Historically, the time around Christmas was a celebration of when the days began to lengthen.
However, many religious groups throughout history have claimed the winter solstice as a holy day.
THE WINTER SOLSTICE
The date of the Winter Solstice is not absolute.
Over the centuries it has moved forward, having originally been in early January.
Though it is often associated with December 25th, it now actually falls on the 22nd, and will be earlier still in the centuries to come.
In Roman times, well before Christians recognised Christmas as a time of celebration, there was a religion known as Mithraism.
Worshippers believed that Mithras was born on the 25th of December.
Interestingly, it was said that his birth was witnessed by 3 shepherds.
Also of note, is the fact that Mithraism celebrated this date with the Nativity of the Sun.
As I mentioned previously in my post about Halloween, many Christian celebrations, and other dates of note, are based upon old pagan festivals.
For example, the integration of the Roman Saturnalia and the Scandinavian and Teutonic Yule, which are clearly pagan in origin, now feature during the Church’s year.
Back in the times of ancient Egypt, the god Osiris represented the sun.
Coupled with Akhenaton’s belief in monotheism, this may have led to the concept of the ‘sun of God’, alternatively recognised as Jesus.
Either way, early Christian imagery generally depicts holy people with a light backdrop of rays of light, or corolla, around their heads.
This is clearly designed to show that they represent the sun.
The worship of the sun was a common element in many early pagan and Roman religions.
For this reason, even to this day, Sun-day is held to be a holy day in many religions, including Christianity.
It’s Ironic, then, that when God said to keep the Sabbath holy, that he was actually referring to Saturday. How many Christians around the world worship on a Sunday instead?
THE REAL MEANING OF CHRISTMAS
Considering the links between December 25th and the Winter Solstice, would it then not be logical to conclude that the real meaning of Christmas is sun worship?
In ancient times everyone knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that life itself was dependent upon the sun.
Almost all religions, current and past, hold sun worship as a pillar of their philosophy.
Major celebrations and large festivals were held at the Winter Solstice in order to recognise and affirm the victory of the strength of the sun over the forces of darkness (evil) that try to suppress it.
Prior to the Roman emperor Constantine’s push for Christianity in his realm, Christmas was not celebrated by Christians at all.
That only came to pass through integration with Mithraism.
In Catholicism, it was believed that only the heathens celebrated the sun on the 25th of December.
However, in order to integrate the masses into the Church of Rome, December 25th was made a temporal date for the birth of Christ in order to appease them.
JESUS WAS NOT ALONE ON CHRISTMAS DAY
Further evidence to suggest that December 25th is not a true celebration of the birth of Jesus may be highlighted by the fact that he was not alone in having that birth date.
The following deities were also born on ‘Christmas day’ –
Does this list suggest that the whole concept of celebrating Christmas, supposedly the birth date of Christ, is at best a misled philosophy?
Is it not possible that the whole concept of Christianity is just a collection of borrowed dates, newly spun versions of older stories and, ultimately, a religious scam?
Could it be said that the all-embracing Christian faith simply stole other religious dates and then applied their own belief systems to them, in order to appeal to the mass market?
Christmas time often sees many arguments between different groups.
Non-Christians will moan that Christmas is too religious.
Christians complain that Christmas is associated too closely with pagan rituals.
However, the simple fact is that the 25th of December has always been associated with Sun worship, dating back thousands of years prior to the advent of Christianity.
Consider the traditions of a modern Christmas –
- Christmas trees
- The Nativity
All are pagan in origin, yet are intrinsic to how many people celebrate the 25th of December, regardless of their religion.
Nevertheless, Christians will still be happy, safe in the knowledge that they are deluding themselves into thinking that the day has some relevance to Christ.
Equally, pagans should be happy, knowing that the sun is being worshipped in one form or another.
Those without religion, well, they get the commercial and social pleasures of the holiday season don’t they?
What does Christmas mean to you?
Does that make any difference to your beliefs, or do you not care?