germanic language groups. Look at Romance languages and you will discover that the same feast is named for Passover.
Moral: if I ask you what day of the week it is and you say, “Saturday” that doesn’t make you a worshipper of Saturn.