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Christmas and Saturnalia

Started by Recusant, December 28, 2021, 04:31:12 AM

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Christians chose the date of Christmas for a self-serving reason: There were already popular festivals at this time of year, and slipping their god in there helped ensure popularity. The history detailed in the article is in accord with what I've previously read on the topic, but I can't guarantee that everything in it is entirely accurate.

"The sordid underbelly of Christmas past" | The Conversation

QuoteWhen English Puritans outlawed Christmas in 1647, it was not without good reason. When American Puritans, in turn, outlawed Christmas in Massachusetts between 1659 and 1681, it too was not without good reason.

Christmas past was anything but innocent.

Until the mid-19th century, Christmas was a time for drunkenness and debauchery.

Men dressed like women, women dressed like men, servants dressed like masters, boys dressed like bishops, everyone else either dressed as animals or wore blackface – all to subvert the godly order in the safety of anonymity.

Christmas was a carnival of drink, cross-dressing, violence and lust during which Christians were unshackled from the ethical norms expected of them the rest of the year.

No wonder the Puritans wanted it banned.

It was not until the 4th century that the Church of Rome recognised December 25 as the date to celebrate the birth of the messiah. And it did so knowing well that there were no biblical or historical reasons to place Christ's birth on that day.

There is some evidence the Romans worshipped Sol Invictus, their sun god, on December 25. But what the Romans really celebrated during the month of December was Saturnalia, an end of harvest festival that concluded with the winter solstice. As historian Stephen Nissenbaum pointed out in his acclaimed The Battle for Christmas, the early Church entered into a compromise: in exchange for widespread celebration of the birth of Christ, it permitted the traditions of Saturnalia to continue in the name of the saviour.

[Continues . . .]
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken

No one

Christians, being self serving? That doesn't sound right. Are you sure your information is reliable?


Interesting read.  It never ceases to amaze and amuse me when Xtians rabbit on about the "real" meaning of Xmas.  Ironically the real meaning has nothng to do with the birth of their alleged messiah.  Frankly, I'll go with the Roman Saturnalia.  Seems like much more fun!
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QuoteEaster first started out as a celebration of the Spring Equinox: a time when all of nature is awakened from the slumber of winter and the cycle of renewal begins. Anglo-Saxon pagans celebrated this time of rebirth by invoking Ēostre or Ostara, the goddess of spring, the dawn, and fertility.

Ye, it's weird but, reduce, reuse, recycle is the WAY.
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