To find the Roots of Christmas, we need to go back toa ancient time during the Babylonian kingdom. Priorto the Roman traditions regarding the season of theWinter Solstice we find that it originated from ancientBabylon, where the feast of the Son of Isis (Goddessof Nature) was celebrated on December 25, falling inthe same season.Babylon's supreme Sun-god, Bel, was worshippedalso in northern Syria. From one of the Sun-templesin Palmyra Syria, namely from the temple of Bel, the great image of Bel was removedand taken to Rome where it was erected. This was done by Emperor Aurelian ofRome, who was known as "the sun emperor." These SUN-worshippers were fearfulthat the SUN would continue to decline in the sky and not return and so celebratedthe WINTER SOLSTICE.In Rome, the Winter Solstice was celebrated many years before the birth of Messiah.The Romans called their winter holiday Saturnalia, honoring Saturn, the god ofAgriculture. In January, they observed the Kalends of January, which represented thetriumph of life over death.
This whole season was called Dies Natalis Invicti Solis, the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun
. The festival season was marked bymuch merrymaking. This Feast was celebrated with rough partying, gluttonous eatingand drinking and gift-giving.This Feast was also celebrated in Mithraism where on December21st the SUN'S path in the heavens starts to rise. Franz Cumontwrote, "
The Mithraists also observed SUN-day and kept sacred the 25th of December as the birthday of the SUN "
(Textes etMonuments 1:339). Sir James Frazer says, "
The largest pagan religious cult which fostered the celebration of December 25th as a holiday ... was the pagan SUN-worship, Mithraism ... This winter festival was called ... 'The Nativity of the SUN.'
(The Golden Bough, p.471).
Tertullian wrote, "
Babylon ... is a figure of the city Rome
". Augustine wrote that"
Rome was founded as the second Babylon and as the daughter of the former Babylon
" (City of God 5:439). In the same book Augustine again said, "
Babylonia as the first Rome ... Rome itself is like a second Babylon
" (ibid. p.371). Rome adaptedand build on the traditional foundations of Babylon and it was due to Rome that wefound the idea of Christmas celebration in the “Christian” (Catholic) faith. In northernEurope, many other traditions that we now consider part of Christian worship werebegun long before the participants had ever heard of the Messiah.Mario Righetti, a renowned Catholic liturgist, writes, "
the Church of Rome, to facilitate the acceptance of the faith by the pagan masses, found it convenient to institute the 25th December as the feast of the temporal birth of Christ, to divert them from the pagan feast, celebrated on the same day in honour of the 'Invincible SUN,' Mithras
."(Bacchiocchi's From Sabbath To Sunday, p.260).