Although celebrated on Dec. 25 each year, the actual date of Jesus’ birth is not known. The Bible states Jesus was born during King Herod’s reign, which ended in 4 B.C. Some researchers believe Jesus was likely born in the fall of the year.
According to the book of Luke, shepherds were watching flocks at night when Jesus was born and that his parents were in Bethlehem for a census. Researchers say this would not happen in Dec., because of harsh weather conditions. Jesus’ birth has been celebrated on Dec. 25, since the fourth century and, according to historians, the date was chosen to coincide with various pagan celebrations, such as Saturnalia, a festival honoring the Roman god Saturn.