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AVAILABLE EXPERT: Christmas 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

Queen’s University religion expert John Young is available for comment about the history of Christmas, and other religious holidays which occur at this time of year.

“Christmas, as a holy day for Christians, began to be celebrated as such much later than Easter,” says Dr. Young. “The Bible does not give specific dates for events in Jesus’ life, and the first several generations of Christians did not show a particular interest in the timing of specific events of Jesus’ life, such as his birth.” 

Dr. Young notes that during the second century of the Common Era, January 6 (Epiphany) was a special day for Christians to celebrate Jesus’ birth, his baptism and his “manifestation” to non-Jews.

“In the fourth century, December 25 began to be associated with Jesus’ birth; January 6 then began to be linked to Jesus’ baptism among Christians in the East (the Orthodox tradition) and to the visit of the magi (or the wise men) among Western Christians,” says Dr. Young.

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officer Rosie Hales at 613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or rosie.hales@queensu.ca or Anne Craig at 613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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  • Young, John