Why did the Christian church adopt the pagan mid-winter festival as the time for christmas?

In England, why did they build churches on previous ancient and special sites, such as Avebury?
Any religious people going to answer? I’d appreciate your thoughts.

10 thoughts on “Why did the Christian church adopt the pagan mid-winter festival as the time for christmas?

  1. So that the Pagans didn’t lose their festivals when they were forced to convert to Christianity.

  2. I guess they figured Christianity is a pagan religion to begin with so why not bring the whole deal.

  3. The winter solstice is the traditional time for birth of gods who are to be the light of the world.

  4. Christians sold their souls to Satan to convert pagans , in so doing became pagan themselves.

  5. Why did the Jewish people adopt the pagan mid-winter festival as the time for hanukkah?

    So that the Pagans didn’t lose their festivals when they were forced to convert to Judaism.


    (Summarized from E. L. Martin, “The Star that Astonished the World,” ASK
    Publications, Box 25000, Portland Or. 1991)

    (1) The date of the birth of Christ hinges on just one thing, the statement
    of Josephus (Antiquities 17.6-8) that Herod died shortly after an eclipse
    of the moon. Astronomers supply the dates for such eclipses around those
    years: None in 7 or 6 BC. In 5 BC, March 23, 29 days to Passover. Also in 5
    BC. Sept. 15,7 months to Passover. In 4 B.C. March 13, 29 days to Passover.
    3 and 2 B.C. no eclipses. In 1 BC. January 10, 12 1/2 weeks to Passover.

    (2) Josephus also tells what events happened between the Eclipse and the
    Passover (cf. Martin pp. 85-87).They would occupy probably about 12 weeks.
    Martin also, pp. 99-101 shows that the eclipse of Sept. 15,5 BC could not
    fit with known data, especially the fact that Herod was seriously ill in
    Jericho (over 800 feet below sea level) when the eclipse happened – but
    Jericho was a furnace of heat at that time, Sept. 15. Herod would not have
    stayed there when he could have had the much better climate of Jerusalem.
    But if the eclipse was in midwinter – Jan. 10–Herod would find Jericho

    (3) We know from an inscription from Paphlagonia in Asia Minor – cf.
    Lewis and Reinhold, Roman Civilization, Source Book II, pp. 34-35 – that in
    3 BC all the people took an oath of allegiance to Augustus. The same oath
    is also reported by the Armenian historian Moses of Khorene, and by the
    later historian Orosius.

    (4) Augustus was to receive the great title of Pater Patriae on Feb. 5,
    2 BC. So the actual governor of Palestine, probably Varus, would have had
    to go to Rome for the festivities, and since sailing on the Mediterranean
    stopped about Nov. 1, and did not resume until Spring, he must have gone in
    the early fall of 3 BC. But Quirinius was nearby, had just finished a
    successful war against the Homonadenses. So he was left as acting Governor.
    Luke does not use the noun governor, but the participle, “governing”.

    (5) There is an obscure decade in history, 6 BC to 4 AD, as Classicists
    readily recognize. Yet this period is important, including the time when
    Tiberius was absent from political life at Rome, being at Capri. It is hard
    to fit the events of this period into place if we make the birth of Christ
    early as is commonly done. But if we put it in 3 BC the difficulties are
    over. For example, we know Augustus received his 15th acclamation for a
    major victory, won by one of his generals, around this time. If we pick 4
    BC for the death of Herod, we cannot find a victory to warrant the
    acclamation, which came in 1 AD. But if we put the birth of Christ in 3 BC,
    then the war would be running at about the needed time, and finished in 1

    Objection: a) Josephus says Herod had a reign of 37 years after being
    proclaimed king by Romans, and had 34 yrs. after death of Antigonus, which
    came soon after Herod took Jerusalem. b) Further, his 3 successors,
    Archelaus, Antipas and Philip started to reign in 4 BC. So Herod died in 4

  7. Christmas is nothing to do with either Christianity or Islam but it does have it’s origins in the midwinter festival and many other basically pagan rites but since much of it is a celebration of nature rather than religion everyone should be able to enjoy it and be happy together despite religion!

    The ancient European pagans celebrated the midwinter festival and a number of other festivals long before Christianity ever existed!

    Babylonians celebrated the feast of the Son of Isis with gluttonous eating and drinking, and gift giving and the goddess of fertility, love, and war.

    The Romans held a festival on 25 December called “Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, celebrating their own god Sol Invictas – PAGAN!

    The Persian god Mithras, the Syrian sun god Elah Gabal, the German Sol, the Greek Helios and the Mesopotamian Shamash. But also Saturnalia, honouring Saturn, the God of Agriculture. The law courts and schools were closed. No public business could be transacted an this is where the holidays originated – ALL PAGAN!

    Wax tapers were given by the more humble to their superiors. The origin of the Christmas candle – PAGAN!

    In Rome groups of costumed went from house to house entertaining their people. And this was where the carolling Christmas tradition originated PAGAN!

    Statues of the Mother and lover or Mother and son were paraded through the streets not only in Italy but also in Africa, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany and Bulgaria. Thus, the symbolism of the Heavenly Virgin and the infant child paraded on a yearly basis are not of Christian origin. They stem from the Mother-goddess religion, which is very ancient ENTIRELY PAGAN!

    Scandinavian countries celebrated Yule honouring Thor – PAGAN!

    In Germania (not Germany) they celebrated midwinter night followed by 12 wild nights of eating and drinking. The 12 days of Christmas PAGAN!

    The church under Pope Julius I declared that Christ’s birth would be celebrated on December 25 in 350 AD in order to try to hijack the PAGAN festivals but it was largely ignored. Christians did not really celebrate Christmas until 378 but it was then dropped in 381 and not resurrected until 400.

    The Christmas tree stems from pagan tradition and ritual surrounding the Winter Solstice, which included the use of holly boughs ivy and other foliage as an adaptation of pagan tree worship. Holly and ivy represented male and female. Mistletoe was considered a sacred plant, and the custom of kissing under the mistletoe began as a fertility ritual – all PAGAN!

    Santa Claus came from the Dutch “Sinterklaas” and was a tall figure riding a white horse through the air and usually accompanied by Black Peter, an elf who punished disobedient children. Also the origin of the reindeer, sleigh and the elves ALL PAGAN!

    The modern red coated Santa was brought about by coca cola!

    AMERICA ACTUALLY BANNED CHRISTMAS several times and is the originator of the expression “Happy Holidays” which came about because of the pagan origins of Christmas to include all religions and traditions!

    The Venerable Bede, an early Christian writer pointed out that the Christian church absorbed Pagan practices when it found the population unwilling to give up the festivals. Thus a lot of what Christians now see as Christians practices are in fact pagan!

    Christmas is the time of year christians strive to prove just how pagan they have become

  8. They didn’t as there is actually no evidence that there was a pagan mid-winter festival in Rome – where the date of Christmas was most probably set on December 25th. The nearest traditional festival was Saturnalia, a harvest festival, on December 17th.

    There is precious little evidence for any pagans having specific mid-winter solstice festivals around the time Christianity started. It is suggested that the Neolithic builders of Stonehenge had some sort of winter festival, actual date unknown but this monument had fallen out of used in the Iron Age. There is certainly no historical evidence that any were on December 25th.

    Christianity encountered the Vikings, who are known to have had a Yule (Winter) feast, around 900 AD – 500 years after the first reference to Christmas on Dec 25th. The Viking king Haakon, according to the Viking sagas, moved his feast to December 25th to honour Christ – he was the first viking Christian king. Before then, Yule had been held on a variety of dates according (most likely) to a lunar calendar – like the one used by most ancient pagan peoples other than the Romans.

    As to customs, most of the popular customs around Christmas were not “adopted” by the church. They have developed over the 1700 years since Christmas started. The Christmas tree probably came from Medieval mystery plays where it represented the Tree of Life from the Garden of Eden (hence the glass baubles representing the fruit of the tree). Santa Claus started as a Christian Saint with his own day, and presents, on Dec 6th but when Saints days were banned by Protestant reformers, the focus shifted to Christmas. Mistletoe kissing appears to be a relatively modern custom as it is not recorded before tudor times. Decorating with greenery (holly and ivy in England) is found in most cultures – it can even be found in the bible (Leviticus 23:40) – it just looks nice.

    As to the supposed take over of ancient sites, some indeed were taken over, just as many, if not more, were not. Sometimes the site was simply convenient. Some people, when they became Christians, were allowed to convert their temples to churches provided all the pagan stuff was removed and the building reconsecrated, the Pantheon in Rome being the most famous example, though I know of none in the British isles where this is proven to have happened.

    As to Avebury, did not the Anglo-Saxon village come before the church? The pagan Anglo-Saxons appear to be the ones who decided to move in on the ancient site, the church was just built later where people were already living.

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