Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Whither December 25?

An article in the December 25th local newspaper once again sought to present the so-called "conventional" wisdom that Christmas has its origin in a pagan winter solstice festival. Because of that, many old pagan customs crept into the Christian celebration. This is a great urban myth, repeated countless times in classrooms and in print.

William Tighe, a Professor of History at Muhlenberg College in PA debunks the myth and shows that the real issue was the true date for the resurrection (Easter) and the attempt by the Roman Emperor Aurelian to make a political statement and give pagan significance to a date already important to Roman Christians.

You can read the full article here.

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