Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Codbeck Reservoir

Not much wind this Christmas Day morning. The proverbial millpond. Plenty of folks making use of the perimeter path.

Christmas Day, the day most Christians celebrate the birth of Christ. It hasn’t always been celebrated on this date. Prior to the 5th-century when Church leaders agreed to fix the date of the birth of Christ, it had been celebrated both in May and January. Slight problem in that when this date of 25th December was set, the Julian calendar was in use. Today we use the Gregorian calendar and 25th December in the Julian calendar currently corresponds to 7th January in the Gregorian. Some Eastern Christian Orthodox Churches still actually celebrate Christmas using the Julian calendar.

All very confusing but I have no doubt that the eminent physicist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton would have fully understood it. He argued that the date of Christmas was selected to correspond with the date of the winter solstice on the Roman calendar. The fact that, if asked, he would have said his birthday was 25th December 1642 (under the old-style Julian calendar) possibly had some influence on his interest in the subject. England did not adopt the Gregorian calendar until after his death.

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