Birthday Of The Sun December 25th

Helios, Colossus of Rhodes, artist's impression, 1880
Helios Colossus of Rhodes, artist’s impression, 1880

The First Day of Christmas, my true love sent to me a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Dies Natalis Solis Invicti

In the Northern Tradition, the day begins at Dusk, so Christmas Day begins on Christmas Eve. So many countries celebrate the eve as much or more than the day.

December 24th is also a day for Mothers, as tomorrow, the 25th, will be born Jesus, Mithras, Attis, Saturn, Apollo, and the Day of the Birth of the Invincible Sun. And we think of Mary, Isis, Theia, the Three Mother Goddesses and mothers everywhere.

The Sun Gods have quite a complicated interrelationship. Zeus, and Apollo are both also considered to be Sun Gods. Apollo is particularly interrelated to Helios, the Greek God who drives the Chariot that carries the Sun across the skies every day. Sol, perhaps the original religion of Constantine the Great, has been suggested as a response of the Romans to a trend towards monotheism in the later Roman period. Early worship of Jesus is full of solar metaphors, Churches are orientated East West. Mithras and Attis both wear the same Phrygian Hat.

Did the Celts have a sun-god? Belenos was a contender, but linguists are proposing his name does not come from words meaning bright but from strong. Lugh’s name is suggested to mean ‘shining’ but his attributes are more of a warrior than a sun god. Taranis is probably the best candidate, but he is more of a sky or thunder god than specifically a sun god. However, his symbol is a wheel and the wheel is symbolic of the turning of the year, which is caused by the movement of the Sun relative to the Earth.

December 25th was the date of the Roman Solstice but the slipage of dates, caused by the inability of humans to keep to a proper Solar calendar, meant that the actual solstice varies from the ‘official’ solstice.

First Published 24th December 2022, Republished 25th December 2023