Thursday, 22 December 2016

A Christmas reminder

Here is your annual reminder that
  • Christmas is not in any way based on Saturnalia or Brumalia;
  • 25 December was never the 'birthday' of Sol Invictus or Mithras; and
  • the date of Christmas has nothing to do with Pope Julian I, or with a pagan temple in Rome founded by emperor Aurelian.
The date chosen for Christmas does coincide with a traditional Greco-Roman date for the winter solstice dating to the 4th century BCE, and that's probably no coincidence. But even there it isn't about the solstice itself -- solstices did not occupy a large role in most ancient pagan religions, contrary to popular belief -- but because ancient Christian theology favoured linking Jesus' conception to the vernal equinox, precisely nine months earlier on 25 March.

Here's the long version from a year ago. Merry Christmas!

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