Date: Dec 24, 2012 9:08 PM
Author: Domenico Rosa
Subject: Re: Christmas 2012--who did the counting?

A detailed analysis of the various dates for the celebration of Christmas are available at:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03724b.htm

The biblical scholar Marcello Craveri wrote the following on Page 39 of "The Life of Jesus," Grove Press (1967) http://www.amazon.com/Life-Jesus-Marcello-Craveri/dp/0880012382/

"In Rome the feast of Sol Invictus [the festival of the Unconquered Sun, celebrated on December 25 as Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, which had been the national cult under emperors Heliogabalus, Gallienus and Aurelian] always marked the end of a festival even more ancient but equally dedicated to the celebration of the self-renewal of nature: the Saturnalia. Based on the mythical era of the god Saturn, supposed to have been an age of happiness, peace, and brotherhood among all men, the Saturnalia in those days was a time in which the Romans abandoned themselves to touching demonstrations of friendship and affection. Even slaves had the right to sit at table with their masters and be served by them during the festival. It was a simple matter for Christianity--which was based fundamentally on universal brotherhood--to replace the heathen belief in the age of Saturn without impairing the admirable customs of the Saturnalia."