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Mid Summers day

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dmottram
562157.  Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:19 am Reply with quote

mckeonj wrote:
You may also ask why 'Christmas Day', which is a midwinter festival, falls on 25th December and not on 21st December, which is the winter solstice. The answer to that is that 'Christmas Day' celebrates the return of the light as the days begin to lengthen some three or four days after the solstice.
There must be a similar reason for the marking of midsummer some three or four days after the solstice. It may have something to do with Christ being equated with the Lord of Light of pagan tradition.
Evidence for this is close to zero. December 25th was chosen for Christmas Day in Rome where the principal and traditional sun god was Apollo celebrated with games in July. The idea of having a sun celebration is though to have arisen in the late 3rd century, so it is by no means impossible that Christians chose the date first. The earliest written dated reference to both festivals is in the same early 4th century calendar.
The alternate suggestion is that Christ was thought to have been conceived on March 25th for reasons connected with Jewish tradition and/or with the supposed date of his crucifixion.

 

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