Sol Invictus & the Birthday of Mithras
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MITHRAS' BIRTHDAY

In the 3rd century, the Roman Empire, which at the time had not adopted Christianity, celebrated the rebirth of the Unconquered Sun (Sol Invictus) on December 25th. This holiday not only marked the return of longer days after the winter solstice but also followed the popular Roman festival called the Saturnalia (during which people feasted and exchanged gifts). It was also the birthday of the Indo-European deity Mithra, a god of light and loyalty whose cult was at the time growing popular among Roman soldiers.
DATABASES
In the 3rd century, the Roman Empire, which at the time had not adopted Christianity, celebrated the rebirth of the Unconquered Sun (Sol Invictus) on December 25th. This holiday not only marked the return of longer days after the winter solstice but also followed the popular Roman festival called the Saturnalia (during which people feasted and exchanged gifts). It was also the birthday of the Indo-European deity Mithra, a god of light and loyalty whose cult was at the time growing popular among Roman soldiers.
On the night of 24 to 25 December it is celebrated in the West the birth of Christ. But it was not always so and today it is not in the whole Christian world; until the fourth century it was celebrated on January 6 and it continues so in the east, among the Orthodox.

The winter solstice occurs on December 25th; It is the time when in the northern hemisphere the days are shorter and the nights are longest. But from this  moment the day begins to grow and  "dies natalis solis invicti"  “the birthday of the unconquered sun",  is celebrated on this day .

That invincible sun is the god Mithra, whose worship and devotion competed with Christianity with which has certain similarities.
According to M.J. Vermaseren and C.C. van Essen, the Mithraic New Year and the birthday of Mithras was on December 25.[l][m] However, Beck disagrees strongly.[45] Clauss states:

"the Mithraic Mysteries had no public ceremonies of its own. The festival of Natalis Invicti, held on 25 December, was a general festival of the Sun, and by no means specific to the Mysteries of Mithras."[46]
Today (25th December) is the day in the later Roman empire when people celebrated the winter solstice and the birthday of the sun god Sol Invictus: the day was called ‘dies natalis Invicti’. Sol Invictus (the ‘unconquered sun’ or ‘unconquerable sun’) drove a racing-chariot (quadriga) drawn by four horses. The Romans interpreted the sun as Sol racing his quadriga across the sky from sunrise to sunset… Sol was associated with Luna, the goddess of the moon, who drove a chariot (biga) drawn by two horses. Chariot-races for both quadrigae and bigae were presented in Roman circuses. 

The festival of Sol Invictus on the 25th December in the later Roman empire combined the festivals of both the old sun god (Sol Indiges) and the new official sun god (Deus Sol Invictus).
Winter solstice, alternatively called Yule or Sol Invictus, is a pagan celebration Emperor Aurelian established in 272 CE after his troops were inspired by a divine power on the battlefield. He declared Dec. 25 as the birthdate of the “Invincible Sun” and made the day a feast-day. Not too long after, the Church decided to declare this same date to be Jesus’ birthday and soon the day was completely Christianized. Many pagan traditions were swallowed up as well.
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