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Why were Passover and Hanukkah made to coincide with Easter and Christmas?

I never really gave this any thought, but I just looked on the calendar and passover starts during Christianity's holiest week. Then, Hanukkah runs right into Christmas. I know Hanukkah is a relatively new holiday so why did it have to jam right into Christmas? Couldn't other days have been selected?

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  • 7 years ago
    Favourite answer

    First of all, Hanukkah was established before Christmas. The incident with the Maccabees happened about 100 years before Jesus was born. In fact, Hanukkah, the Feast of Dedication, is mention in the book of John.

    I believe the events of Hanukkah happened in the early winter. No one knows for sure in what month Jesus was born. It probably wasn't in winter, since shepherds don't watch their flocks in the open field during winter, Israel's rainy season. Christians probably picked December to celebrate Jesus' birthday to either counteract or Christianize early winter celebrations in pagan societies, such as the "birthday of the sun" during the Winter Solstice around December 21. Therefore, the fact that Hanukkah and Christmas happen around the same time is a coincidence.

    (Incidentally, in 2013 Hanukkah will happen closer to Thanksgiving--the same week, I think.)

    Now, Passover and Easter happening together is NOT a coincidence. Christians see God's establishment of Passover, when he used Moses to free the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, as a foreshadowing of Christ's sacrifice on the cross, by which he frees those who believe in him from slavery to sin.

    In the book of Exodus, in the early spring, God commanded the Israelites to house, then slay, a year-old male lamb (or kid, that is, baby goat), and sprinkle the lamb's blood on their doorposts and lintel. The Israelites stayed inside that night eating the lamb with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. At the same time, God sent the Angel of Death to strike the firstborn of the Egyptians dead in judgment against them. This was the 10th Plague. After this, the Egyptian king, the Pharaoh, let the Israelites go.

    Christians see the slain lamb and his blood as the foreshadowing of the slaying of Jesus and the spilling of his blood at his crucifixion. In fact, the Last Supper the night before may have been a Passover seder. Surely Jesus was crucified at Passover time. Then on the third day, Jesus rose. Christians celebrate Easter to commemorate Jesus' resurrection. Holy Communion--the bread and wine as Jesus' body and blood--came out of the Passover meal.

    So it is absolutely right that Passover and Easter happen around the same time! Now since Jews and Christians determine their holiday dates differently, sometimes Passover happens about a month after Easter.

    But understand that these Jewish holidays were established before the Christian holidays were, just as Judaism was established first. Christianity came from Judaism; Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah (the Christ) that the Jews were waiting for.

    Source(s): Check it out: http://www.biblegateway.com
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  • robb
    Lv 6
    7 years ago

    I realize that there is a connection between "Easter" and Passover but they were not and they don't.. The dates of Passover (Nisan 15) and Hanukkah (Kislev 25) are fixed and based on the Hillel calendar while the date of Easter moves around based on the spring equinox and the date of Christmas is fixed based on the Gregorian calendar.

    In 2013 Hanukkah will begin on Nov 28, missing Christmas by almost a month (in 2012 it began 0n Dec 9). In 2016 Easter will fall on March 27 while Passover begins on April 23.

    I should probably point out that Eastern Orthodox Christians use a different method to determine the date for Easter than Roman Catholics and Protestants and this method places it closer to Passover in the years that the rest of Christianity misses it by a month.

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  • 4 years ago

    Passover and Easter are promptly and theologically appropriate. each and every experience of the OT has it rather is success interior the NT. each and every experience interior the NT has it rather is prefiguring interior the OT. The Passover is the classic Hebrews launch from captivity in Egypt - which bring about the commencing place of the OT and Judaism. Easter is the launch of all people who have self assurance interior the Messiah Jesus from Captivity in Sin; the commencing place of the NT and of Christianity. The Passover nicely-knownshows it rather is success in Easter. Easter nicely-knownshows it rather is prefiguring interior the Passover. Passover and Easter no longer often, if ever, actual coincide precisely, yet there is the reason they happen interior of close proximity.

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  • 7 years ago

    can't tell if troll, or just really bad at history...

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