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Angels proclaimed him a savior for all people, and shepherds came to adore him.Matthew adds that the magi follow a star to Bethlehem to bring gifts to Jesus, born the king of the Jews.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.
Most Christians celebrate on December 25 in the Gregorian calendar, which has been adopted almost universally in the civil calendars used in countries throughout the world.After this controversy was played out, the prominence of the holiday declined.The feast regained prominence after 800, when Charlemagne was crowned emperor on Christmas Day.Various factors contributed to the selection of December 25 as a date of celebration: it was the date of the winter solstice on the Roman calendar and it was about nine months after March 25, the date of the vernal equinox and a date linked to the conception of Jesus (now Annunciation).Jesus chose to be born on the shortest day of the year for symbolic reasons, according to an early Christmas sermon by Augustine: "Hence it is that He was born on the day which is the shortest in our earthly reckoning and from which subsequent days begin to increase in length.
The gospels of Luke and Matthew describe Jesus as being born in Bethlehem to the Virgin Mary.