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Saturnalia: The Real Roots of Christmas

Anonymous
Posted by Anonymous
  • 6 Replies

 

Many Christians today believe that Christmas is a Christian holiday. The fact is that people have been celebrating Christmas, long before the birth of Christ. The festivity was known then, as Saturnalia. Saturnalia was a festival in which the Romans commemorated the dedication of the temple of the god Saturn. As winter approached, they were losing harvest & were in need of the sun in order for their harvest to grow & bear fruit. Saturn was the Roman god of agriculture and harvest.

This meant that the god Saturn was in need of the sun god in order to complete his job, therefore the attention was then shifted to the sun god. The Saturnalia custom is rooted in pagan & Celtic believes & traditions. They believed in human sacrifice including the sacrifice of small children & infants in which were offered to their gods in order to empower the sun to return with strength. They believed that winter was due to the sun losing its power due to a battle between the sun god & the god of the dead. Since winter is annually, they believed these battles were fought annually and thus the sacrifices had to be annually in order to appease or empower their respective gods. Because the sun always return at the beginning of the new year, they believed that its was due to all of their human sacrifices, and costum rituals that took effect; empowering their sun god to return each year victoriously.

The Roman pagans introduced into their law December 17-25 as Saturnalia. During this period, Roman courts were closed, and Roman law dictated that no one could be punished for damaging property or injuring people during the week long celebration. The festival began when Roman authorities chose “an enemy of the Roman people” to represent the “Lord of Misrule.” Each Roman community selected a victim whom they forced to indulge in food and other physical pleasures throughout the week. At the festival’s conclusion, December 25th, Roman authorities believed they were destroying the forces of darkness by brutally murdering the innocent man or woman who they chose to represent “the forces of darkness”.
In the 4th century The Roman Catholic Church adopted the Saturnalia festival hoping to take the pagan masses in with it. Chatolic leaders succeeded in converting to “Christianity” large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate their Saturnalia as “Christmas”.Christians had little success, however, refining the practices of Saturnalia. As Stephen Nissenbaum, professor history at the University of Massachussetts, Amherst, writes, “In return for ensuring massive observance of the anniversary of the Savior’s birth by assigning it to this resonant date, the Church for its part tacitly agreed to allow the holiday to be celebrated more or less the way it had always been.” The earliest Christmas holidays were celebrated by drinking, sexual indulgence, singing naked in the streets (a precursor of modern caroling), etc.
 
The problem was that there was nothing in relation to Christianity concerning Saturnalia. To remedy this, these so called Christian leaders named Saturnalia’s concluding day, December 25th to be Jesus’ birthday.
Posted by Anonymous on Dec. 20, 2012 at 12:06 PM
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Replies (1-6):
Jade89
by Silver Member on Dec. 20, 2012 at 12:07 PM
I already knew this... Many people don't


Bump

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Meglet1970
by on Dec. 20, 2012 at 12:11 PM

So that being said, why the issue with saying Merry Christmas?

I am a Christian and I don't believe that Jesus was born on December 25th.  In fact, we do not know the exact date, but some have suggested in the spring of the year.  I do celebrate Christmas as the day that we "celebrate" his coming into the world.

And my question was just poking fun.  I don't care if it is Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Merry shut up or what.  I realize that my beliefs are not shared and have no problem with others having beliefs different than mine.  Only time I will get upset is if I am told that I can't believe how I do.  It is a belief!

CutieCrab
by on Dec. 20, 2012 at 12:13 PM
I agree with this! :)

Quoting Meglet1970:

So that being said, why the issue with saying Merry Christmas?


I am a Christian and I don't believe that Jesus was born on December 25th.  In fact, we do not know the exact date, but some have suggested in the spring of the year.  I do celebrate Christmas as the day that we "celebrate" his coming into the world.


And my question was just poking fun.  I don't care if it is Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Merry shut up or what.  I realize that my beliefs are not shared and have no problem with others having beliefs different than mine.  Only time I will get upset is if I am told that I can't believe how I do.  It is a belief!

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Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Dec. 20, 2012 at 12:14 PM
1 mom liked this

I am pagan and don't have a problem saying Merry Christmas at all. I just think the people that 100% beleive it is all about Jesus are silly...

funnygirlecu
by Bronze Member on Dec. 23, 2012 at 9:36 PM

I know this is a popular theory. The problem there is no proof. In fact no one knows when and how christmas started.

Btw. Not all christians celebrate christmas on the same day. Which doesn't allign with the whole stealing from Saturnalia theory.  For example, many Eastern Christian celebrate Christmas on Jan 6th

http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/new-testament/how-december-25-became-christmas/

FoxFire363
by on Dec. 23, 2012 at 10:20 PM

I knew this, but I'm pagan. Bump. 

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