Every year there is a great American push to put the word “Christ” back in Christmas. The date for the birth of Jesus Christ has been believed and accepted without much question by people for many centuries as December 25. The date was probably selected by the church leadership in Rome in the early 4th century in order to meld together Christians and non-Christians, believers and pagans in the Roman Empire.
As this date was selected by the Roman catholic church for the birth of Jesus, it is also known as the Christ Mass. The word ‘mass’ in religious terminology means a ‘death sacrifice.’ How ironic that the very day that the church chose to commemorate the birth of the Savior is named with a term implying death and sacrifice!
Because we are not catholic, we do not take part in the Christ Mass with its roots in Saturnalia. Unfortunately, most of Christiandom does celebrate this holiday even while they claim to be anything but catholic. Many honor the Reformation and breaking away from the Roman catholic church while continuing to celebrate the traditions incorporated by that same church authority.
The whole Christ-mass concept is catholic and has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus nor is it found in Scripture, but I wanted to see if “Christ” is in Christmas in other languages or just English.
Only a few languages like the Greek Kala Christougenna or Russian С РОЖДЕСТВОМ actually use some form of “Christ” in the phrase. Other languages acknowledge a ‘holy birth’, ‘a general birth’ but do not get specific about the birth of Jesus Christ thus making the ‘holy birth’ possible for any ‘god’ one chooses. Some languages use a phonetic rendering in their alphabet or avoid it altogether with commemorating Yuletide. The few languages that have translated the phrase into Merry Christmas do so because of missionary influence into their culture, but do not try to put ‘Christ’ back into Christmas.
Arabic – Eid Milad Majeed means ‘Glorious Birth Feast.’
Armenian – Shnorhavor Soorb Tsnund means ‘Congratulations for the Holy Birth.’
Chinese Mandarin – Sheng Dan Kuai Le or 圣诞快乐 means ‘Holy Birth Day, Be Happy.’
Czech – Prejeme Varn Vesele Vanoce
French – Joyeux Noel means ‘Joyful Birthday.’
Noel comes from the Latin word meaning ‘birthday’.
Danish – Glaedelig Jul means ‘Happy Yule.’
Yule or Yuletide was a mid-winter 12-day festival observed by Germanic people and some neighboring peoples and became absorbed into and equated with the Christian festival of Christmas. Scholars have connected the celebration to the god Odin and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Modranicht. Yule log, Yule goat (a sacrificial goat for Yuletide), Yule boar (the boar with apple in its mouth) and Yule singing (carols) come from the Yuletide.
German – Frohe Weihnacht means ‘Happy Holy Night.’
Weih is a church-word meaning holy or special. Nacht is night.
Hawaiian – Mele Kalikimaka means ‘Merry Christmas.’
‘Mele Kalikimaka’ is only a phonetic rendering of Hawaiian sounds, but not a literal translation because there is none in the language. Christmas is not indigenous to Hawaii.
Hindi (Urdu) – Bade Din ki Mubarak means ‘Happy Nativity.’
Indonesian – Selamat Natal means ‘Happy Birthday.’
Hebrew – Mo’adim Lesimkha, Chena tova means ‘Happy Times. Happy Week.’
Italian – Buon Natale means ‘Good Birthday.’
Korean – Sung Tan Chuk Ha means ‘Seasons Greetings.’
Norweigan – God Jul means ‘Good Yule’.
(See Danish above).
Philippines (Tagalog) Maligayang Pasko means ‘Happy Christmas’.
Pasko is the word for Christmas, but actually comes from the Spanish word, Pascoa. Pascoa refers to Easter, but is a corruption of the word, Pesach or Passover.
Polish – Wesolych Swiat means ‘Happy Holidays.’
This phrase can be used to wish anyone any ‘happy holiday’.
Portuguese – Felize Natal or Boas Festas means ‘Joyous Birth’ or ‘Good Celebration.’
Russian – С РОЖДЕСТВОМ means ‘For the Nativity of Christ,’
Rwanda – Noheli nziza means ‘Good Birthday.’
Scotland – Blithe Yule means ‘Cheerful Yule’.
(See Danish above).
Spanish – Feliz Navidad means ‘Happy Birthday.’
Swedish – God Jul means ‘Good Yule’.
(See Danish above).
Switzerland – Schoni Wiehnachte means ‘Happy Holy Night.’
Turkish – Mutlu Noeller means ‘Happy Birthday.’
Welsh – Nadolig Llawen means ‘Merry Christmas.’
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