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Early Christians celebrated the life of Jesus on a date considered equivalent to 14 Nisan (Passover) on the local calendar.Because Passover was held on the 14th of the month, this feast is referred to as the Quartodecimal.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.It says that angels proclaimed him a savior for all people, and shepherds came to adore him.
The first recorded Christmas celebration was in Rome in 336.
Christmas played a role in the Arian controversy of the fourth century.
In the early Middle Ages, it was overshadowed by Epiphany.
According to Steven Hijmans of the University of Alberta, "It is cosmic symbolism ...
which inspired the Church leadership in Rome to elect the southern solstice, December 25, as the birthday of Christ, and the northern solstice as that of John the Baptist, supplemented by the equinoxes as their respective dates of conception." In modern times, March 25 is celebrated as Annunciation.