What is the TRUE ORIGIN of Christmas? Where did it come from? Did you know Yeshua the Messiah was born nowhere NEAR December 25, but that was the "birth day" of the sun- god, "Sol Invictus" or "Mithras"? Did you know December 25 was the concluding day of the pagan winter festival called the "Saturnalia"? Where did "Santa Claus" come from? The "Christmas tree"? How did this pagan feast become connected with "Christianity"? Here is an amazing "whale of a tale"!
Although the whole world celebrates Christmas as a "Christian" holiday, including millions of non-Christians, is Christmas really "Christian" at all? Consider this fact: Look high and low throughout the pages of the Bible, and you will find not ONE WORD of "Christmas" being celebrated by any of YEHOVAH's people! It is not even mentioned once! Neither the Messiah nor any of his apostles ever observed this holiday, nor the New Testament Church!
Yet on the other hand the pagan, heathen world observed this day for thousands of years before the Messiah was even born!
Where did the mysterious rites and ceremonies that surround this day come from? What about the "Christmas tree" and the "Yule log" and the mistletoe and Holly wreaths? Are ANY of these customs truly "Christian" in origin? And what about fat and jolly old "Saint Nick" -- or Santa Claus?
Is it wrong to celebrate "Christmas"? What is the truth about this popular and widespread holiday?The Origin of Christmas
We read in Werner Keller's book The Bible as History the following admission:
"December 25 is referred to in documents as Christmas Day in A.D. 324 for the first time. Under the Roman emperor Justinian [A.D. 527-565] it was recognized as an official holiday. An old Roman festival played a a major part in the choice of this particular day. December 25 in ancient Rome was the 'Dies Natali Invictus,' 'the birthday of the unconquered,' the day of the winter solstice and at the same time, in Rome, the last day of the Saturnalia, which had long since degenerated into a week of unbridled carnival..." (p. 331).
Doesn't it seem rather strange that the so-called "Christian church" should choose a day to celebrate the Messiah's birth which was identified as the day of the birth of the unconquered sun, the day of the winter solstice, the "shortest day of the year," when the sunlit part of the days start becoming longer again? What does this have to do with the Messiah, anyway? Was Yeshua the Messiah born anywhere near December 25? Keller goes on:
"Meteorologists as well as historians and astronomers have something of importance to contribute to this question of fixing the date of the birth of Jesus. According to St. Luke: 'And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night' (Luke 2:
"Meteorologists have made exact recordings of the temperature at Hebron. This spot in the southern highlands of Judah exhibits the same climatic conditions as Bethlehem, which is not far distant. The temperature readings show over a period of three months that the incidence of frost is as follows: December -- 2.8 degrees; January -- 1.6 degrees; February ---0.1 degrees. The first two months have also the greatest rainfall in the year: approximately 6 inches in December, and nearly 8 inches in January. According to all existing information the climate of Palestine has not changed appreciably in the last 2,000 years, consequently modern meteorological observations can be taken as a basis.
"At Christmas-time Bethlehem is in the grip of frost, and in the Promised Land no cattle would have been in the fields in that temperature. This fact is born out by a remark in the Talmud to the effect that in that neighborhood the flocks were put out to grass in March and brought in again at the beginning of November. They remained out in the open for almost eight months.
"Around Christmas-time nowadays both animals and shepherds are under cover in Palestine.
"What St. Luke tells us points therefore to the birth of Jesus having taken place BEFORE the onset of winter..." (p. 331-332).
How interesting! How fascinating! As we explore the time for the birth of the Messiah, we find he was born nowhere near December 25, the very date the world has chosen to "celebrate" supposedly, his "birthday"! But there is much more to the story than this. Let's go on.Who WAS Born on December 25?
If Yeshua the Messiah was not born on December 25, who was? In other words, whose birthday is the whole "Christian world" really celebrating on December 25, though they call it the birth of "Christ"? Or, to put it another way, what "Christ" are they talking about? The word "Christ," remember, is merely the translation of the Greek word Christos, which literally means "Anointed one" -- it comes from the Hebrew word Moshiach, from whence we get the word "Messiah." So what "anointed one" was born on December 25?
Let us take out our magnifying glass, and like Sherlock Holmes, do some careful detective work, and see if we can solve the mystery -- the puzzle of why the whole world observes the birthday of Yeshua the Messiah on a day on which he was not even remotely born! In the book History of Rome, by Michael Grant, we read this startling revelation:
"Yet there was also another pagan belief during this same epoch, that much more nearly competed with Christ for the control of the Western world. This was the cult of the Sun, which was revered by millions of the inhabitants of the Roman Empire, and its religion for a time even became the state worship....
"In Rome, the divinity of the Sun came very early on; and then, centuries afterwards, in the superb dome of Hadrian's Pantheon, the central opening, surrounded by star-like rosettes, represented the solar orb....Before long, the emperor Aurelian established a massive temple of the Unconquerable Sun as the central and focal point of the entire religious system of the state (274). The birthday of the god was to be on DECEMBER 25, AND THIS, TRANSFORMED INTO CHRISTMAS DAY, WAS ONE OF THE HERITAGES THAT CHRISTIANITY OWED TO HIS CULT" (p. 391- 392, emphasis mine).
Notice!Christianity took over the birthday of the sun god, the cult of the sun, and transformed it into CHRISTMAS DAY, the "birthday" of Yeshua the Messiah! It was in reality the birth day of the pagan sun god, worshipped by millions throughout the Roman Empire!The Influence of Constantine
When Constantine became Emperor of Rome, he nominally at least became a "Christian." But being the head of a far-flung political Empire, he was concerned about the unity and coherence and stability of his Empire. As a sagacious politician, he sought to reconcile and blend and mesh pagan practices with "Christian" beliefs, to merge paganism with the Roman church. Constantine promulgated the "Edict of Toleration" in A.D. 313. He became emperor in A.D. 323, and "then Christianity was enthroned" (Jesse Lyman Hurlbut, The Story of the Christian Church, p. 74). From this time, for the next two hundred years, all persecutions of Christians of the Roman church, and its adherents, ceased. The sword of persecution was "not merely sheathed; it was buried" The Seduction of the Church
Admits the Worldbook Encyclopedia, "The exact date of Christ's birth is not known. The early Christians did NOT celebrate His birth, because they considered the celebration of anyone's birth to be a pagan custom. The first mention of the observance of Christ's birthday appears about A.D. 200. For many years, several dates were used. December 25 was first mentioned in 336" (article "Christmas").
This common reference work acknowledges, "For many years, people observed Christmas as a religious festival only. But they GRADUALLY ADOPTED MORE AND MORE CUSTOMS UNRELATED TO THE CHURCH. Most of the customs originated in cultures that existed before Christianity....In 1643, the Puritans, who regarded such celebrations as pagan, outlawed the observance of Christmas in England." Colonists in New England followed the English laws and also outlawed Christmas. But immigrants to the New World brought Christmas customs from many lands and the old festivities where soon restored.
All of the popular customs and traditions surrounding Christmas actually were celebrated at pagan mid-winter festivals thousands of years before the Messiah was born. Admits this same encyclopedia, "The custom of burning the Yule log began with the ancient Scandinavians, who once a year burned a huge log in honor of their god Thor. After the Scandinavians became Christians [sic], they made the Yule log an important part of their Christmas ceremonies."
Let me leave you here. If you need more, it is preserved for future need, just ask.