Did you know Jesus’ birthday was not the 24th nor the 25th of December? A couple of weeks ago I watched Dan Brown’s Inferno and at some point Tom Hanks mentions that new and upcoming religions used to instrumentalize existing festivities and their dates like the 25th of December (the birth of Sol the god of sun) as a persuasion strategy. Many “pagan” beliefs were centered around these dates, from ancient Egypt (Horus’ birthday) to Persians (Tammuz’ birthday). Same time of the year, Germanics used to celebrate Yule, one of the highlights of their pagan calendar. Nowadays, when you experience the beauties of Scandinavian Christmas season, you hear everyone saying “god jul”, which is translated to “merry Christmas”, the expression however, is derived from the pagan yule festivities.
Even in the bible itself, Jeremiah (10:2-4) indicates our traditional Christmas rituals as pagan traditions: “For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not” Does that not sound like a Christmas tree decorated with tinsel? Roman catholic writer Mario Rigehtti admits that “the Roman Church instituted December 25 as the feast of the Nativity to distract the pagan masses from their feast of the birth of the “Invincible Sun”, Mithras, the Conqueror of darkness and to facilitate their acceptance of the Christian faith.”
If you’re thinking, Lucas must hate Christmas, I can guarantee you, it is not the case. The only thing I’m trying to convey is in the end it doesn’t matter what we celebrate. Whether it’s Mithras’ or Horus’ birthday, Chanukah or Christmas, the most important part is that we enjoy this time off with people we love. From the entire UPM family we wish you a most beautiful holiday season and a glorious start into a new year. Lets reach new heights together in 2023! See, talk and hear you soon!
(If you ask yourself, why you did not receive any Christmas presents from your favorite supplier, is it because we decided instead of presents we donate to charity)