The Origins of Christmas: Debunking the Pagan Festival Myth

TLDR The claim that Christmas is a pagan festival borrowed from pre-Christian religions is not supported by historical evidence. The celebration of Christmas on December 25th originated from the belief that it is the anniversary of Jesus' incarnation and was intended to emphasize the humanity of Christ.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 The question of whether Christmas is a pagan festival is explored, with the argument being made that many aspects of the holiday were borrowed from pre-Christian religions.
05:02 There is no ancient source that states that gods like Osiris, Adonis, Dionysus, and Krishna were born on December 25th, and the claims made by Dan Brown about Mithras are also inaccurate.
09:56 Salih T. Bing claims that Mithras was born on December 25th, and this claim is supported by other sources, but it is important to note that Mithras and Sol Invictus are separate gods.
14:19 The claim that Christians chose December 25th as the date to celebrate the birth of Jesus because it was the same date that the pagans celebrated the birthday of the sun god Sol Invictus is based on a misinterpretation of a 12th-century Syrian text and is not supported by historical evidence.
19:16 The evidence for the claim that the Feast of Sol on December 25th predates the Feast of Christmas is weak, as the major Feast Day of Sol was actually on August 28th, and there were even bigger celebrations of Sol on other dates throughout the year, making it unlikely that Christians specifically chose December 25th to mark the birth of Jesus.
24:27 The worship of Saturn in ancient Rome predates the founding of Rome itself, and he was associated with a golden age of peace and prosperity.
29:25 Saturn embodies two contradictory theories - he is seen as a menacing tyrant who devours his children and got overthrown by Zeus, but also as a king who ruled over a golden age and is still worshipped in his temple in the forum.
34:13 The Saturnalia festival in ancient Rome was a time of subversion and overturning of traditional orders, with men wearing feminized clothing, slaves being served by their masters, and the exchange of gifts, similar to Christmas.
38:43 The Saturnalia festival in ancient Rome involved the exchange of dolls and gifts made of clay or plaster, and while some intellectuals disliked the festival, Roman poets adored it and December was associated with merry making.
43:23 The celebration of Christmas and the Saturnalia festival were separate and celebrated simultaneously in late antiquity, and the tradition of present giving originated in the Saturnalia festival, not Christmas, and the idea that Christmas festivities originated from Saturnalian celebrations was actually propagated by Puritans who wanted to abolish these celebrations.
47:55 Christmas is celebrated on the 25th of December because it is believed to be the anniversary of Jesus' incarnation, and the celebration of Christmas was originally intended as a way for Christians to emphasize the humanity of Christ and make a point to other factions of Christians.
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