The Chronography of 354 AD contains early evidence of the celebration on December 25 of a Christian liturgical feast of the birth of Jesus.This was in Rome, while in Eastern Christianity the birth of Jesus was already celebrated in connection with the Epiphany on January 6.
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The economic impact of Christmas is a factor that has grown steadily over the past few centuries in many regions of the world.
The canonical gospels of Luke and Matthew both describe Jesus as being born in Bethlehem in Judea, to a virgin mother.
In the Gospel of Luke account, Joseph and Mary travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the census, and Jesus is born there and laid in a manger.
Angels proclaim him a savior for all people, and shepherds come to adore him.
In the Matthew account, astronomers follow a star to Bethlehem to bring gifts to Jesus, born the king of the Jews.
King Herod orders the massacre of all the boys less than two years old in Bethlehem, but the family flees to Egypt and later settles in Nazareth.The Christian ecclesiastical calendar contains many remnants of pre-Christian festivals.Although the dating as December 25 predates pagan influence, the later development of Christmas as a festival includes elements of the Roman feast of the Saturnalia and the birthday of Mithra as described in the Roman cult of Mithraism.A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it is prepared for by the season of Advent or the Nativity Fast and initiates the season of Christmastide, which historically in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on Twelfth Night; and is an integral part of the holiday season, while some Christian groups reject the celebration.In several countries, celebrating Christmas Eve on December 24 has the main focus rather than December 25, with gift-giving and sharing a traditional meal with the family.While the month and date of Jesus' birth are unknown, by the early-to-mid 4th century, the Western Christian Church had placed Christmas on December 25, Today, most Christians celebrate Christmas on the date of December 25 in the Gregorian calendar, which is also the calendar in near-universal use in the secular world.