One of the world’s most famous Christian apologists, Hollywood actor Kirk Cameron, steps into the Christmas fray with nonsensical declarations that this time of the year – the winter solstice – has nothing to do with paganism and everything to do with Jesus Christ. This claim is patently absurd and easily disproved.
Here’s an excerpt of a long discussion of December 25/winter solstice in my book Christ in Egypt: The “Calendar of Antiochus” refers to that of a resident of Athens about 200 AD/CE in which December 25th is named as the “sun’s birthday” or the “birthday of Helios.” In this regard, Dr. Stefan Weinstock states:
…In Egypt and in Greece the terms of human life were applied to the Sun. It was thought to be a child at its rise in the morning, an adult at its culmination and an old man at its setting. The same view was applied to its annual course: child at the winter solstice, youth in the spring, adult in the summer, and old man in the autumn. Thus the course of the Sun in its lifetime, and we should expect that states of this “life” were marked in the calendars, from the time that they became solar calendars. Yet in Greek calendars, corresponding entries were missing until Boll published in 1910 the Calendar of Antiochus which contains the entry to 25th December Ήλίου γενέθλιον· αυξει φως [Birth of the Sun: the light increases], and lends strong support to the famous entry of Philocalus…: “N(atalis) Invicti.” This emergence of the “birthday” of the Sun caused much sensation and some controversy because of its obvious relevance to the Christian tradition concerning Christmas and Epiphany.
Concerning the “birthday of the Sun on 25th December,” Weinstock continues:
In the preceding night the Egyptians carried from a sanctuary the image of a new-born child, the Sun, and shouted that “the Virgin has born,” and that the light is increasing… “
Not only do we have ancient texts indicating the origins of Christmas as having to do with ancient winter solstice celebrations such as the birth of “Sol Invictus,” the Roman sun god, but we also have numerous ruins worldwide aligned archaeoastronomically to the sunrise at the winter solstice, as part of ancient sun worship. These many ruins – some of which date back thousands of years before Christ’s alleged advent – are highlighted in our Astrotheology Calendar series.
It is blatantly clear why Christ’s birthday was placed at this time: Because the winter solstice was one of the most important holidays in antiquity, especially in regions above the equator that experienced a great deal of darkness.
The holiday is placed at midnight on December 24th or the morning of December 25th because the ancients observed the sun’s “stutter step” at sunrise on December 21st, the shortest day of the year, for three days afterwards, until it made a clear movement back north. This is why this period is called “solstice,” which means “sun stands still.” Here is why a number of gods, goddesses and other solar figures were said to be “born” around the winter solstice. In reality, the month of December – and two weeks in November and January – are full of winter light celebrations, as illustrated in my 2010 Astrotheology Calendar:
As I have stated previously, Jesus represents the sun from the winter to summer solstice, while John the Baptist, said biblically to have been born six months earlier than Jesus, is the sun from the summer to winter solstice.
Whether or not Cameron or other Christians wish to be honest about the holiday, “Christmas” was originally pagan through and through, and was taken over by Christianity.