Most people do not know the difference between the Gregorian Calendar and the Julian Calendar. The Julian Calendar was in use until October of the year 1582. This is when the Julian Calendar was replaced by today's Gregorian Calendar. The Solstice on the Julian Calendar was December 25th, and as of 1582 CE, the solstice was moved from December 25th on the Julian Calendar to December 21st on the Gregorian Calendar. Since the 12th century CE, there has been a theory that December 25th was chosen by half the world's Christians as the date of the Chris Mass (or Christmas), due to December the 25th popularity in Pagan Rome. In the 13th century, Dionysius bar Salibi (died 1171 CE) was the first bishop to write claiming that the church took the date of December 25th from Roman Pagans, i.e. from Saturnalia and from the Deus Sol Invictus (the birthday of the Sun). But since this was the first church writing to claim that Saturnalia and the Deus Sol Invictus was the reason behind December 25th (for only half of the church), and the fact that this writing contradicts the evidence from the church documents in the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries in particular, we really should look at the actual church authorities and church writings from this time, so show why December the 25th was actually chosen in the fourth century by the Western Church to be the Christ Mass. But before we look at these sources, we must state that half of Christianity, the Eastern Orthodox Church, never even accepted December 25th as Christ's birth. They accepted January 6th. Yes, HALF of the christians in the world rejected December 25th. Therefore, you cannot argue that Saturnalia and the birthday of the Sun God, definitely dated the to solstice of December 25th, was the reason for January 6th, because it clearly was not. Remember, that while today, the Roman Catholic (Western) church is the dominant force in Christianity, it was one of two dominant churches when Christianity gained popularity. The Eastern Church (the Orthodox Church) was just as large and powerful as the Western Roman Church, and the Eastern (Byzantine) Empire was just as powerful as the Western Empire. So yes, half the world's christians rejected December 25th as the date of Christ's birth. So, what was the REAL reason December 25th was chose to be the date of the Roman and Western Church's date for the Christ Mass. The Real Reason for the December 25th Date for Xmas (and the real reason January 6th was chosen by half the world's christians: The church documents never claim December 25th was chosen because of its Roman Pagan dates. 100% of the church documents state that December 25th was chosen because March 25th was the date of Christ's crucifixion, and the date of Christ's conception! From the Church writing On Solstices and Equinoxes in the 4th century: "For Jesus was believed to be conceived on the 25th day of March, upon which day he also suffered, which is the day of the Lord's Passion and his conception. For Christ was conceived on the same day in which he suffered." Please also see St. Augustine's early 5th century writing On the Trinity:
My thanks to "Religion For Breakfast" for this image. I completely recommend the YouTube Channel "Religion For Breakfast."
So, by following simple logic here, the church understood that pregnancies were typically nine months, and if Christ was conceived on the day the Angel Gabriel visited Mary, on March 25th, then nine months after March 25th is December 25th.
Please note, that the Eastern Orthodox Church writings show the same thing, that the Eastern Church felt that the Western (Roman) church was wrong, that most years the Biblical Passover, when Christ was crucified, follows a Biblical Lunisolar calendar, and most years the full moon after the equinox, when the Jewish Passover was, being on the 14th of the moon Nisan, occurs in April. Therefore, the Eastern Orthodox Church argued that Christ was conceived on April 6th, and therefore was born on January 6th, the Eastern Orthodox Xmas. Also note, that many people today, like the Armenian Church, once a part of the Eastern Orthodox Church, still keep Christ Mass or Christmas on January 6th.
On another note, I can prove that both the Jewish culture, and Heathen culture, did not celebrate birthdays. I can pull out the 9th century Old Saxon Heliand, and show that the Saxon Heathens who venerated Uuoden (Odin) and Thunar (Thor) and Sahsnoth, as well as the Aesir, had to have a writing explain to them what a birthday was, so they could understand it. I can also show that the Heathen New Year, according to the Ynglinga Saga 8, that states Winter Nights was a blot for a good year. Winter Nights (the beginning of Winter) was the Heathen new year. And I can also show in many places that Heathens counted age by the number of winters a person lived (*their "uuintargitalu"), etc. But I would rather go to the Bible. There are only two birthdays in the Bible, one in the Old and one in the New Testament. Pharaoh, in the book of Genesis, put to death a baker on his birthday, and spared the cup-bearer on his birthday. Pharaoh, a Gentile (non-Jew) had a birthday party, biblical Jews did not. Same in the New Testament, where all four gospels record the story of Herod Agrippa, a Gentile Idumean, had a birthday party where a girl danced so well for him, he offered her anything up to half his kingdom. She chose to have the head of John the Baptist brought to her on a platter. Only two of four biblical gospels *(Matthew and Luke) record Christ's birth, Mark and John completely ignore the story of Jesus' birth. And the first Christians, who were Jews and not Romans, did not care about the date of Christ's birth either. But since Romans did, to them it was important to have a birthday for Jesus. And for Christians, Good Friday, and Resurrection Sunday, are the two holiest dates in Christendom.
Yule and Christmas: Two completely different things The Heathen writings show that Yule was not on the Solstice. But Christmas is called "Yule" in Scandinavia today, thanks to forced Christianization. The evidence that we have, like with Hakon the Good's forced Christianization, is that the church stamped out Yule by replacing it with the Roman Catholic Christmas. Therefore, it was not the church that borrowed from Heathenry (Germanic Heathenry) but in fact, it was the church that stamped out Yule. This history is recorded in the Norse Saga of Hakon the Good. (See below) The Chronicon of Thietmar of Merseburg Chapter 17 (circa 1000 AD): "As I have heard odd stories concerning their ancient mid-winter blots, I will not allow this custom to be ignored. The middle of that kingdom is called Lederun (Lejre), in the region of Sjælland, all the people gathered every nine years in January, that is after we have celebrated the birth of the Lord [Christmas], and there they offered to their Gods Blots…” Hakon the Good, was the son of Harold Fairhair, the first King of All Norway. When he became king, Hakon forced Christianity on all Norway. Hakon the Good persecuted historical pre-Christian Heathen Yule by moving it from the full moon of Yule Moon (Jolmanuthr) to be on the same night the Christians did Xmas, which was Dec 25th, the solstice at that time on the Julian calendar. Hakon the Good's persecution of Yule was so effective, it was adopted in Christian Iceland, Christian Sweden, and Christian Denmark, as documented in the Saga of Hakon the Good. This is why Xmas is called Yule today in all Scandinavia. But Yule was not originally at the time of Xmas nor the solstice. It was on a full moon in late January or early February in today's time reckoning. Chapter 15 of the saga "Hakon the Good"
HAKON SPREADS CHRISTIANITY.
"King Hakon was a good Christian when he came to Norway; but as the whole country was heathen, with much heathenish sacrifice, and as many great people, as well as the favour of the common people, were to be conciliated, he resolved to practice his Christianity in private. But he kept Sundays, and the Friday fasts, and some token of the greatest holy-days. He made a law that the festival of Yule should begin at the same time as Christian people held it, and that every man, under penalty, should brew a meal of malt into ale, and therewith keep the Yule holy as long as it lasted. Before him, the first night of Yule was on hǫkunótt, that is midwinter night, and Yule was held for three nights." Today, many people have lost their minds, thinking Odin is Santa Claus, and that Xmas trees, a practice that is not even 500 years old, is a rip off of Germanic Heathen celebrations. This is clearly false. But every pagan path, Greek Pagans, Roman Pagans, Basque Pagans, Celtic Pagans, Slavic Pagans, etc etc etc all claim Xmas was ripped off from their particular branch of Heathenry or Paganism. It is like everyone loves Christmas so much, they want to claim it as their Pagan day. But in reality, the church did not borrow Dec 25th from any Germanic, Celtic, or Slavic days. Only Roman Sun God and Roman Saturn dates even match the date of December 25th. And the church writings never claim that they took popular pagan days and made them Christian. The church writings are clear, December 25th was chosen by the Western Church, due to their belief that the Gospel of John implied that Christ's birth was at the same time as his death (Passover), and therefore, December 25th must be Christ's birthday because it is nine months after his conception in the belly of the Virgin Mary. Thanks again to Religion for Breakfast, for a great YouTube video, and I ask you all to check out that channel. Please join us in the Facebook Group: Saxon Heathenry for more historical discussions on Germanic and Saxon Heathenry. Appendix: Pope Julian decided that Christmas, or the celebration of Christ's birth, would be on December 25th in the early fourth century. Christmas has been on December 25th in the Roman and Western Church ever since. Other fun fact: Most church writings of the founding fathers state that celebrating a birthday would get you cursed. For example, Origen, a third century christian writer, stated:
The above image is from another great YouTube Channel: Crecganford. Please check out his page, and his video on how December 25th was not chosen by the church to appease pagans, it is a great video: