I bet 90% of people, who celebrates Christmas, have absolutely no idea that this day has nothing to do with a birth of Jesus Christ or Christianity at all. What’s more, many times those “true believers” despise other opinions and deny everything – as soon as they hear something about Winter Solstice and why it is an old pagan festivity.
Unfortunately, it is the clear result of centuries old brain-washing of people who had no will to think by themselves.
I had no reason to write it all myself, as they are already well known facts acknowledged by historians, so I just did quick search on Internet and used first source I found about this topic, so here you are:
An Ancient Holiday
The middle of winter has long been a time of celebration around the world. Centuries before the arrival of the man called Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter. Many peoples rejoiced during the winter solstice, when the worst of the winter was behind them and they could look forward to longer days and extended hours of sunlight.
In Rome, where winters were not as harsh as those in the far north, Saturnalia – a holiday in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture – was celebrated. Beginning in the week leading up to the winter solstice and continuing for a full month, Saturnalia was a hedonistic time, when food and drink were plentiful and the normal Roman social order was turned upside down. For a month, slaves would become masters. Peasants were in command of the city. Business and schools were closed so that everyone could join in the fun.
Also around the time of the winter solstice, Romans observed Juvenalia, a feast honoring the children of Rome. In addition, members of the upper classes often celebrated the birthday of Mithra, the god of the unconquerable sun, on December 25. It was believed that Mithra, an infant god, was born of a rock. For some Romans, Mithra’s birthday was the most sacred day of the year.
In the early years of Christianity, Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated. In the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday. Unfortunately, the Bible does not mention date for his birth (a fact Puritans later pointed out in order to deny the legitimacy of the celebration). Although some evidence suggests that his birth may have occurred in the spring (why would shepherds be herding in the middle of winter?), Pope Julius I chose December 25. It is commonly believed that the church chose this date in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival. First called the Feast of the Nativity, the custom spread to Egypt by 432 and to England by the end of the sixth century. By the end of the eighth century, the celebration of Christmas had spread all the way to Scandinavia. Today, in the Greek and Russian orthodox churches, Christmas is celebrated 13 days after the 25th, which is also referred to as the Epiphany or Three Kings Day. This is the day it is believed that the three wise men finally found Jesus in the manger.
By holding Christmas at the same time as traditional winter solstice festivals, church leaders increased the chances that Christmas would be popularly embraced, but gave up the ability to dictate how it was celebrated. By the Middle Ages, Christianity had, for the most part, replaced pagan religion. On Christmas, believers attended church, then celebrated raucously in a drunken, carnival-like atmosphere similar to today’s Mardi Gras. Each year, a beggar or student would be crowned the “lord of misrule” and eager celebrants played the part of his subjects. The poor would go to the houses of the rich and demand their best food and drink. If owners failed to comply, their visitors would most likely terrorize them with mischief. Christmas became the time of year when the upper classes could repay their real or imagined “debt” to society by entertaining less fortunate citizens.
Taken from here: http://www.history.com/topics/christmas
It always was my opinion that almost all of those who believes in Jesus Christ or call themselves “Christians” do not have any understanding nor a slightest idea from where it all came and how it was made.
I think this was a bad comparation. Nazis promoted racism, while Christianity says that we all should love and respect each other. That’s the difference 😉
No, I think it was right comparison. Nazis promoted “”love”‘ for German/Aryan supernation and meant all good for that cause in the same way as christians did for christianity. Only truth is that both they told one thing, but in reality they did opposite – talking about love while killing people!
Remember that most of Nazis were christians!
Also Christianity promoted full time racism, who else sold Africans into slavery, who killed and spreaded hate against indians? They all were christians! As I said they talk about love while killing people.
They did it all and I know. But that doesn’t mean Christianity is bad. It tells people to love each other but the Christians misinterpret it. That doesn’t mean that Christianity is bad, it means that these “Christians” are. That’s the difference. 🙂
The difference is the one between THEORY and PRACTICE. In theory, every ideology (Christianity is an ideology more than a religion) promotes the higher and more ‘innocent’ ideals and builds it’s existence upon them, whether it’s Love, Liberty, Compassion, Social Justice, etc.
In practice, however, the history of the ‘Religion of Love’ from the communes of the protochristians to the Vatican and the Byzantine empire, is one of violent christianization and religious warfare. A hate that has deep roots in the Bible.
We european pagans stand together with european christians when it comes to matters of utmost importance, as is the colonization of Europe by Asian and African illegal immigrants and the resultant islamization.
This doesn’t mean we will give christians any alibi of theoretical pureness…
-a greek pagan
I’m a Jew, but the Atlantic Slave Trade had little to nothing to do with Christian values. Colonial interest were expanding; and if there’s one thing I know from history, it’s that expansionism and slavery have always gone hand in hand. Why do you think the slave trade was so big in ancient Rome, Mesopotamia, Greece, Egypt, etc. Even more recently, there was definitely a direct correlation between Soviet gulags and Nazi concentration camps and economic expansion; and not just race.
Christians made up justifications for slavery so they wouldn’t be the “bad guys”. Even in the Confederacy and Deep South centuries later; slavers justified their professions by saying that persons of African descent couldn’t take care of themselves. I’m not saying Christianity didn’t have anything to do with it, but tribalism and racial justifications for oppression aren’t exclusive to Christianity. In E.O. Wilson’s classic sociobiological masterpiece On Human Nature, he discusses the Mundurucú headhunters, who justified completely destroying enemy villages and hunting rivals for sport with the belief that members of other tribes weren’t human like they were. Never underestimate tribalism and prejudice as a tool for mobilizing cultures and ensuring a setting of cultural competition.
“Christians made up justifications for slavery so they wouldn’t be the “bad guys”. — that’s the case!
I know very well that slavery was a thing before christianity, but like with Mundurucú headhunters, you mentioned, ancient Greeks, Egypt etc never babbled about love, compassion and all that crap, while killing and enslaving people.
Long time ago before Roman Civilization, Persian Mithra religion had Christmas (birthday of Mithra, not Jesus). They used to call this day as “Yelda” (victory of light over darkness), it is also a girl name in Persia and Turkey comes from it. It is already documented that it has an history at least for 2500 years but it is probably much more older.
That tradition spreaded Europe by Hellens which was in touch was Persians.
And the Christianity itself is a Greek religion. Earliest Christianism was a Jewish sect. The Greek dude called Paul, who used to live in Mersin city of Today’s Turkey (Clicia) created the “modern” Christianity and made it “universal” and speaded it to Ephesus and latelty to Romans.
Christmas is stolen from Winter Solstice. Solstice celebrations comes from times long before Greeks and Romans, its a divination of the Sun and every primitive culture had it. Solstice was celebrated all around the globe in almost every society and culture, so it not came from Greece, Persia or whatever to other countries -it was there from beginning. Even on the other side of the world, Americas, Sun was worshiped as a god. All in all every religion as we know them now, arose from this “”primitive”” cult of the Sun, even your christianity.
We can say that christianity is more complicated myth of the Sun, Sun, who dies at night and reborn at dawn, Sun who gives light and warmth like loving mother. Only this time complication of this myth went wrong way and brought so much evil and suffering to our world!
He made the same points. That’s why he put modern Christianity in quotation marks and said that the celebration has a history going back 2500 years, but is probably much older.
Apostle Saul/Paul was NOT Greek, but a Jew of the Veniamin tribe.
Much of english/american “christian culture” is directly stolen from anglo-saxon, norman, and mainland germanic culture, which many things, including the holidays, marriage traditions, and more obviously the names of days being artifacts of anglo-saxon culture. It’s obvious when you read about such things in the bible, the morality presented is nothing like that of western culture, being in my mind completely alien. That’s precisely why they need these artifacts to cope with the failure of a religion, just as mexican catholics’ cultural views contain many of their regional cultural remnants. That being said, specifically in the english language, christmas originated from a pre-christian anglo-saxon holiday, as did easter.
if chirstmast not jesus christ birhtday, then why people celebrate merry christmast every year ?
Because you are told so 😉
The argument that the shepherds would have not been out with their flocks in late December is bunk. The flocks kept for the sacrifices at the Temple in Jerusalem were kept at Bethlehem. They were kept outside all year long. The shepherds WOULD have been out with their flocks on December 25th.
Astronomers say the “Christmas Star” was actually a conjunction of three planets that happens every so often. The apparent motion of this “star” was from east to west. The magi would have followed it from the east to Jerusalem. Only once did it change direction and move south towards Bethlehem. This only happened on ONE day – December 25th in 3 BC. Remember the magi came to Jerusalem and asked Herod where the new King was. They then went south and found him in Bethlehem. All the “Jesus couldn’t have been born on Dec. 25th” is mere conjecture. The movement of the stars and planets is irrefutable.
Oh cmon! Dont even know what to answer here – if you want to believe to those tales, no matter what, then do it.
It is not true that the vast majority of Christians do not know that the date of Christmas has been chosen based on a previous pagan holiday. Christians who love history, we know it. And there is no problem with it. What’s the matter with one date or another?
Many things of the Christian religion (when it’s about it expansion through new lands) have been based on pagan things that already existed in these lands previously (dates, location of sanctuaries, rites …) the Romans did the same when they conquered other peoples, with the intention of amalgamating their pagan gods with the pre-existing pagan gods (Jupiter / Candamio in Iberia, for example). It is logical to do that …
In this way, a great rupture between the previous and the new religion is avoided. It is easier to assimilate the new believers.
I repeat, many Christians know this (Christmas date is based on Winter’s Solstice date, due to pagan festivies) , and there is no problem with that. Like I love the story of my pagan ancestors and the pagan metal, while I am a Christian. That’s why I’m here. Both things are not at odds with each other, although unfortunately, many people think so.
“I repeat, many Christians know this (Christmas date is based on Winter’s Solstice date, due to pagan festivies)”
Sorry, but I have hard time to believe this – vast majority of christians dont know it and dont care. Maybe few some like you, who read history, but then again, no offence, but if you really study history, why are you still christian?!
it’s true, as we already know…