Christmas is a time of celebration and worship, so it makes sense that Christians start preparing for this day beforehand and anticipate it vastly. However, why do non-Christians celebrate Christmas?
Christmas music and decoration flood the streets, and people singing Christmas carols add to the festive atmosphere. These celebrations have a deep religious affiliation for Christians but what is surprising is that many non-Christians also enjoy and participate in Christmas celebrations.
It is believed that a large number of non-Christians celebrate Christmas in the US, whereas many more non-Christians celebrate Christmas all over the world. It is also seen that many people who are not affiliated with any religion also participate in Christmas celebrations. In the same way, many Buddhist and Hindus are also taking part in the festive Christmas spirit.
The followers of different religions may celebrate this festival, but in some cases, their point of view might differ from the traditional Christian perspective. Many Christians say that they celebrate Christmas as a religious affair, while most non-Christians celebrate it more as a cultural than a religious event.
There are several reasons why non-Christians celebrate Christmas. Let’s look at these reasons in detail below.
Hindus Celebrating Christmas
When investigated further, it was seen that the followers of Hinduism were attracted to Christmas because of its rich tradition and culture. Many Hindus have been seen attending midnight mass at church and displaying nativity scenes in their homes. Some of them had the opinion that the celebrations of different religions should be secularized and open for everyone to participate.
They sometimes also have a Christmas tree in their house and prepare gifts for everyone. Many Hindus that practice Christmas consider Christmas, not as a part of religion but view it as an event when the family gets together and is thankful to the creator.
Jews Celebrating Christmas
Many Jewish folks are known to volunteer to work on Christmas holidays so that their Christian colleagues can have a day off. Overall, many Jewish people like the festive Christmas spirit and enjoy the Christmas lights and decorative mood.
There is also a strong tradition of Jewish groups volunteering or individuals volunteering on Christmas day, for example, serving meals in a homeless shelter.
Muslims Celebrating Christmas
Many Muslims also celebrate Christmas and enjoy the festivities of the holiday season. Various mosques are likely to hold sermons to remember Jesus and his teachings. During the Christmas holidays, many Muslims feast, meet their family and friends and remember God. Various Muslims also enjoy giving gifts to their Christian to show love and empathy.
A Different Point of View
Believers of other religions may participate in Christmas celebrations due to the festive holiday spirit. But many non-Christians also celebrate Christmas for religious reasons. For example, Muslims do not believe Jesus was God’s son, but they do recognize him as a great prophet.
They believe him to be equal to Moses and Muhammad and claim that Jesus was sent to bring God’s teachings to mankind. They also believe Jesus brought those teachings in the form of a book. Keeping this mind, it is possible for Muslims to celebrate Jesus.
They probably cannot exactly celebrate his birthday but can recognize him as one of the world’s greatest messengers and prophets.
Jewish traditions also recognize Jesus as an important holy figure. Several Jewish groups recognize Jesus Christ as a messiah whilst holding on to their Jewish customs. Other Jewish groups reject the notion that Jesus was the messiah; instead they believe him to be a prophet. As both these groups recognize Jesus, they can celebrate him on Christmas.
A Secular Celebration
Some could argue that non-Christians who celebrate Christmas are engaging in cultural or religious appropriation. Perhaps they are cherry-picking portions of the celebration they enjoy.
However, the truth is that there are secular elements in the Christmas celebration. This makes Christmas not just for Christians. Christians may celebrate the original and true purpose of the holiday, but anyone can partake in the festive season.
Anyone who recognizes and honors Christ can set up trees in their homes, share gifts and celebrate the occasion. Christmas is for practitioners of other monotheistic faith, atheists, and neo-pagans alike.
However, there are Christian groups who believe that Christmas should be kept sacred. They believe that a secular Christmas ignores the very origin of the holiday and dilutes its religious significance. These groups believe that secularizing Christmas has adverse effects. These effects include a focus on materialism and increasing commercialization of the holiday.
In contradiction to this, there are other groups that believe welcoming everyone for Christmas is Christ-like behavior. Groups in favor of Christmas for all state that the very practice of Christmas day is secular as it has roots in the pagan celebration of the winter solstice.
Within Christian scripture there is no clear indication that Christ was even born on the 25th of December. Christmas was chosen to be celebrated on December 25th as this day was already popular amongst the masses due to pagan religious festivities.
Taking part in important religious events of different faiths also inculcates religious tolerance. This is because one gets the chance to experience and appreciate spiritual beliefs that are different from their own. This is also a great reason to celebrate Christmas even if you are not Christian. All the reasons listed above prove Why Do Non-Christians Celebrate Christmas.