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Christmas Pagan Origins
How are Christmas customs connected with the ancients? What are the Pagan origins of many of our traditional Christmas Customs? Many of the Christian religious anniversaries were originally fixed at cardinal points of the year, without any reference to the dates of the events which they commemorated. Important Christian religious events were fixed at important dates around the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice.

Christmas Pagan Origins - The Pagans who worshipped the Sun
Long before, and long after, Jesus was born December 25 was the shortest day of the year - the day when there is less sunlight than on any other day. Christmas was therefore fixed at the time of the year when the most celebrated festivals of the ancients were held in honour of the return of the sun which at the winter solstice begins gradually to regain power and to ascend apparently in the horizon. On the shortest day of the year ancient pagan people worshipped the sun which included prayers and offerings to their Sun God to ensure that the sun returned to give them a good summer.

Christmas Pagan Origins - The Saxon, Viking and Northern Pagans
The Pagan Saxon, Vikings and other northern nations kept a festival at this time of the year in honour of Thor, in which they mingled feasting, drinking, and dancing with sacrifices and religious rites. It was called Yule, or Jule, a term of which the derivation has caused dispute amongst antiquaries. The word 'Yule' is believed by some to mean a festival, and others who believe that Iol, or Iul (spelt in various ways), is a primitive word which conveyed the idea of Revolution or Wheel, and applicable therefore to the return of the sun.

The Roman Pagans
The Roman Empire and the tradition of the Roman pagan holiday of Saturnalia was also observed near the winter solstice. It is the belief of many that the 25th December was chosen in order to substitute the joy of a Christian festival for the license of the Pagan Saturnalia which were kept during this season. The Pagan winter festivals of the Romans were connected with agricultural life. The sowing of the next year's crop was commemorated in the ancient festival of the Saturnalia on December 17. The most famous features of this Roman Pagan festival was the freedom and license of the slaves and the giving and receiving of gifts and presents. Towards the end of the feast, when the sun was on its return, and the world was considered to be renovated, a king or ruler was chosen, with considerable power granted to him during his 'reign', where may of the Twelfth-Night revels sprang from, mingled with those in honour of the Manifestation and Adoration of the Magi. 

Christmas Pagan Origins
Some other Christmas customs are adopted from the Pagan festivals of the ancients, as decking with evergreens and mistletoe (relics of Druidism) and the wassail bowl.

Christmas Pagan Origins

Christmas Pagan Origins

  • Christmas Pagan Origins
  • The meaning and origins of the symbols of Christmas
  • Old Christmas Customs, Symbols and Traditions
  • Meaning and origin of this traditional Christmas custom
  • Facts and information about customs, symbols and traditions
  • Meaning and origin of traditional symbols
  • Religious Christian practices around the world
  • Christmas Pagan Origins

Christmas Pagan Origins

"Merry Christmas, have a happy and prosperous New Year!"

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