During the Roman mid-winter festival of Saturnalia, houses were decorated with wreaths of evergreen plants, along with other antecedent* customs now associated with the newly renamed Christmas. Tree worship was common among the pagan civilizations and the practice survived their conversion to Christianity.
[*the significant events, conditions, and traits of one’s earlier life]
Alternatively, it is identified with the “tree of paradise” of medieval mystery plays that were given on the 24th of December. In such plays, a tree decorated with apples (to represent the forbidden fruit) and the apples were eventually replaced by round objects such as shiny red balls.
Saturnalia was an ancient Roman festival in honor of the deity Saturn, with a sacrifice at the Temple of Saturn, in the Roman Forum, and a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival atmosphere that overturned Roman social norms: gambling, banquets and fornication was not only permitted but encouraged. Those with means sacrificed a suckling pig, a traditional offering to an earth deity Gaia.
As an observance of state religion, Saturnalia, which the Romans believed to have been established by the legendary founder Romulus, the day marked the dedication anniversary (dies natalis) of the Temple to Saturn. This was the first day of the astrological sign Capricorn, the house of Saturn, the planet named for the god. It was endowed with various meanings by both ancient and modern scholars: for instance, the widespread use of wax candles would refer to “the returning power of the sun’s light after the solstice”.
As a deity of agricultural bounty, Saturn embodied prosperity and wealth in general. The name of his consort Ops meant “wealth, resources”. The Temple of Saturn housed the state treasury (aerarium Saturni) and was the administrative headquarters of the quaestors, the public officials whose duties included oversight of the mint. It was among the oldest cult sites in Rome, and had been the location of “a very ancient” altar.
Another of his consorts was Lua, sometimes called Lua Saturni (“Saturn’s Lua”) and identified with Lua Mater, “Mother Destruction”, a goddess in whose honor the weapons of enemies killed in war were burned, perhaps in expiation. Saturn’s chthonic nature connected him to the underworld and its ruler Dis Pater, the Roman equivalent of Greek Plouton (Pluto in Latin) who was also a god of hidden wealth.
Among the Mithraic mysteries, the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (the “Birthday of the Unconquered Sun”) leads to an exposition of solar monotheism, the belief that the Sun (see Sol Invictus) ultimately encompasses all divinities as one. Unlike several Roman religious festivals which were particular to cult sites in the city, the prolonged seasonal celebration of Saturnalia at home could be held anywhere in the Empire.
The date of the Christ-Mass was chosen by the Roman emperor Aurelian to correspond with one or more ancient polytheistic festivals that occurred near the Roman winter solstice; a further solar connection has been suggested because of a biblical verse identifying Jesus as the “Sun of righteousness”. Note the occultist use of the word ‘sun’ verses the correct word ‘son’. The celebratory customs associated in various countries with Christmas have a mix of pre-Christian, Christian, and secular themes and origins and have their own body of traditions and lore.
The Egyptian deity Horus, son to goddess Isis, was celebrated at the winter solstice. Horus was often depicted being fed by his mother, which also influenced the symbolism of the Virgin Mary with baby Christ.
Many popular customs associated with Christmas developed independently of the commemoration of Jesus’ birth, including the Yule log from Yule and gift giving from Saturnalia, greenery, lights, and charity from the Roman New Year, which became syncretized* into Christianity over the centuries.
[*Syncretism (/ˈsɪŋkrətɪzəm/) is the combining of different beliefs, while blending practices of various schools of thought. Syncretism involves the merger and analogizing of several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, thus asserting an underlying unity and allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths. Syncretism also occurs commonly in expressions of arts and culture and is known as eclecticism.]
Leading a ghostly procession through the sky (the Wild Hunt), the long-bearded god Odin is referred to as ‘the Yule one’ and ‘Yule father’ in Old Norse texts, whereas the rest of the gods are referred to as ‘Yule beings’. Present day Christmas customs such as the Yule log, Yule goat, Yule boar, Yule singing, and others stem from the original pagan Yule. A number of Neopagans have introduced their own rites.
In Norse mythology, from which stems most of the information about the god, Odin is associated with healing, death, royalty, the gallows, knowledge, battle, sorcery, poetry, frenzy, and the runic alphabet, and is the husband of the goddess Frigg and that Odin has a particular relation to the figure of Loki the god of mischief. Odin held a particular place as a euhemerized ancestral figure among royalty, and he is frequently referred to as a founding figure among various other Germanic peoples.
Euhemerism is an approach to the interpretation of mythology in which mythological accounts are presumed to have originated from real historical events or personages. Euhemerism supposes that historical accounts become myths as they are exaggerated in the retelling, accumulating elaborations and alterations that reflect cultural mores.
The Romans were well known for assimilation of societies into their reign and as a token of fellowship they would assimilate the gods of the conquered territory into their pantheon of gods. One can see from the statues and gargoyles inhabiting all of the city of Rome they were very concise in keeping all the gods happy. They were so concerned about this worship they had a statue named “The Unknown god” in case they had somehow missed one. Rome conquers Gaul (Germanic & Norse), Egypt, and much of the Middle East to include Jerusalem. This is where the assimilation begins.
The prominence of Christmas Day increased gradually after Charlemagne was crowned Emperor on Christmas Day in 800. King Edmund the Martyr was anointed on Christmas in 855 and King William I of England was crowned on Christmas Day 1066. In Italy, former Saturnalian traditions were attached to the celebration of Advent and around the 12th century, these traditions transferred again to the Twelve Days of Christmas.
The annual indulgence in eating, dancing, singing, sporting, and card playing escalated in England, and by the 17th century the Christmas season featured lavish dinners, elaborate masques, and pageants. In 1607, King James insisted that a play be acted on Christmas night and that the court indulge in games. However, some groups such as the Puritans, strongly condemned the celebration of Christmas, considering it a Roman Catholic invention and the “trappings of popery” or the “rags of the Beast”.
In Colonial America, the Pilgrims of New England shared the disapproval of Christmas and Christmas observance was outlawed in Boston in 1659. The ban by the Puritans was revoked in 1681 by English governor Edmund Andros, however it was not until the mid-19th century that celebrating Christmas became fashionable.
In 1843, Charles Dickens wrote the novel A Christmas Carol that helped revive the “spirit” of Christmas and instant popularity played a major role in portraying Christmas as a holiday emphasizing family, goodwill, and compassion. Dickens sought to construct Christmas as a family-centered festival superimposing his humanitarian vision of the holiday, in what has been termed “Carol Philosophy”.
By 1860, fourteen states including several from New England had adopted Christmas as a legal holiday and on June 26, 1870, Christmas was formally declared a United States federal holiday.
The entire event has been fabricated from a lie conceived in occult paganism and Roman Mithraism to honor gods that are in reality various icons of Satan. There is nowhere in Scripture a command concerning the birthday of Jesus as Hebrews did not celebrate their own birthdays.
YHVH commands us to celebrate His feasts and festivals and warns us in Exodus 23:24 “Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.” And Exodus 23:33 “They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.”
Deuteronomy 12:30 “Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods?”