Saturnalia was a public holiday celebrated in Rome prior to the arrival of Christianity. It was considered a time for great feasts, extending goodwill to one’s neighbors, and showing generosity to those less fortunate. Hmm, not so different from Christmastime…

Maybe Santa Claus should ditch the red coat for some gladiator armor. Hear us out.

Did you know that the ancient Romans celebrated a holiday around the 25th of December each year? Beyond just its date, experts have noted that this holiday – known as Saturnalia – had some eery similarities to the modern celebration of Christmas… leading to serious speculation about an alternate Christmas origin story.

Is it possible that the Romans invented Christmas? Let’s weigh the evidence.

What Was Saturnalia?

Saturnalia was a public holiday celebrated in Rome prior to the arrival of Christianity. It was considered a time for great feasts, extending goodwill to one’s neighbors, and showing generosity to those less fortunate. Hmm, not so different from Christmastime…

But that’s not all. Saturnalia also featured decorated trees, as well as a ritual exchange of gifts.

Sounds pretty familiar, doesn’t it?

Records of Saturnalia date back to as early as 217 BC, when the Roman people would gather to mark the end of the harvest and honor Saturn, the god of sowing. This date was later moved back on the calendar to align with the winter solstice, and the seven-day festival reached its peak on December 25th.

The Roman poet Gaius Valerius Catullus described it as “the best of times.” The people enjoyed relaxed dress codes and exchanged small gifts such as toys and candles.

Tree decoration was also an important activity. However, instead of cutting down whole trees, the people would cut single branches and turn them into wreaths to decorate their homes and temples. Living trees were decorated where they grew with ornaments representing the sun and stars.

The state even postponed executions and forbid any declarations of war during Saturnalia, to make sure everyone was allowed to enjoy the festivities.

The holiday eventually fell out of favor with the rise of Christianity and Rome’s first Christian emperor, Constantine. These developments have led some to wonder if Saturnalia, like so many other pagan festivals and traditions, was simply Christianized and rebranded as “Christmas.”

Did Christmas Derive from Saturnalia?

The question of whether Saturnalia actually turned into Christmas is a matter of some debate.

Backers of this theory point to the many similarities between the two holidays – their date on the calendar, the spirit of the season, and the many activities that people took part in.

They also note an interesting fact: the first records of Christmas being celebrated as the birth of Jesus also come from Rome.  

Indeed, the Roman Philocalian calendar in the year 354 AD contains a reference to Christmas as a holiday on December 25th specifically commemorating the birth of Christ.

Coincidence, or evidence?

Skepticism Abounds

Skeptics say coincidence. For despite the similarities between Christmas and Saturnalia, these doubters note there are plenty of differences, too.

For example, unlike Christmas, Saturnalia involved some… curious practices. One of the most prominent was the flipping of roles between masters and slaves; it was routine during Saturnalia for slave owners to swap clothes with their slaves, and to serve them at the table.  

To be fair, that doesn’t exactly scream typical “Christmas cheer”.

There are other reasons to be skeptical, too. The poet Lucian of Samosata, who lived in the 2nd century AD, wrote a poem titled Saturnalia in which he includes the god Saturn explaining what the holiday entails:

“During my week the serious is barred: no business allowed. Drinking and being drunk, noise and games of dice, appointing of kings and feasting of slaves, singing naked, clapping … an occasional ducking of corked faces in icy water – such are the functions over which I preside.”

Alcohol certainly has its part in the tradition of the holiday, but naked singing? Ice dunks? Those aren’t popular Christmas activities last we checked.

Plus, the doubters note, there is historical evidence that Christ’s birthdate (and thus the date of Christmas itself) was set independent of Saturnalia.

Around the 4th century AD, Christianity was spreading across the civilized world. As its customs and traditions expanded, it was decided that the holiday of Christmas would be created to commemorate the birth of Christ. 

Experts note that while church leaders likely had no hard proof that Jesus was born in late December, they relied on a biblical argument to make their case.

They argued that because the world was supposedly created around the spring equinox (which occurs in late March), God would have decided that Jesus also be conceived on that date. If you fast forward nine months from late March, then the Virgin Mary would have given birth to Christ right around the winter solstice.

The takeaway? Jesus's December 25th birthdate isn't entirely arbitrary, as some advocates of the Saturnalia origin story argue.  

Nonetheless, we may never know for sure just how much influence the pagan celebration of Saturnalia had on this major Christian holiday. 

What do you make of the idea that the Romans invented Christmas?

105 comments

  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    While we might not know the origin of Christmas, we do know the origin of the nativity scene. It was thought up by a priest in the twelfth centaury to get people to come to church when it was dark, cold and gloomy. AND MOST immortally it was a source of income for the church. Since then, the nativity scene has been enhanced and blinged to keep people interested.

    But was we now know the Nativity scene is just another false story told by the church and Christians.

    1. Bryan Bauman's Avatar Bryan Bauman

      What proof are you able to present to support your claim or are you repeating what someone told you or are you speaking out of hate because of a character flaw(sin)?

      1. Randy C Hamilton's Avatar Randy C Hamilton

        Grow up.

      2. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

        @Bryan Bauman. No hate, just fact. And no someone did not just tell me, it’s in the church historical record. All facts which are easy verified.

      3. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

        It's in history. Look for the development of Christianity. I find it shocking people think these things don't change or add or subtract things as time goes on.

      4. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

        Which part is it you think is hateful? Facts are facts and a little trip down history of the development of Christianity will verify that.

      5. Donald Richard Starns's Avatar Donald Richard Starns

        Everything we claim to know about anything is due to someone telling someone something. I don’t care, as long as I get some eggnog and general cheer after a difficult year.

      6. Dr. Zerpersande's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande

        An absolutely PERFECT example of the pot calling the kettle black. Christians have belief system based on the superstitious beliefs of bronze age, nomadic, desert goat herders. Goat herders that were so ignorant that they thought they could explain the origin of the universe and yet couldn’t explain where the freaking sun went at night. And here you are 2000 years later asking somebody else for proof?

        Happy holidays anyway!

        1. James G. Ward's Avatar James G. Ward

          Sin is not a character flaw but is instead a part of human nature!

          1. Elizabeth Jane Erbe Wilcox's Avatar Elizabeth Jane Erbe Wilcox

            Sin is a manmade construct, just like god, jesus and the holy ghost.

      7. James G. Ward's Avatar James G. Ward

        Sin is not a character flaw but is instead a part of human nature.

  1. Nicholas J Page's Avatar Nicholas J Page

    By the way Merry Christmas to all Brothers and Sisters what ever your religion and a Peacefull New Year.

    1. Bernice Lupo's Avatar Bernice Lupo

      Thank you and same to you. Blessings and Peace.

    2. Rose Marie Speake's Avatar Rose Marie Speake

      And a very Merry Christmas to you, too! We Alki needed to just spread the love!!

  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    Christmas was invented by retailers and capitalists to make as much money as they can. That's the true meaning and origin of Christmas.

    1. Rev. B's Avatar Rev. B

      Merry X-Mas and Happy Birthday, Zombie Jeebus!

  1. Canadian Yankee's Avatar Canadian Yankee

    Who cares when Christmas as a festivity was created. The happiness and joy that I have seen in the past month here in our area suggests that something special is happening. Whether if is as my believe the birth of a child or just people looking for ways to be kind and eliminate some of the lonliness of todays society, it is a good thing.

    1. Bernice Lupo's Avatar Bernice Lupo

      Amen to that. Merry and Blessed Christmas to you.

  1. Stacey Owens's Avatar Stacey Owens

    This is just more babble to comment on. It leads to nothing edifying.

    Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life. Now, this is edifying. Let it be told.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      My friend, a Christian, had his house burn down the other day. No bibles survived in the burned out wreckage, but a copy of his sons Playboy magazine did...... or was it his daughters? 🤔. Anyway, I'm beginning to think that the God, Zeus, is real after all.

      Always remember that Zeus loves you, Stacey, and on the plus side, there's no Hell for eternity in his religion if you don't believe in Zeus. He's very forgiving. That's how a real deity should be!

      Oh! And another thing. He doesn't believe in Slavery, or stoning people to death. I personally think that's really nice of him, and is a BIG PLUS in my book. Come and join us. There's no pressure, or religious blackmail if you don't. You will still be loved ♥️ Have a wonderful Zeusmas

      🦁♥️

      1. Stacey Owens's Avatar Stacey Owens

        This is just more babbling why even comment, it leads to nothing edifying.

        Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life. Now, this is edifying. Let it be told.

        1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          Do have any demonstrable evidence for your claim, Stacy, or are you just quoting words from a book, written by people who never met him?

          ❤️🦁

          1. Barbara Jenkins's Avatar Barbara Jenkins

            I don’t understand the criticism of Stacey asking if there’s evidence of what is being said or just quoting something from a book (Bible), written by people who never met Him. I guarantee that Zeus came from a book, written by people who never met him, unless you have. Happy Blessed New Year.

            1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

              Any reference to zeus by me is purely hyperbole to make a point. As far as I’m aware, none of them are real, but thanks for your comment.

              🦁❤️

        2. Dr. Zerpersande's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande

          ‘Babbling’? The perfect example of babbling is brain vomiting the indoctrinated beliefs Bronze Age desert goat herders.

    2. Dr. Zerpersande's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande

      You didn’t take calculus, did you?

      1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

        Although it's a humorous comment, you do raise a very good point Dr. Zerpersande. As an aerospace design engineer, education in the sciences, and mathematics, does cause one to evaluate all possible options, backed up by demonstrable testing, logic, and reason. Thanks for your valued input. Have a wonderful festive season. 🎄🎅🏼

        🦁♥️

        1. Dr. Zerpersande's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande

          Studies have shown that those with higher educational backgrounds tend to be less likely to believe in the supernatural in general and creative deities specifically. Those with scientific degrees are at the top of the list. Calculus lies on the journey’s path.

          Meant to be humorous and serious.

  1. Stacey Owens's Avatar Stacey Owens

    Whether Christ was born on the 25th of December or crucified and resurrected on Easter, it neither her or there.

    What matters is, He is the law of the spirit of life. The spirit of truth who the world can't receive. Because it does not understand His coming. Everyone who doesn't believe is from beneath. They are of this world of illusion. Since they don't see Christ they don't know he was sent of God.

    But anyone who has received him to them gave He power to become sons of God. Not by the will of the flesh, nor by the will of a man, but of God.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      You've got me very curious with your replies as to which narcotic you might be involved with. I know you will possibly see this as a very rhetorically rude statement, but your logic resembles that of the authors of the Book of Revelation, which few understand, and is well known to have been written on the Isle of Patmos, well known even to this day, 2000 years later, as the Isle of psychedelic mushrooms, so you do have me wondering due to your nonsensical irrational statements.🤔

      🦁♥️

      1. Dr. Zerpersande's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande

        Good point. Also as Peter Gabriel said…

        ….sure hope Moses knows his his roses.

    2. Dr. Zerpersande's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande

      That was yet more superstitious babble. I find it just as silly as the ravings of a Scientologist when they get started on human souls being dropped into a volcano. Brain vomit,

    3. Dr. Zerpersande's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande

      Religious babble. I prefer to hear Scientologist talk about Xenu. At first it sounds sillier than Christianity but it’s only because it’s new. But because it’s new it’s a lot more interesting than listening to a Christian Babble on about a Jewish zombie’s birthday.

      But happy holidays anyway!

  1. Magistar Mormaer MacLean's Avatar Magistar Mormaer MacLean

    To suggest it was up to the Romans is incredulous and more than likely disingenuous. Humanity is syncretic as well as lacking in imagination. The concepts of following the seasons and the rebirth of the sun predate both the Roman and Christianity.

  1. Rev. Dr. G. Waldron's Avatar Rev. Dr. G. Waldron

    I don't care about ancient links to Christian holidays. We are pretty sure Jesus wasn't born on our celebration day of December 25, but who cares? The early church decided on a date to celebrate his birth, since no one knew the actual date. Around Easter there will be another article saying that Easter was a date that pagans celebrated and was adopted by early Christians. Again, who cares? We have a pretty good idea of Jesus' death, thanks to the Jewish calendar. Just because it is near some pagan feast makes no difference to me.

    1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

      December 25 was the birthday of one of the greatest men who ever lived and changed everyone's lives to this very day. I'm of course talking about that highly religious man Sir Isaac Newton.

      1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

        And we can blame him for all the headaches that calculus gave us while we were at school 🤭.

        🦁❤️

        1. Dr. Zerpersande's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande

          Having studied calculus may be the root difference between believers and the non-believers.

          1. Rebecca Burrington's Avatar Rebecca Burrington

            I studied Calculus and I believe in Jesus Christ. (Is that because I only got a B?)

            1. Dr. Zerpersande's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande

              As stated previously… “ Studies have shown that those with higher educational backgrounds tend to be less likely to believe in the supernatural in general and creative deities specifically. Those with scientific degrees are at the top of the list. Calculus lies on the journey’s path.”

              The tendency is just that, a tendency. I expect that a check of the educational background of the bible thumping , dancing in the spirit, rattlesnake handling, Appalachian Baptist is extremely low. However, if you are in a group of phyicists you won’t be able to swing a cat without hitting an atheist.

              Sorry you didn’t make it.

    2. Cindy L Edgar's Avatar Cindy L Edgar

      Wow I am pagan and it does matter to me because Christianity took it from the pagan s

      1. Kim D Johnson's Avatar Kim D Johnson

        Okay you can have the date, I’ll take the Truth

        1. Cindy L Edgar's Avatar Cindy L Edgar

          And it wasn't call Christmas it called winter solstice so believe me look up the facts and Christmas was on the 21st of December

        2. Paul Edward Nunis's Avatar Paul Edward Nunis

          Can you handle the truth? ;-)

    3. Randy C Hamilton's Avatar Randy C Hamilton

      I care because your idiotic religion is packed with lies, 1000+ contradictions, bad science and stolen myths. Nothing original and zero proof of any of the claims. Grow up. Try reality. Ditch the cult. Get a real job.

      1. Rev. Dr. G. Waldron's Avatar Rev. Dr. G. Waldron

        I am sorry you are so angry. Perhaps some Christian rejected you in the past and now you have a hard heart. The cult of hardened hearts leads to a bad place. I hope the blindness of your eyes will awake.

  1. Nicholas J Page's Avatar Nicholas J Page

    I for one believe it's Christmas through and through .We have St Nicholas as Santa.otherwise where did we get the idea for him and his outfit ,the giving and receiving gifts Xmas cards,dinner and the like.I grew up in the early 1960s and we never heard of pagans wiccans etc until recently.There are no pagan movies like there is Santa and I'm 64 years old.So this is all new to me.but then again things are different in the UK .

    1. Rev. Dr. Father JJ's Avatar Rev. Dr. Father JJ

      so.....because YOU never heard of something, it does not exist? and you're okay with that?

      1. Bernice Lupo's Avatar Bernice Lupo

        I am very surprised at you for criticizing someone’s opinions and beliefs. Maybe you should come to the realization that everyone has their own beliefs and leave it at that.

        1. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

          Opinions based in ignorance are worth questioning. Beliefs are personal but facts are facts. Just because someone never ran across some religious practice or system of belief doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It would be wise when deciding on a religious belief to have spent some time on how it developed. If a person's faith is shaken by fact then perhaps the faith isn't nearly as strong as one might think?

    2. Rev_Shaun's Avatar Rev_Shaun

      "We have St Nicholas as Santa.otherwise where did we get the idea for him and his outfit?"

      Why, from a Coca Cola advert in the 1930's of course! You did know that, didnt you?

      1. Alun Lloyd Palmer's Avatar Alun Lloyd Palmer

        In England he is not Saint Nicholas (or Sint Niklaus, from the Dutch, although AFAIK he was German), but instead is Father Christmas, a character who was originally Pere Noel (the same thing in French), and was originally one of the Lords of Misrule, who went from door to door playing tricks on Christmas day, whereas now in some places there are carol singers instead. I can't recall the names of the other Lords of Misrule, but obviously they haven't persisted in tradition Somehow we now see Santa Claus/Father Christmas wearing the red suit from the 1930s American Coke billboard, riding in a sleigh drawn by reindeer and delivering presents down the chimney. Not sure how that happened? BTW, in England, Father Christmas gets a glass of sherry, not milk. I wonder if Americans used to do that before prohibition?

        Obviously, most of our Christmas traditions are not Christian but come from some combination of Roman Saturnalia and Norse Yule, leaving out bits that we don't want to observe anymore, and adding bits from films, billboards, poems, etc...

    3. Rev_Shaun's Avatar Rev_Shaun

      "We have St Nicholas as Santa.otherwise where did we get the idea for him and his outfit?" Why, from a Coca Cola advert in the 1930's of course! Did you not know that?

  1. Pastor Jody S.'s Avatar Pastor Jody S.

    This discussion subject is becoming a new holiday tradition. Kind of a New Festivus where everyone airs grievances. No feats of strength, though. Darn!

    Anyway, let me point out a few things here that y'all might find interesting.

    1) The Saturnalia Feast Day was originally on December 17th, the Festival date of the God Saturn. It was so much fun that the Romans decided to expand it to run through December 23rd. Kind of like those County Fairs we have every year here in FL, except no Fried Twinkies or Milky Way bars! But alot of other stuff more like a week long New Year's Eve celebration. Which made it pretty popular.

    2) In the Roman Catholic Church, the 25th of December is used to celebrate the Birth of Christ, but it's not precisely certain. But, the date is'nt off by much. It is calculated by referring to the Birth of John the Baptist, and the Visitation of Mary to his mother Elizabeth. Then, extrapolating ahead to December 25th, based the dates that John's father Zechar'iah, would have served his duty in the temple, during the course of Abias(Luke1:15). Each Priest served twice during the year, so there is room for uncertainty there.

    3) However, since we know the recorded date and "course" of the destruction of the Temple by the Romans, we can determine the time of John's conception to be during the First course, which places that date nearly on the Day of Atonement, placing it in late September.

    4) After the Angel Gabriel's Annuciation to Mary and the subsequent Conception of Jesus, the Angel told Mary that Elizabeth was 6 months pregnant. John was born then three months later, In late June, with Jesus' birth 6 months afterward in late December. So, we are in the 12/25 ballpark.

    5) In the Year 204, St. Hippolytus recorded that Jesus was born in Bethlehem 8 days before the Kalends of January, in the 42nd Year of Augustus. The Kalends is the 1st, which would make the date December 25th, in Year 3 or 2 BC.

    6) There are written records from Theophilus (AD 115-181), the Bishop of Caesaria, declaring that the birth of Christ should be celebrated on whatever day the 25th of December fell on. So early on, right after the Gospel of John was written and being disseminated, we can see December 25th as being the accepted date of Jesus' birth.

    7) Per written records, again, the Institute of Midnight Mass was recorded as being instituted by Pope St. Telesphorus between AD 126-137. So Christmas - literally "Mass of Christ, was being celebrated at that time, which per Theophilus was December 25th.

    Again, it can be diffIcult to pinpoint the 25th PRECISELY, but if not, it's pretty close. It's interesting that in 358 AD Emperor Julian the Apostate tried to circumvent the date of December 25th by starting a Festival of the Unconquered Sun, on that date. A former Catholic who turned back to being a pagan, Julian wanted to erase the Christian celebration. Which never caught on with the Roman pagans of that time.

    They preferred Saturnalia. And to this day, December 25th is Christmas.

    This Spring we are going to be discussing articles about Easter actually being named after a German Goddess. With no records that She ever existed.

    Getcha popcorn ready!

    1. Bernice Lupo's Avatar Bernice Lupo

      I think these… Make it interesting. I disdain ridiculing someone’s beliefs on Christmas and thoughts about Christmas. Everyone is entitled to their believes your stories their history interesting is worth respecting the beliefs of others.

    2. Rev. Dr. Father JJ's Avatar Rev. Dr. Father JJ

      so you're using your bible to prove your bible...which proves your statements because your statements are from the bible...which you are using to prove your position which is based on the bible, proving that your bible is correct because your bible says it's correct and therefore all that you say is correct because it comes from your bible which says that it is correct....does it get any closer to insanity than that?

    3. David Ernest Murdoch's Avatar David Ernest Murdoch

      https://www.roger-pearse.com/weblog/2021/12/28/did-theophilus-of-caesarea-in-196-ad-state-that-christmas-must-be-observed/

    4. David Ernest Murdoch's Avatar David Ernest Murdoch

      I think you should fact check your information Pastor Jody S...

      https://www.roger-pearse.com/weblog/2021/12/28/did-theophilus-of-caesarea-in-196-ad-state-that-christmas-must-be-observed/

  1. Donald Michael Woodward's Avatar Donald Michael Woodward

    Creating myths is not how we learn to understand and know our God. It is good for stories to tell children but sooner or later a time comes when everyone must find their God. If they go through life trying to hold on to a belief instead of leaning to know their God, they will never gain the satisfaction of what life is about.

  1. Matthew Barone's Avatar Matthew Barone

    what is the meaning of Christmas? you are all right . christmas is about what ever you want it to be. stop attacking others because they think differently than you. it shows how full of biggotry you are. now to me, my personal belief about the meaning of christmas is celabrating the birth of jesus christ , to others its about what every they feel and they have a right to their beliefs . just because you think way differently than others and different than me, does not mean that we cant be friends.

  1. Lynda Louisse Dickerson's Avatar Lynda Louisse Dickerson

    I don't think anyone "invented" Christmas. Celebrating and merry making have always been a part of the human culture. It makes sense to have a big celebration at the end of the year. The crops have been harvested and it will be a few months before planting time again. So there's time and food. The Christmas holiday has evolved through the centuries. As recently as 1882 the first string of Christmas lights was put together for a tree. As for the birth of Jesus, no one really knows when he was born, so why not celebrate it during the most festive time of the year, especially when his birth can be correlated with the return of the light (the winter solstice).

  1. Ann's Avatar Ann

    I think if we all stopped arguing about who invented it and why and instead focused on Good will towards each other, giving, celebrating with each other, and peace, the world would be a much nicer place. Merry Christmas Eve everyone.

  1. ULC Rev Paul's Avatar ULC Rev Paul

    Good tidings to everyone everywhere no matter what you believe.

  1. William Dusenberry's Avatar William Dusenberry

    Religion is the opiate of the masses — as Napoleon said religion is the major force that protects the wealthy classes, from being devoured by the less-wealthy classes. As exemplified best by the French Revolution.

  1. Rev. Laurie G. Cleveland RN's Avatar Rev. Laurie G. Cleveland RN

    If you look at the pattern of the stars, including the great white star, bit has heen confirmed that the uwinter soltice, give a day or so ajd c nusual arrangement of stars actually placed Jesus's birth around June or July. Sometimes answers are more creditble by astrologers and scientists than the Roman Catholic Church that tried to get non-Christian or pagans to convert if they had Yule around December 20th, then you hiave Saturnalia, which was a very popular holiday. It is weĺl k own fact that St. Peter was a close friend of Consrantine and he persuaded him to do a lot of things that just didn't fly with the early church or teachings that Jesus or Yeshua was noted for. After destroying as many manuscripts thar be could through Constantine, he showed his true colors which are clearly notated in the Bible. He was a follower who couldn't be trusted abd he took the reins of the church away from Yeshua's wife, Mary Magdalene.

    Back then and all during the dark ages, it was convert or die. Any woman with a brain and was generally the Wise Woman or healer in a community was killed or they fled. Who wants torture until they will agree to anything and then toss them down a well or a river to drown. Not so different from fanatical Muslims is it except that their holy days change from year to year.

    Much of what was saved and hidden has been coming to light, nut time and air is not good for papyrus manuscripts. Many of these post-dare the time of Yesgua's death, but remember, the monk,s job was to copy from the original scrolls, which were considered priceless even then. So you had Aramaic, translated to Greek, then Latin and then English. With each re-write they took out something that they didn't want the people to know about.

    I suppose that it's 6 of one and 10 of the otber, but I want to know the truth and have it incorporated back into The Bible. I don't wNt to get a story here or there, based oainwashing kids from a young n historical fact which are fun reading and then you have to illustrate them for kids today do 't use their imaginations and that, in and of itself, is a bad commentary o. Society as a whole. are In no other time period has there been suech darkness and people killing people because they don't believe the way somebody else does. Right now in this country alone there's more corruption than at any other period of time. I don't agree with basically brainwashing kidz ar a very young age about transgender bs. Are those that truly are? Probably, but they need to do it as adults and after a lot of counseling, boyh psychological and medical. The current dark ones with huge pockets are pulling the strings and are doing everything that they can to wipe out the earth's population by 50%. Old people are no longer revered. We are considered dangerous because we know the truth. Babies and young children are getti g far too many og the same vaccines and seriously what newborn needs a tetanus shot? Nevermind that kids can get upto 5 vaccines at a time. ThT's ceuel and abusive. It's bad for the child, nad for the nurse being forced to give them and so on.

    Have I gone a but off track here? Really no. Churches are closing left, right and center. Muslim girks are allowed to wear their modest dresses, etc, but the rest of the kids can't wear a necklace or t-shirt proclaiming their faith.bit it's right for one, than it should he rfor everyone. Tyat's wyat freedom of religion is all about.

  1. Randy C Hamilton's Avatar Randy C Hamilton

    2 is wrong. Summer is when they shepherds would be in the fields.

  1. David Owen Buck's Avatar David Owen Buck

    Actually, the switching of roles between master and slave IS celebrated at Christmas, in many military cultures around the world, especially those in the British Commonwealth like Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It is customary at Christmas for military units to hold a special Christmas dinner for the junior ranks (e.g. privates and corporals) at which the officers and the senior non-commissioned officers serve dinner to the junior ranks, and the Commanding Officer switches roles with the youngest enlisted person present.

  1. John P Maher's Avatar John P Maher

    ONLY THE BEST for ALL MANKIND THO WE FUSS and FIGHT and EVEN SOMETIMEs BITE, MAY YOUR GOD BLESS YOU ALL, HAPPY HOLIDAYs TO YOU !!!

  1. Dr. Zerpersande's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande

    Jesus isn’t the first deity that was born in Virgie, nor the first to be risen from the dead, or the star. It’s all old stuff. It’s a rehash. It’s like the crap that we have with movies now. In like the movies, or comic books, Christianity has its geeks and nerds that take it a bit too far.

  1. Robert Michael Nodding's Avatar Robert Michael Nodding

    Christmas certainly is a Roman invention. It was invented by the Roman Catholic Church. Probably to co-opt the competing pagan celebrations at that time of year. It wasn't derived from them, it was invented to replace them.

  1. Robert Michael Nodding's Avatar Robert Michael Nodding

    Christmas definitely was a Roman invention, a Roman Catholic invention (before the schism and before the name). It was invented to co-opt the pagan celebrations at that time of year, so as to make Christianity more palatable to converts. It wasn't derived from the pagan celebrations so much as it was designed to replace them. Same as Easter.

  1. Rev. Rory's Avatar Rev. Rory

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

  1. James Bullard's Avatar James Bullard

    The stories can be rationalized however one wants but for me the "coincidences" are much too convenient for there not to be some relationship.

  1. Timothy Albaugh's Avatar Timothy Albaugh

    Their sins as PAGANS needed to be forgiven, GOD loved us and gave us a savior! That celebration should be in you every day! A constant reminder in a world of people whom choose to remain PAGAN, Indeed they rule over us today as in the evil and sin days. Claim your salvation, follow the 10 commandments and pray, all days will be happy ones regardless of the things around us, Your reward is waiting for you. Please choose the right way. See you in Heaven

  1. Jeffrey Lee King's Avatar Jeffrey Lee King

    Long ago I read that Jesus was born on April 1st. Pagans celebrated Xmas on Dec 25 and when Constantine decided his new religion needed more followers, he adopted the Pagan's Solstice celebrations as the date of Christ's birth and said that "anyone who still celebrated Jesus' birth on April 1st.....was an April Fool". Enjoy the ride, and "be good for goodness' sake"

  1. Rev. Kev's Avatar Rev. Kev

    While the history of the origins of Christmas (or, more accurately, the Feast of the Nativity) are lost in history, it's rather evident this period -- which runs from vespers on the 24th to Epiphany Eve -- is a Christian idea. The first recorded mention is in 336 CE but that's only after the celebration was already in practise. There is no exact mention of how it was celebrated. All the things modern people associate with it as pagan are later develpments as the centuries passed and Christiaity spread. Things like carols and decorated trees didn't come along until centuries later. Those are cultural assimilations, for the most part. People tend to focus on Saturnalia but miss the fact that other religions also have celebrations at the same time of the year. Why pick on Rome when we can actually see more Germanic than Roman influences in modern Christmas? But even that is the a bit of a bias since the Christmas we have today is not the same as the feast celebrated in the early centuries of Christianity. Trying to make a Christian celebration into something somehow invented by another religion is silly, IMO. It smacks of some weird conspiracy theory. And we have enough of those circulating on social media these days.

    Sure. Christmas has become something far removed from its roots in many places. For many, it is not about the nativity but is all about gifts and carols and trees and lights and Santa Claus. For way too many it is all about money and making profits. It is not about Christ and all about Capitalism. Which I find very sad. But that doesn't change the basis of what it started out to be, and still is for a large number of people today.

  1. Dr. James W. Dingman, PhD's Avatar Dr. James W. Dingman, PhD

    Do not learn the ways of the pagans for they are unpleasing to God. Jer. 10:2 and Avoid the appearance of evil.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live."

      Dumbledore (Harry Potter)

      Dr. Lionheart, PhD 🦁❤️

  1. Weber Lee Baker's Avatar Weber Lee Baker

    Interesting that one of the differences noted is the swapping of roles between slaves and masters. I believe we call that Boxing Day.

  1. Donald R. Wooster's Avatar Donald R. Wooster

    If y'all stopped fightin' over everything, maybe ya might have a pleasant holiday, whatever ya believe it to be???

  1. Gordon Billingsley's Avatar Gordon Billingsley

    The Roman tradition of masters serving slaves is not so different from the Christian tradition of caroling in which poor folks would go door-to-door singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," some of the words being “Oh bring us some figgy pudding,” and “we won’t go until we get some.”

    This is a demand for the master of the manor to serve the "serfs."

    It probably is not so much that Romans "invented" Christmas as much as Christians appropriated elements of Saturnalia as a marketing tool.

    We can, for instance, see in the Biblical descriptions that Jesus very likely was not born in December (and, certainly, there is no evidence for this). The winter solstice, in general, was a time of observation for generations upon generations before Christianity appear. It's a pretty big target.

  1. Matthew Barrett Andersen's Avatar Matthew Barrett Andersen

    No Christmas is not pagan and here’s why pre-date the legalization of Santorelli as an official Roman Holiday almost 200 years and here’s the source there is no hearsay here only facts:” Telesphorus in the year 125 to 136 instituted the traditional celebration of midnight mass, which means Christmas was already being celebrated. Saint Theophilus in 115 to 181 bishop of Caesarea stated that, we ought to celebrate the birthday of our Lord on the day so ever 25 December shall happen. Saint Hippolytus in 170 to 240, mentioned that the commemoration of Daniel that the birth of Christ occurred on 25th of December. At the legalization of Christianity The church was able to establish universal dates for celebration of feast days including Christmas. Evidence shows that the celebration of Christmas December 2: Liberians 352 to 366 celebrated Christmas in Rome, and Saint Gregory Nazianzus in 389 Constantinople and Saint Ambrose in 397 in Milan. Keep in mind that they would not have just picked a date, but something already used and excepted in the church. Nevertheless some skeptics for resort that Christmas was simply substituted for the pagan holiday of the birthdate of the unconquered sun. Emperor Aurelian instituted this celebration in AD 274 after the already established Christian celebration of Christmas, and most likely to overshadow. After the legalization, December 25 was purged any pagan notion: in sum, Christmas was celebrated December 25 prior to any pagan celebration on the same date.”(December 19, 2019 to January 8, 2020 “was Jesus born on December 25?”Arlington Catholic Herald; father William P Sanders; page 9). whatever your feelings are of the Roman Catholic Church make no difference to this article the facts that were provided in this article are the same no matter where you look at them I have checked about them and all of the early Christian tradition in early history of the ancient world and they are all the same it doesn’t matter There is no pagan in this world that I know, that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ and commemoration of him being unconquered in the holy only one being true God and eternal life, and through him only we receive salvation, and he is absolute. pagans do not celebrate this!

    1. Rev. Dr. Father JJ's Avatar Rev. Dr. Father JJ

      wow....punctuation, grammar and most especially...paragraphs. of course facts would be helpful but there are no facts to back up the chrs chn fantasies other than the facts in their shepherds guide to the universe

    2. Paul Edward Nunis's Avatar Paul Edward Nunis

      Video, or it never happened.

  1. Keith Law's Avatar Keith Law

    All of Christianity is a Roman invention. Of course it started as a Jewish sect around the Messiah Yeshua, but anyone who critically reads the epistles of Paul can see what happened. As the Romans massacred Jews in the first century, the followers of Yeshua, already very unpopular among Jews, began the process of conversion into a pagan and very antisemitic religion. By the time of Constantine in the 4th century the official recognition by the emperor was but a formality.

    The virgin birth iconography of a demigod (part human/part god) is itself greco-Roman and not anything the Jew Yeshua would recognize. Achilles, Hercules, and Achilles were three other simile demigods.

    I could go on, but you get it.

    Roman Catholicism! There is a reason why the Roman comes first.

    Cheers!

  1. Kenneth John Bickley's Avatar Kenneth John Bickley

    So where does the sun go?

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      The sun is my God. I really don’t know where it goes, but I pray to it to make sure it comes up the next day, and my prayers clearly work, because it always comes up the other side. Unless it’s cloudy and raining. It’s like magic! On the plus side, at least my god shows up every day, unlike other peoples gods that stay hidden away, and yet people still believe in them. I don’t get it! 🤷🏼

      🤭

      🦁❤️

  1. John P Maher's Avatar John P Maher

    FER CHRISTs SAKE PEOPLE NO PERSON WILL EVER KNOW WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS, NOT EVEN JESUS H. CHRIST, HAPPY HOLIDAYs TO ALL FAKE NEWs ADVOCATEs, ASKKK FOX NEWs THEY KNOW YUKKK YUKKK !

    1. Rev. Dr. Father JJ's Avatar Rev. Dr. Father JJ

      someone is gotten into the xxxxxxxmis eggnog

  1. Gregg Johnson's Avatar Gregg Johnson

    Im just looking forward to some naked dancing and icy face dunks

  1. Taylor X Zaragoza's Avatar Taylor X Zaragoza

    I’ve read numerous times that Constitine combined the birthday of Dionysus and Jesus so there would be NO FIGHTING among the two factions.

  1. Frederick Richard Sneathern's Avatar Frederick Richard Sneathern

    Have you read all the post. Amazing! 99% are anything other than Christians. This should not surprise you. Just look at the world around you. So it shall be in the END TIMES as it was in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah.

    1. Dr. Zerpersande's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande

      Yeah, it started with naked guys with beards running around in the desert babbling about the ‘end days’ and has now progressed to the point that the whackos can stay at home and babble from their phone. Might still be naked though. And beards are back in fashion.

  1. Curtis Lynn Bibb's Avatar Curtis Lynn Bibb

    Curiously…wasn’t the nativity scene..so to speak …fake? A manger of wood? A stable made of wood?

    Best I recall..Jesus was laid in a rock feed trough and the stable was basically a craved out space into a hill/slope/overhang/etc…hmmm.

    Best people study up about the formation of The Church Of Rome and the blending of Christianity and pagan beliefs as a political ploy by Constantine.

    The apologetic movement was in full swing at this time if I recall…and the true Apostolic beliefs had degraded substantially at the time of Constantine.

    Just saying .

  1. Curtis Lynn Bibb's Avatar Curtis Lynn Bibb

    I am not posting to be combatant...but just puzzled to this day how easy it is to dupe people about a nativity scene that absolutely wasn't real.

    Wasn't Jesus placed into a rock feed trough? Was not the stable a hand hewn hole in the wall type animal holding pen (This was a common practice back 2,000 years ago if I recall my history on such matters) there was no wood involved and certainly no cozy animals huddled around peacefully.

    I do understand that the true Apostolic belief had substantially deteriorated by the time of Constantine and that Constantine used the ploy of becoming a Christian as a political move...and the blending of Roman pagan religion into the Christian religion...hence the development of The Church Of Rome....which is anything but Christian.

    Isn't it astonishing how so many in our current political environment proclaim to be Christian...while hating so thoroughly anyone that doesn't adhere to the Conservative narrative. What is the difference between a radical Muslim and a radical RightWinger that vehemently screams that anyone that isn't a Christian is an enemy of our state? Is a threat to our way of life?

    It is also hypocrisy that Conservative so-called Christians want "One Nation Under God"...hating socialism by preaching it will cause the demise of our nation and freedoms. Why are so many that claim to be Christians worry about the here and now and not awaiting the world to come? Not living for the 2nd Coming aka The RAPTURE?!! Concerned about worldly affairs...professing themselves to be wise they have become fools.

    Yes the Nativity Scene is sanitized and popularized conveniently and Christmas is a symbol of the supposed Christianity....I will point directly to how the true believers of the Apostolic era behaved...the sold everything and laid the profits at the feet of the Apostles.....the early believers BELIEVED that Jesus would return at any moment and these early believers had no need of any earthly belongings....the Apostles having to appoint Called Out Ones in the assembly to distribute the gain to women and children in need. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CHRISTIAN FAITH??!!!!

    Concerning yourselves with earthly matters and whose sitting in the White House and what political party has control of congress...trying to build a kingdom of earthly history instead of building a house of believers....it is written if I may remind people...that certain things must come to past before the return of The King Of Kings to gather his body. Why are so many that claim to be Christian...giving their trust to those that are immoral...perverted...greedy...full of rage and bigotry and prejudice...hating all those that are not white...do not speak English etc etc etc....

    I may also remind others that it is written about the rise of antiChrists...giving themselves over to a political figure that is so corrupt and filthy minded that he will Make America Great Again...and throngs gave themselves over this this rage willing to kill others to bring about a supposed Christian Nation with One Nation Under God!! But whose God??...!!! What perverted belief of God??

    I choose to want to separate myself from being corrupted by follies that will pass....there is only One God...not some person boosting himself to be a savior to an ideology a One Nation Under God. God is not perverted...and ideologies of man is just noise!!

  1. Daniel Joseph Morse's Avatar Daniel Joseph Morse

    I find you all very amusing. I don't have any religious affiliations. Even this Universal Life Church I consider just another joke. I find a special place in my head to dislike all organized religion. Any creator that is so lame as to care what people think is so lame I wouldn't follow them across the street for a free meal. People who think acknowledgment of a creator gets them some kind of afterlife aren't playing with a full deck.

  1. Gil Stancourt's Avatar Gil Stancourt

    The fact that certain practices of Saturnalia have been omitted from Christmas celebrations is NOT proof of concept. That is, at best, a poorly constructed argument. It would be like calling into question whether modern day automobiles evolved from Model T's because they no longer have an AH-OOO-GAH horn.

    If you're the first Christian emperor presiding over a mostly pagan society and you want to convert the masses you'd be smart not to start your reign by alienating said masses. So, rather than banning their most joyous holiday, which would not have gone over well, you rebrand it as the birth of the one you believe to be the savior of all mankind. Then over time you weed out the parts that you don't like. Masters serving slaves? Can't have that! This way you convert those that wish to be converted. Of course you still get to kill those who refuse to be converted. Hmmmm...I get to keep my holiday of Saturnalia if I just start calling it Christmas...or I can die...not a tough choice!

    Btw: anyone who thinks naked singing is not part of the holiday has never spent Christmas at my house...just saying!

    Happy Holidays to all, however you choose to celebrate. Namaste!

  1. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

    To my Christian friends, try not to be disingenuous by stating your beliefs as facts: beliefs are subjective, and facts are objective. If the dogmas you stated were objective truths, no debate such as seen here would exist, and please, let us not fall into the sophistry of arguments of faith being evidence of things unseen, as that is a vacuous and illogical statement. An omniscient God would not have created humankind in His likeness in the capability of independent reason only to expect humanity to suspend disbelief in order to worship Him. Please also none of the platitudes of God's mysterious ways, or how can we small-minded humans understand the mind of God. If nothing is beyond God, then God can make His intentions towards us and His expectations of us clear to us.

    In order for us to respect your beliefs, you must reciprocate by respecting our skepticism. One advantage of the polytheism of pagan pantheons is that they allowed for the worship of multiple gods without conflict, whereas both Christian and Islamic monotheism have warred and killed one other over whose belief system is correct. Both the Bible's Old Testament and Qur'an's pre-Medinan verses are full of animosity towards non-believers and condone violence against them.

    I find greater merit in Thomas Jefferson's view of Jesus (Yeshua bar Yosef) as a moral exemplar. Remember that Jesus was original a rabbi, a teacher of a Jewish offshoot, and that his apostles were not initially known as "Christians", but as "Followers of the Way'. "Christian" was an epithet hurled at them by the Romans. "Christ" is not a name, but a total, meaning "Anointed One", from the Greek "Christos". King David was also a "Christos". Anointing in those times was a ritual signifying one favored by God.

    And December 25th is the date of the Winter Solstice, while Easter (Ostara) is the Spring Equinox, that's where rabbits and eggs come from, as symbols of fertility: the reawakening of life after the death of winter. It is no coincidence, but an intentional melding of pagan rituals that led to the widespread adoption of Roman Catholicism by the pagans, i.e., gentiles or non-Jews, and the ecclesiastical councils such as those held at Nicea and Trent that both decided fundamental principles such as the Holy Trinity and consubstantiation and canonized the books of the Bible (The Pentateuch of the Western Church, at least).

  1. Marius Gabriel Burja's Avatar Marius Gabriel Burja

    My comment will not entail my opinion of who invented what. Instead I will answer with the question of, Why in the book of Jude they wrote about the clan of Gaius leaving out the First name of "The clan " of Gaius? My revelation is that he was named after his mother Maria and it was pre Jesus Christ who is also known as Isus in other languages. So all you wise teachers and preachers do the math. Mari+US. Now you want to teach me of immaculate concepts? It's always been a battle for world dominance. Prepare for the revelation of the apocalypse. I am here to let you know that I have come to destroy the world as you know it. It's payback time. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND THAT IS FROM MARY'S BOY WHO WAS POSSESSED BY GABRIEL'S SPIRIT AND HIS FAMILY NAME MEANS STORM. All deserve what's coming and nothing or no one can stop it. Rejoice at least that I am with you not against you. Sincerely MGB

  1. Lyle Roy Gleason's Avatar Lyle Roy Gleason

    In all the threads of conversation I've just been reading, I haven't read one comment about the TRUE significance of the date of Dec. 25th.! (Adjusting for the pre-Julian calendar), that is the date of the birth of the ancient Persian messiah known as Mithras, who was born over 2,000 years before Christ! This would also predate the Roman empire's Saturnalia celebrations. I have also read that in these comments, the date of 336 CE. has been mentioned more than once.That would coincide with the date of the Council of Nicea. This council in Constantinople, was called to establish whether or not Jesus was indeed a Messiah, or merely a prophet, like Moses. A vote was taken, which was FAR from being unanimous, that Christ was to be elevated to God-like status, and the mythology surrounding his 'miraculous ' birth and legendary life was lifted in whole from Mithraic traditions. The early Christians even tore down Mithric temples and built their churches on their ruins. It is interesting to note that Mithraism was the most popular religion amongst the Roman Legionnaires then serving in what was know then as Asia Minor, (today's Middle East,) and doubtless, brought it back to Rome itself. This was the major religion that was competing with the Christians, who did their level-best to eradicate all traces of it. That is why few people have even heard of it, as I note from all the previous comments above. Do you research people, I HAVE!!!

    1. Debra Sanchez's Avatar Debra Sanchez

      hi

    2. Debra Sanchez's Avatar Debra Sanchez

      I applaud you! Having done my own research I found this to be true. Thank you for sharing this information.

      1. Lyle Roy Gleason's Avatar Lyle Roy Gleason

        Thanks for having my back on this, Debra! I have always thought that any 'Messiah' who has to be voted into existence, can't truly be a 'messiah'. I like to play around with right-wing evangelicals by posing a simple test. I ask them to guess who I'm describing, but not to tell me their answer until I'm finished. Born on Dec. 25th. Born of a virgin mother. Born in a grotto. His birth was foretold by numerous prophets. His birth was foretold by a bright confluence of planets, (resembling a bright star.) Was attended by 3 holy men bearing gifts. His followers worshipped him by eating bits of bread, representing his body, and drinking sips of wine, representing his blood. And, most importantly, HE LIVED 2,000 YEARS BEFORE CHRIST WAS BORN!!!

        Imagine the looks of confusion when I say that last fact! I then begin to educate them on the TRUE origins of the Christian Church, the Council of Nicea, and the subsequent mythology, outright lies, and copious bloodshed perpetrated by the followers of this voted-in messiah called Christ. As for me, I walk the OLD PATH! Blessed Be! The Rev. L. Roy Gleason, minister-at-large

  1. Debra Sanchez's Avatar Debra Sanchez

    I cannot find anything about Christmas celebration in the Bible. I do see the feasts of the Torah laws to which 1st century Christians adhered including the Messiah, but today claiming it does not apply to them.

  1. Debra Sanchez's Avatar Debra Sanchez

    Celebrate the feasts in Torah instead.

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