Today, many people in Western-based cultures refer to this holiday as "Christmas." Yet a look into its origins of Christmas reveals its Pagan roots. Emperor Aurelian established December 25 as the birthday of the "Invincible Sun" in the third century as part of the Roman Winter Solstice celebrations. Shortly thereafter, in 273, the Christian church selected this day to represent the birthday of Jesus, and by 336, this Roman solar feast day was Christianized. January 6, celebrated as Epiphany in Christendom and linked with the visit of the Magi, was originally an Egyptian date for the Winter Solstice.
Most of the customs, lore, symbols, and rituals associated with "Christmas" actually are linked to Winter Solstice celebrations of ancient Pagan cultures. While Christian mythology is interwoven with contemporary observances of this holiday time, its Pagan nature is still strong and apparent.
Winter Solstice has been celebrated in cultures the world over for thousands of years. This start of the solar year is a celebration of Light and the rebirth of the Sun. In old Europe, it was known as Yule, from the Norse, Jul, meaning wheel.
Today, many people in Western-based cultures refer to this holiday as "Christmas." Yet a look into its origins of Christmas reveals its Pagan roots.
The primary, motivating factor that inspired early man to worship god, was his fear and dread of the potential fierceness of his environment. His (primitive man) major impetus for worshipping and sacrificing to the Sun God was to assure that the Sun God would continue protecting mankind from the ravages of the dreaded winter.
So for primitive man, the inception of winter, Dec. 22, was the worst day of every year for him. This day, Dec. 22 was the start of winter and marked the beginning of the worst stage of his yearly struggle for survival. This day, Dec. 22, is referred to by astronomers as the Winter Solstice. This word, Solstice, according to Webster's Dictionary means "to stand still, pause, a turning point." Primitive man even believed the Sun had died as he could detect no movement of the Sun in the sky for 3 days and and these 3 days were days having the shortest daylight of the year. This day, Dec. 22, the start of winter, was the harbinger of his potential perdition.
On Dec. 22 of each year, the Sun reached its Winter Solstice, the lowest point of the trajectory (angle of rays) of the entire year. After Dec. 22 (the turning point), the Sun again rises northward, which is a sign that summer shall come again!
Even though Dec. 22 marks the beginning of winter and the weather turns progressively worst from that point (Dec. 22) until the spring (March 21), all is not lost. Because the fact that the angle of the Sun's rays projecting on the earth, was moving progressively northward told early man that the warmth and comfort of the summer Sun would eventually prevail. But there was a period of doubt, for early primitive civilization. Primitive man did not understand our universe and solar system as we do today. We, today, know exactly what causes the four seasons of the year. But early man did not. He did not possess knowledge of our Solar System, the axis of the earth, its rotation and revolving around the Sun. He did not understand that these forces operated by a Natural, Providential Law, that would stay its course, no matter what. Early man only understood the result, not the cause. Because of this he would "reason" such events as best he could and these resulting "myths" would be handed down among mankind until Science would advance to replace such foolishness. The problem is that such foolishness would be later personified into acts of each nation's heroes and later ascribed to Jesus by the Sun-worshipping Romans who had control over the New Testament.
Now you can better understand that each year, early society awaited the approach of Dec. 22, with foreboding. Dec. 22, the day of the Winter Solstice (definition is to stand still) was a day of reckoning for them. Because it seemed to them, as they observed and tracked the North to South movement of the Sun, that on this day DEC 22, the sun entered its grave. The North to South progression of the Sun can be likened to a swinging pendulum. You know that when a pendulum reaches its solstice (the point where it swings back - its turning point), that for a slight imperceptible moment, it actually stands still. But in terms of our vast solar system, the point of solstice is not imperceptible. It lasts for days, three days to be exact. For three days, after the sun reaches its solstice, it appears to stand still. This period of pause, between the Suns descent and ASCENT, wrought paralyzing dread and fear into the hearts and minds of the early pre-Christians. Over time, they established rituals and traditions concerning this period (DEC 22 to DEC 25). They passed the word through oral tradition, and eventually, after their societies established writing, wrote it down, concerning their Sun God: the sun shall lay in a grave (point of solstice) for 3 days. But after 3 days the sun shall rise, be resurrected, (according to Websters Dictionary, the word resurrect is linked to the word resurge, which means "To Rise Again", to revive), and ascend toward heaven, (progressively ascend northward to the position of the summer Sun). And when the sun completes its ascent upward toward the point of its summer solstice, it will comfort us and bless us with warm weather and long days and will save us (be a savior) from the ravages of winter. So, this, that I have explained to you here, is the ORIGINAL, authentic, true CONCEPT of the resurrection. As the revelation of God would grow among Mankind, men could see how the God of the Universe has spoken such to them in the Cosmos.
When the pre-Christians spoke and wrote of the resurrection of the Sun; they meant exactly that. It did not refer to a person, but to the SOLAR SUN. That would come later. We see the the culminating of it in the teachings of Jesus and Judaism.
Now understand I believe in the resurrection of the dead as well as Jesus. What you, the reader must be sharp enough to see, is that many "untruths" have been mixed with "truths" in the life of Jesus as portrayed in the New Testament and "cast out the leaven."
But, when the Gentile Church broke from their Jewish Roots the Gentile priesthood began to associated with the inherited traditions about Jesus their older "religious traditions" of the Sun-gods. Long ago their Gentile ancestors had changed the Sun to Son. The priesthood told the pagans that the SON (Christ) was born on DEC 25, just like their SUN. They told them that the Son had been dead in a grave for three days and then was resurrected (revived) and ascended to heaven (upward) just like their Sun. This is totally a matter of faith for you, the reader.
Emperor Aurelian established December 25 as the birthday of the "Invincible Sun" in the third century as part of the Roman Winter Solstice celebrations. Shortly thereafter, in 273, the Christian church selected this day to represent the birthday of Jesus, and by 336, this Roman solar feast day was Christianized. January 6, celebrated as Epiphany in Christendom and linked with the visit of the Magi, was originally an Egyptian date for the Winter Solstice. If you have ever studied the Jewish Roots of Christianity you can easily see that Yeshua was conceived at Hanukkah (the Festival of Lights...light to the world) and was born at the High Holy Days (9 months later). This is why Bet Emet exists in hopes we can sanctify ourselves before our LORD and one day meet Him with truth and lives accordingly!
Most of the customs, lore, symbols, and rituals associated with "Christmas" actually are linked to Winter Solstice celebrations of ancient Pagan cultures. In closing "Pagan" does not always mean "evil or bad." But to attribute celestial events to Jesus, the assumed Messiah of many, and teach them as literal truth is not truthful and a discredit to both Jesus and his memory.