Did you know that some countries banned Christmas? Or that Christmas was considered a Pagan celebration? Here are 5 more facts about Christmas that you might just be surprised to finally know:
5. Illegal Christmas
For Christians, December 25th supposedly marks the birth of Jesus Christ. But there is no mention of the exact date of the birth in the Bible. December 25th was most probably chosen because it coincides with the ancient pagan festival called Saturnalia which celebrated the agricultural god: Saturn.
Popular Christmas traditions such as partying or should I say being jolly and gift giving were a common tradition during Saturnalia. Rather than the currently well-known reason which symbolizes the gifts given to baby Jesus by the three wise men. Though I guess the gambling bit of Saturnalia never did become popular.
Then during the 1600s, Puritans or Protestant Christians believed that it was sinful to be merry and that Christmas has Pagan roots written all over it. That’s why in 1659 until 1681, Christmas was illegal in Boston and you will be fined if caught celebrating. Then even though the ban was lifted, Christmas did not become a legal holiday until the 1800s.
Currently, these are some of the countries that ban Christmas: Saudi Arabia, Somalia, North Korea and recently in December 2014, Brunei also followed the banning train.