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Religions predating christianity

[...] It was general custom in pagan Europe to decorate spaces with greenery and flowers for festivals, attested wherever records have survived.#mithraism #zoroastrianism Sun worship formed the basis of Mithraism" JQPU_Content="Roman mystery religion that believed that the Son of the Sun was a saviour who was sacrificed for the good of all About Mithraism" href=" Zoroastrianism, other Roman religions and many other pagan traditions. 'the Nativity of the SUN.' [...] Franz Cumont, perhaps the greatest scholar of Mithraism" JQPU_Content="Roman mystery religion that believed that the Son of the Sun was a saviour who was sacrificed for the good of all About Mithraism" href=" wrote, quoting Minucius Felix, "The Mithraists also observed Sun-day and kept sacred the 25th of December as the birthday of the Sun.It is the reason Sun-day is a holy day in many religions, and why major festivals are held at spring and at the Solstices. Many scholars have pointed out how the Sun- worshipping Mithraism" JQPU_Content="Roman mystery religion that believed that the Son of the Sun was a saviour who was sacrificed for the good of all About Mithraism" href=" the Sun-worshipping Manicheans and the Christians were all syncretised and reconciled when Constantine led the take-over by Christianity[...]"However, other Sun-worshipping groups were included too, because of the general importance and popularity of Sol Invictus, the Invincible Sun-deity.

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Irenaeus and Tertullian omit it from their lists of feasts" - those authors lived into the 3rd century.However true this is, it has also become a secular social festival much akin to the American thanksgiving.Families come together at Christmas even if they do not for the rest of the year.But the exact date of the Winter Solstice changes slowly over time."So, although the solstice moved progressively from 6 January to 25 December, some traditions continued to celebrate it on the familiar night. The Roman religion of Mithraism" JQPU_Content="Roman mystery religion that believed that the Son of the Sun was a saviour who was sacrificed for the good of all About Mithraism" href=" which existed for hundreds of years before Christianity" JQPU_Content="Belief that a single creator god had a son, Jesus Christ, born to a human mother, and that Jesus' crucifixion by the Romans brings salvation About Christianity" href="christianity.html"Christians started celebrating Christmas, holds that the birth of Mithras was on the 25th of December.Christians adopted these during the earliest period of Church history.

The Church, however, has given this recognition and incorporates it into the Church year without too many misgivings.

Christmas is a multicultural festival with a long pagan history, and can be celebrated by anyone..

In other words, Christmas was pagan before it was adopted (and renamed) by Christians.

Sun worshippers and nature religions held major celebrations at the Winter Solstice the victory of the strength of the Sun over the forces of darkness that try to suppress it. was the pagan sun- worship, Mithraism" JQPU_Content="Roman mystery religion that believed that the Son of the Sun was a saviour who was sacrificed for the good of all About Mithraism" href=" . In these solemnities and festivities the Christians also took part." Practically all the known Sun-deities were born on the 25th December. Therein we also read of the Scandinavian goddess Frigga in whose honour a "Mother-night" festival was held at the winter solstice ( - 25 December), as well as a similar great feast of Yule, where a boar was offered at the winter solstice in honour of Frey.

Osiris-Dionysus represented and was represented by the sun, as was Jesus, whom the Church father Clement of Alexander calls 'The Sun of Righteousness'Sir James Frazer says, "The largest pagan religious cult which fostered the celebration of December 25 as a holiday . What the Scots did emphasize, in common with many of the English, was light.

In 1725 Henry Bourne, a Newcastle clergyman, commented that many people in the North of England lit huge 'Christmas candles' on Christmas Eve.