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What Is Open On Christmas Day 2022? A List Of Stores And Restaurants Wokandapix/ Pixabay

Dec. 25 is the day that Christians celebrate Jesus Christ's birth, but the date and many of the popular Christmas customs evolved from pagan traditions celebrating the winter solstice.

For decades, Christians have trimmed their trees, exchanged gifts, decorated houses with lights and garlands, and believed in the tale of a white-whiskered fat man in a red suit being pulled across the sky by reindeer. But ever wondered about the significance of these Christmas customs?

What Christmas is really about?

Historian Kenneth C. Davis said that Christmas is really about "bringing out your inner pagan," reported CBS News. He said that the festival was celebrated as early as the fourth century, indicating that it had almost nothing to do with Jesus Christ. The historian shared that in ancient Rome, there was a feast called Saturnalia that celebrated the solstice, which is the day that the sun starts coming back and the days start getting longer. He said that most of the traditions that we have that relate to Christmas actually relate to the solstice.

It was celebrated in ancient Rome on Dec. 25, so when "Christianity became the official religion in a sense, in Rome, they were able to fix this date." He noted that there's a little discrepancy about it, but there's no doubt that it was celebrated in Rome as an important day. It involved singing, gift giving, candle lighting, and decorating houses, and they "really cemented Christmas as Dec. 25."

Dec. 25 was celebrated as the birthday of sun God

According to The Creator's Calendar, long before Christ was born, Dec. 25 was the widely recognized and celebrated holiday of ancient times among the idolatrous countries. This day was celebrated as the birthday of the sun god, Mithra. The birthday of other sun gods like Hercules, Osiris, Horus, Adonis and Tammuz was also celebrated on Dec. 25.

Christmas trees

Christmas trees are important part of the winter festival, and it is another custom we can thank the pagans for. Davis said that the evergreen trees signaled the "return of life." He explained that "light" as the winter solstice meant that the days were starting to get longer. He shared that they "started to hang an apple on it," something that is similar to the little red balls on green trees during Christmas.

Mistletoe

The concept of mistletoe was started by the Druids, who believed that it was a healing item from the sacred oak tree. Davis said that if you met someone in the forest you "gave them the sign of peace under the mistletoe, so people started to hang mistletoe above their doorways as a symbol of peace." It was a powerful symbol of paganism, and so English churches actually banned the use of it, said Davis.

Exchanging of gifts on Christmas

People love to buy and exchange gifts on Christmas, and many assume that the Christmas tradition of exchanging gifts is a reenactment of the Magi bringing gifts to Jesus. But that is not the case as there is indisputable evidence that exchanging gifts at this time of the year was a vital part of the Roman Saturnalia celebration.

Santa Claus

Some believe that America’s jolly was once Saint Nicholas, who was a kindly old saint and generously gave gifts to the people in need. However, the facts of history, prove otherwise. There is no valid evidence that any “St. Nick” ever existed, but the customs and traditions from which Santa Claus evolved trace him back to Odin or Saturn. Santa has been called by various names in different nations through the centuries. But the customs that surround him have remained more or less the same. He has always been a very old white-bearded gentleman. At one point of time, he was Odin. But when Christianity drove away the old gods, he remained and appeared again as St. Nicholas.”

Christmas Tree
Representation Image Christmas Tree Farm Wokandapix/ Pixabay

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