In the Greek-speaking areas of the Roman Empire, the Macedonian calendar was used.

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and is an integral part of the holiday season, while some Christian groups reject the celebration.

In several countries, celebrating Christmas Eve on December 24 has the main focus rather than December 25, with gift-giving and sharing a traditional meal with the family.

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A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it is prepared for by the season of Advent or the Nativity Fast and initiates the season of Christmastide, which historically in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on Twelfth Night; when Joseph and Mary arrived in the city, the inn had no room and so they were offered a stable where the Christ Child was soon born, with angels proclaiming this news to shepherds who then disseminated the message furthermore.

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This is not a disagreement over the date of Christmas as such, but rather a preference of which calendar should be used to determine the day that is December 25.

In the Council of Tours of 567, the Church, with its desire to be universal, "declared the twelve days between Christmas and Epiphany to be one unified festal cycle", thus giving significance to both the Western and Eastern dates of Christmas.

King Herod orders the massacre of all the boys less than two years old in Bethlehem, but the family flees to Egypt and later settles in Nazareth.

The earliest known Christian festivals were attempts to celebrate Jewish holidays, especially Passover, according to the local calendar.

It says that angels proclaimed him a savior for all people, and shepherds came to adore him.