By Simba Jama
THE Roman (Gregorian) solar calendar is not compatible with the times and seasons of the southern hemisphere.
December is considered the end of the year in the north because it is the month in which the winter season and its solstice take place.
The winter solstice is the day within the year in which the sun or daylight is shortest.
Nowadays, it falls around December 22 in the northern hemisphere and around June 21 in the south.
This shows how incompatible the Gregorian calendar is with the southern hemisphere.
How is December the end of year in the southern hemisphere when we have already experienced spring, rainfall and have begun planting?
The seasons and, therefore, the times between the north and south are different and actually opposites.
When the sun heads north, it takes along with it spring and summer, leaving autumn and winter in the south.
The opposite is also true.
Romans worshipped the sun and would consider the winter solstice of great importance because it marks the peak of winter, and therefore the first sign of the near return of the sun to the north.
The Romans held annual winter solstice celebrations in honour of one of their gods, ‘Saturn’.
The week-long festival was called ‘Saturnalia’.
Concerning the sun’s return, the only other festival as important as Saturnalia to the Romans was the spring festival which falls in late March.
They would honour their goddess Ishtar on this day and celebrate fertility.
Nowadays, late December and late March are held as important times worthy of holidays and festivities.
These Roman ceremonies are disguised under the names ‘Christmas’ and ‘Easter’ in December and March, respectively.
How is it that Roman sacred days are being associated with Africans and Christ himself, who was a Hebrew?
The name Christmas is derived from Christ’s Mass.
Why then is it interchangeable with X-mas, meaning mass of the unknown.
To the Romans, late December, from as far back as 217 BCE, was the time to honour the god, Saturn.
Emperor Aurelian later made an amendment that allowed Saturnalia to also honour the birth of Sol Invictus (unconquered sun) in 274 CE.
After Constantine’s conversion to Christianity, the Catholic Church, under Pope Julius I, sought to also commemorate the birth of Christ on Saturnalia as a bid to gain popularity among the Romans.
Although successful, it would be surprising for many to know that in the 17th Century, the Roman-derived festivities of late December that are disguised under the name of Christ were banned in England, followed by some states in the US.
Protestant Christians were seeking purity in following the gospel.
Such Christians became known as Puritans and, even back then, they managed to unmask the charade behind Christmas.
They saw numerous parallels between Saturnalia and Christmas and managed to ban the supposed celebration of Christ’s birth in late December.
This began at the Parliament of England led by Oliver Cromwell in 1644.
States like Boston followed suit and banned Christmas till 1681.
Places like New England in the US kept up this ban till as late as 1856 and would only legalise Christmas in 1870.
We shall now find out why Christians who sought for purity in doctrine would ban the supposed celebration of the birth of Christ.
Christmas is associated with unholy rituals like drunkenness, gluttony, merrymaking, singing carols, gift-giving and consequent consumerism.
All these are not Christ-like traits but merely features of the Roman Saturnalia festivities.
Saturnalia was characterised by gift-giving, orgies (often public), homosexual acts, ritual wife beating, slave pampering, feasting, singing naked, dancing and excessive drinking.
It is clear how not only the dates but also the activities associated with Christmas are derived from Saturnalia.
The most deaths and injuries in colonially Christian nations like Zimbabwe from road accidents, fights and robberies and so on occur in late December and early January owing to the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
The consumerism associated with Christmas leads to overspending and results in an annual fall of civil revenue which Zimbabweans have come to know as the ‘January disease’.
Why spend so much when supposedly commemorating a man who was born in a manger?
Besides, some plays about Christ’s birth at pre and primary school portray Christmas as not about Christ but more about partying and reckless behaviour which often leads to death, injury, regret, incarceration and financial insecurity, among other things.
Honouring the birth of Christ on Christmas would be understandable if Christ was actually born in late December, but that was not the case.
According to scripture, Christ was born when shepherds were preparing for the Passover.
That is sometime before late March and just before spring.
This explains why the inns were full and Christ’s parents even considered birthing him in a manger.
Late December would have been the winter solstice period in which travelling to Bethlehem and then Egypt on foot, with a wife who just gave birth and a newborn would not be possible.
Hebrew people were viciously against Greco Roman culture. They did not celebrate birthdays and, for this reason, the exact date of birth of Christ was not recorded.
Birthday celebrations were a typical Roman trait.
Hebrew people only remembered the year of birth so as to calculate a person’s age.
They calculated sacred days like the Passover to the exact hour a sacrifice is to be made.
For example, on the 14th day, of the first month, at twilight.
Not recording the exact birth date of Christ and other biblical figures is an indication of just how little Hebrews treasured birthday celebrations.
Therefore, Christ himself would not endorse the commemoration of his birth, especially during the Saturnalia period.
In December, we are shown cartoons, movies and plays depicting Christ, his kinsmen and even the wisemen of the East as white people.
Judea is a walking distance from Egypt.
How then could whites, besides Greeks and Romans, be found in this region in that early period?
Christ was taken to Egypt by his parents while fleeing from Herod.
Why would Hebrew people run from Romans and head to Egypt for succor if they were white.
It is evident Hebrew people were black because since the times of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, their race would customarily head south in times of famine, war and trouble.
They were indistinguishable from Egyptians because they would blend in.
Not so would Greeks, Romans and Caucasian whites.
Joseph, in Genesis 42:8, was mistaken for an Egyptian by his own brothers when he was Governor of Egypt.
Moses was mistaken for an Egyptian by the daughters of Jethro in Exodus 2:19.
And over a millennium later, Paul was mistaken for an Egyptian in Acts 21:38.
Abraham forbade miscegenation and only Ethiopians and Egyptians, like Hagar and Zipporah, were exempt because they resembled Israel.
Idolatry is strictly forbidden in Deuteronomy 4:15.
Yet, besides crosses, rosaries and crucifixes, Christmas is riddled with decorated pine trees, images of Santa Claus, elves, reindeers and so on.
Santa is called ‘Father Christmas’ despite the claim that the festivities are centred on Christ.
On top of that, in Matthew 23:9, we see Christ forbidding people to call anyone on earth father, besides God.
Yet even the man who presides over the Catholic Church is also called ‘Pope’, which is derived from ‘papa’ meaning ‘father’.
Like the trinity doctrine and worship of Mary, these are polytheistic traits that are not fitting for Christians to partake of.
Christians should, by definition, be Christ-like.
Ideally, they should not do what Christ would not do and vice versa.
Why then replace the Sabbath, Passover and so on with Greco-Roman and American customs, all in the name of Christmas?