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The Origin Of Christmas - zoverload - 12-29-2011

For today's Christian, the origin of Christmas is, and should be, the birth of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Bible. Nothing more and nothing less. However, most of what we witness on December 25th each year has absolutely nothing to do with that blessed day, which probably occurred in late summer or early fall about 2,000 years ago. In fact, most of the customs and traditions of Christmas actually pre-date the birth of Jesus, and many of them are downright deceptive in their meaning and origin. Here are a few examples:

The date of December 25th probably originated with the ancient "birthday" of the son-god, Mithra, a pagan deity whose religious influence became widespread in the Roman Empire during the first few centuries A.D. Mithra was related to the Semitic sun-god, Shamash, and his worship spread throughout Asia to Europe where he was called Deus Sol Invictus Mithras. Rome was well-known for absorbing the pagan religions and rituals of its widespread empire. As such, Rome converted this pagan legacy to a celebration of the god, Saturn, and the rebirth of the sun god during the winter solstice period. The winter holiday became known as Saturnalia and began the week prior to December 25th. The festival was characterized by gift-giving, feasting, singing and downright debauchery, as the priests of Saturn carried wreaths of evergreen boughs in procession throughout the Roman temples.

Variations of this pagan holiday flourished throughout the first few centuries after Jesus Christ, but it probably wasn't until 336 AD that Emperor Constantine officially converted this pagan tradition into the "Christian" holiday of Christmas.


RE: The Origin Of Christmas - roger_pearse - 12-29-2011

(12-29-2011, 12:45 PM)zoverload Wrote: The date of December 25th probably originated with the ancient "birthday" of the son-god, Mithra, a pagan deity whose religious influence became widespread in the Roman Empire during the first few centuries A.D.

You mean Mithras (with an S) -- Mithra is a Zoroastrian deity, not worshipped in the Roman Empire, and with even less connection to all this than Mithras.

There is no "birthday" of Mithras (or Mithra, for that matter) recorded in any ancient source.

Quote:Mithra was related to the Semitic sun-god, Shamash, and his worship spread throughout Asia to Europe where he was called Deus Sol Invictus Mithras.

The cult of Mithras originated in Rome ca. 50 AD, and spread from there, as the archaology makes clear.

Quote:Rome was well-known for absorbing the pagan religions and rituals of its widespread empire. As such, Rome converted this pagan legacy to a celebration of the god, Saturn, and the rebirth of the sun god during the winter solstice period.

No connection between Saturn and Mithras is recorded in any ancient text.

Quote:The winter holiday became known as Saturnalia and began the week prior to December 25th. ...

Saturnalia is an ancient Roman festival, predating Christ. It ran from 17-23rd December.

Quote: but it probably wasn't until 336 AD that Emperor Constantine officially converted this pagan tradition into the "Christian" holiday of Christmas.

Constantine made no edict about Christmas, and since Saturnalia is recorded in the Chronography of 354, he didn't abolish it either (in fact it continued on into the 6th century under the name Brumalia -- see John the Lydian, De mensibus book 4). Christmas was not a state festival in the 4th century AD.

It's a very good rule with all this stuff to ask to see the ancient sources. There is so much tat around, in fact, that I have given up believing anything I hear about antiquity unless sources are given. It's the only way.

All the best,

Roger Pearse

All the best,

Roger Pearse


RE: The Origin Of Christmas - psilocybin - 12-30-2011

(12-29-2011, 09:13 PM)roger_pearse Wrote:
(12-29-2011, 12:45 PM)zoverload Wrote: The date of December 25th probably originated with the ancient "birthday" of the son-god, Mithra, a pagan deity whose religious influence became widespread in the Roman Empire during the first few centuries A.D.

You mean Mithras (with an S) -- Mithra is a Zoroastrian deity, not worshipped in the Roman Empire, and with even less connection to all this than Mithras.

There is no "birthday" of Mithras (or Mithra, for that matter) recorded in any ancient source.

Quote:Mithra was related to the Semitic sun-god, Shamash, and his worship spread throughout Asia to Europe where he was called Deus Sol Invictus Mithras.

The cult of Mithras originated in Rome ca. 50 AD, and spread from there, as the archaology makes clear.

Quote:Rome was well-known for absorbing the pagan religions and rituals of its widespread empire. As such, Rome converted this pagan legacy to a celebration of the god, Saturn, and the rebirth of the sun god during the winter solstice period.

No connection between Saturn and Mithras is recorded in any ancient text.

Quote:The winter holiday became known as Saturnalia and began the week prior to December 25th. ...

Saturnalia is an ancient Roman festival, predating Christ. It ran from 17-23rd December.

Quote: but it probably wasn't until 336 AD that Emperor Constantine officially converted this pagan tradition into the "Christian" holiday of Christmas.

Constantine made no edict about Christmas, and since Saturnalia is recorded in the Chronography of 354, he didn't abolish it either (in fact it continued on into the 6th century under the name Brumalia -- see John the Lydian, De mensibus book 4). Christmas was not a state festival in the 4th century AD.

It's a very good rule with all this stuff to ask to see the ancient sources. There is so much tat around, in fact, that I have given up believing anything I hear about antiquity unless sources are given. It's the only way.

All the best,

Roger Pearse

All the best,

Roger Pearse
Clap
Way to pull 'em apart roger... respect


RE: The Origin Of Christmas - roger_pearse - 01-03-2012

(12-30-2011, 02:43 AM)psilocybin Wrote: Way to pull 'em apart roger... respect

You're very kind, but that wasn't really my aim. I just don't see how it benefits any honest person to have material which is *factually* nonsense (opinions we can all do for ourselves) going round.

All the best,

Roger Pearse