December 25th was previously the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun in Rome and honored the Etruscan god Sol. In 10 B.C. the god was changed to Apollo and in the 2nd century to the Persian deity Mithras. Mithras lived six centuries before Christ and was the son of the Supreme god of light. His birth was attended by sheperds and he was sent to slay the huge bull of creation. Mithras had a last supper of bread and wine with his followers before he died and it was believed that he would return at the end of time to judge the dead.
from christine o`keeffe`s christmas history
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