Questions:

  1. Do Adventists celebrate Christmas or other Christian holidays?
  2. Why have Christians adopted the date of 25 December as Christ's Birthday when His birthday is not even mentioned in the Bible?
  3. Is it ok to celebrate Christmas even though it was originally a pagan celebration?

Answer: Seventh-day Adventists do not celebrate Christmas or other religious festivals throughout the calendar year as holy feasts established by God. The only period in time Adventists celebrate as holy is the weekly Sabbath (from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset).

Adventists do find, however, that these holidays provide good occasions to focus on the Christian aspects, that is, the biblical message of the death and resurrection of Jesus (at Easter), and of His incarnation and coming to earth as a human being (at Christmas). It also gives valuable opportunities to speak with other people about the gospel. Also, these events are often occasions for building family fellowship and reaching out to the poor and needy.

But we do not find these festivals to be obligatory, that is, demanded by God. Nowhere in the Bible is it prescribed that we have to celebrate Christmas or Easter.

While Easter and Pentecost have their parallels in Judaism, Christmas is, naturally invented later. The historical reason for adapting December 25 as the birthday of Jesus has no biblical foundation, but is due to the change of year from darkness to light, which happens in the midst of the winter in the northern hemisphere.

Calling Christmas a pagan celebration is only partly true. December 25 was observed as the birthday of Mythras, the god of the soldiers of the Roman legions. Though the timing of Christmas has its origin in a pagan festival, the content does not - the birth of Jesus is spoken of in the Bible.

The “traditions” the Western world today follows at Christmas time are less than 250 years old. There are, however, aspects of the modern Christmas celebrations which Adventists do not encourage, such as the overwhelming materialism and extravagant consumption.