For the first 3 centuries of Christianity’s existence, Jesus Christ’s birth wasn’t celebrated. When church officials settled on December 25 at the end of the third century, they likely wanted the date to coincide with existing pagan festivals honoring Saturn (the Roman god of agriculture) and Mithra (the Persian god of light). That way, it became easier to convince Rome’s pagan subjects to accept Christianity as the empire’s official religion.
This Christmas Around the World for Older Kids unit is a great way to integrate reading strategies and social studies concepts, while learning about something fun and thematic during the month of December. 12 countries with comprehension passages, map skills, scrapbook pages, and a trifold - mini-research unit. Your kids will LOVE this unit! (TpT Resource)
Mithra- pre-Zoroastrian divinity that was the god that ensured contracts and promises were kept binding. As this divinity stood for good, Zoroastrianism incorporated him as an angel in the religion's divine hierarchy, with Ahura Mazda, Lord Wisdom, as the only uncreated Creator God. Interesting that the surviving Zoroastrians use this rock carving as the inspiration to portray a stylised picture of their prophet Zarathushtra, founder of the world's first monotheistic religion.
I am Christian, but isn't strange that it's okay to observe Easter and Christmas, but SO many churches won't celebrate Halloween because it is an "evil pagan" holiday! But, history reveals that us "Holiday-observing Christians" aren't so "Christian" after all! We are just continuing to practice pagan traditions that Constantine simply slapped a Christian "sticker" on!