Western Calendar Names are Prior Gods

Days of the Week

  • While much Western culture has been Christianized, the days and months of the Gregorian calendar remain named after ancient Pagan gods and goddesses. Each month in the Astrotheology Calendar will have a short introduction of the history of its name, while the history of names for the days of the week is as follows: •
  • The first day of the week, Sunday, was obviously named after the day star, the sun. •
  • The next day, Monday, was named for the moon, originally being “Moonday.” •
  • The third day of the week, Tuesday, is styled after the Teutonic/Germanic war god Tiu or Tiw, who in the Roman mythology is the god Mars, as in the French “Mardi.” •
  • Wednesday was named after the Teutonic/Germanic storm god Odin or Woden, hence “Wodensday.” •
  • Thursday takes its name from the Norse thunder god Thor. •
  • Friday likewise is named after a Scandinavian deity, the goddess of love Freya, whose equivalent in Rome was Venus. Hence, in French the day is “Vendredi.”
  • Saturday is styled after the Roman harvest god, Saturn.
  • Months of the Year

  • For the description of month names, as well as commentary about notable days in each month, please see the back matter following the actual calendar. This material is placed at the end so that you can refer to it without taking down the calendar.

  • January

  • January was named from the Roman double-faced god Janus, who was the keeper of doors, also representing sunrise and sunset, and facing backwards and forwards. Notable days in January include the first, which is New Year’s Day in many locales, as well as the “Solemnity of the Mother of God” and a traditional date for Jesus’s circumcision, Catholic commemorations deliberately placed on this day in order to Christianize widespread Pagan celebrations. The birthday of Dionysus can be listed on both the 5th and 6th of January, while the god Aion who is born on January 6th is called by Joseph Campbell a “syncretistic personification of Osiris.”[18] Dionysus was likewise identified with both Aion and Osiris in ancient times. In antiquity too, Jesus Christ’s nativity was also placed on the 6th or 7th of January, when it remains celebrated in some factions of the Orthodox Church, such as in Armenia, as well as the Coptic Church. Concerning these dates, Christian theologian Dr. Hugo Rahner remarks: As to the dates, Norden has shown that the change from January 6 to December 25 can be explained as the result of the reform introduced by the more accurate Julian calendar into the ancient Egyptian calculation which had fixed January 6 as the date of the winter solstice.[19] It thus appears that in ancient times these dates of January 5, 6 and 7 represented the winter solstice, which is fitting for sun gods. Indeed, Macrobius later places Dionysus’s birth on December 25th, again appropriate for a sun god.[20] January 6th is also the Catholic celebration of the “Three Kings,” who purportedly attended Christ’s birthday but who are in actuality mythical and astrotheological figures.[21] As another notable day showing Christianization of Pagan holidays, St. Agnes/Ines was supposedly a Christian martyr beheaded on January 21st. However, in consideration of the fact that the same day was sacred to an ancient Danish goddess by the name of Yngona prior to the advent of Christianity,[22] it is likely that this Catholic tale was fabricated in order to usurp the Pagan holiday. The Christian “St. Vincent,” whose Feast Day is celebrated on January 22nd, is claimed to be a remake of the Greek god Apollo, another solar deity.

  • February

  • February was named after the Roman goddess of purity, Juno Februa or Februata, from the verb februare, meaning “to purify.” The word “Februa” seems to have some relationship with the Gaelic “Feabhra,” which in turn was said to be derived from “Fhéile Bríde,” the first day of Spring. The month starts off with a feast day important to Celts which was preempted by the Catholic Church: That of the goddess Brighid, Brigid, Brigit or Bride, who was turned into “St. Brigid.” The month is also notable for February 2nd representing “Peak Winter,” one of the cross-quarter days called “Imbolc,” “Lughnasad” and “Candlemas,” among other titles. In its attempt to supplant this widespread Pagan festival, the Church placed the Purification of Mary and the Presentation of Christ in the Temple on this day, the Purification of Mary in the month named after the purification of the goddess Juno constituting an obvious appropriation. Candlemas is followed on February 3rd by the feast day of St. Blaise, whose name led him to become associated with lighting fires. Blaise’s story is full of fantastic tales, and it is possible that there was no historical figure under all the myths but that he was himself a Catholic rehash of an earlier Pagan deity. February 10th is supposedly the day of Anahita/Anaitis, the Persian love/moon goddess. It has also been the time of the Gamelia, when the Greek goddess and god Hera and Zeus’s marriage was celebrated, a popular fest that may have been deliberately overshadowed by the Catholic Church’s placement on that date of the commemoration of St. Paul’s purported shipwreck. The inclusion of the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes on February 11th is because Lourdes was traditionally a place of the Greek goddess Persephone, one of the many faces of the Divine Feminine that the Virgin Mary supplanted. The date of February 14th as a day of love was copied from the Roman celebration of Lupercalia by the Catholic Church, who put in its stead the feast day of “St. Valentine,” a name for several early Christians, including one who is purported to have led armed mobs in Rumania and Hungary to slaughter and rape Pagans. St. Lucia’s Day on February 22nd is said to be a Christianization of the Roman holiday for the ancient Italian goddess of light, Lucia.

  • March

  • March was named after the Roman god of war, Mars, also known as Ares in Greek mythology and Tiu/Tiw in Teutonic or Germanic mythology. Along with the notorious Bacchanalia of the Greek god Dionysus on March 16th, March is known for its abundant observations of the vernal equinox, which is celebrated in various cultures on March 20th, 21st or 22nd. This latter day was known in ancient times for its important festival of the goddess Cybele—the Great Mother—which began on March 22nd and ended on the 27th. As stated by Rev. Alexander Roberts in The Ante-Nicene Fathers (VI, 496): The festival of Cybele, the “Mother of the Gods,” began on the 22d of March, when a pine tree was introduced into the mysteries, and continued, until the 27th, which was marked by a general purification (lavatio), as Salmasius observed from a calendar of Constantine the Great. [An equinoctial feast, which the Church deposed by the Paschal observances. March 22 is the prima sedes Paschae.][23] Regarding the Cybele equinox festival, Dr. Marvin W. Meyer remarks: The most well-known Roman festival in honor of the Anatolian deities [Cybele and Attis] was celebrated in the spring, during March. Presumably this festival began to take shape during the first century C.E. Much of the evidence for specific components of the festival, however, dates from later centuries, so that the following schedule of events most accurately describes the festival as it was celebrated in the third or fourth century C.E. On March 15 the ceremonies opened, with the reed-bearers (cannonphori) carrying their reeds into the sanctuary. The cut reeds may have been a symbolic representation of a feature of the story of Kybele and Attis: either the abandonment of baby Attis by the side of a river or his self-castration later in his life. The next several days of the spring festival were spent in fasting from bread, wine, and other food, as well as abstaining from sexual intercourse. Then, on March 22 the tree-bearers (dendrophori) carried into the sanctuary a pine tree that was freshly cut and decorated with ornaments such as purple flowers or ribbons and an image of Attis. On that day and the day following, the worshipers mourned over the tree, for it commemorated the death of Attis. According to the sacred myth, Attis castrated himself and died under a pine tree and even could be identified with the tree. As the pine tree was cut down in death, so also was youthful Attis cut down. March 24 was aptly named the Day of Blood (Dies sanguinis). On this day some of the fanatical celebrants flogged themselves until they bled and sprinkled their blood upon the image and the altars in the sanctuary, while others are said to have imitated Attis by castrating themselves. Such painful and dramatic acts allowed the worshipers to identify with the passion and death of Attis. The Hilaria on March 25 brought renewed joy and hope. There was feasting in honor of the Great Mother and good cheer. At least in some fourth-century celebrations of the Hilaria, there also may have been affirmations of the resurrection of Attis. (CP. the hints in Arnobius, The Case Against the Pagans, 5.7, and the denial of Attis’s actual return to life. In Firmicus Maternus, The Error of the Pagan Religions, 3.1ff., explicit mention is made of the resurrection of Attis.) The spring festival came to a close with a muchneeded day of rest (March 26) and a final day (March 27) on which the holy image of the Great Mother was bathed in the Almo River.[24] As we can see, there are several important correlations here with the Christ myth. In City of God (28.54), Augustine stated that Christ died on March 25th. [25] The Christian Creation Day on March 25th was recorded in De Pascha Computus,[26] evidently also reflecting Christ’s conception, which was likewise placed on the 25th, exactly nine months before “Christmas.” As noted, Jesus’s resurrection was likewise placed on the 25th of March, while the Romans had previously celebrated the “Hilaria” on that date, representing the resurrection of life from the death of winter. It is obvious that the Christian celebrations on this date constituted an imitation of Pagan vernal equinox festivals. March 27th was an auspicious day, as it was traditionally the end of the March Roman Cybele festival, the day of the “lavatio” or washing of Cybele in the Almo River. When the calendar was Christianized in the 5th century, Christ’s Resurrection was placed on March 27th for the specific reason of usurping the lavatio.[27]

  • April

  • April is named from the Roman month Aprilis, “perhaps derived from aperire or Latin for ‘to open.’” One tradition holds that the month was named for Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. Another important Roman festival of the Great Mother/Magna Mater, called the Megalesia, commenced on April 4th, which this year happens to coincide with Easter, the Christian celebration of the resurrection of life that supplants the Pagan vernal equinox celebrations. On April 5th, the day of the Roman festival of the goddess Fortuna as well as Easter Monday this year, occurs the very ancient Egyptian spring festival of Shamo, which dates back some 4,500 years. Based on Eastern European traditions combining the two, St. George’s Day on April 23rd was likely contrived to co-opt the Roman festival of Parilia, which occurs two days earlier.[28] The Catholic feast may have been placed on the 23rd to supplant the Roman feast of Venus as well, essentially killing two birds with one stone. As is common with saints and prophets, St. George appears to be an amalgam of both mythical and historical figures. St. James the Great’s Feast Day has been placed on April 30th in the Eastern Orthodox Church and July 25th in the Western. In consideration of the repeated takeover of Pagan holidays by the Church, it is likely that the placement of this feast day on April 30th was in order to “overwrite” the “Peak Spring” celebration of Beltane/Walpurgis. Beltane was named for the Celtic god of light, Bel or Beli, also known as Belinus in the Roman, who appears to be related to the Phoenician sun god Baal. The Catholic commemoration of St. James may also have been designed to replace the Artemisian festival of Brauronia, explaining the date’s significance in the Eastern church in particular. However, the latter holiday would be based on the lunar month, so it would be difficult to determine whether or not it was on the mind of the Christian usurpers. In any event, in the year 1 AD/CE and subsequently, the Feast of Ra-neb-dedet, the Egyptian God of Fertility, fell on the same day as that which was later established as the Feast Day of St. James the Great.

  • May

  • May is named after the Roman goddess of the Spring, Maia, mother of the god Mercury, also known as Hermes in the Greek mythology. May 1st is “Peak Spring,” also signifying the “Coming of the Great Ones from the House of Ra,” in the year 1 AD/CE, presuming that the Cairo Calendar was still in currency. Peak Spring is represented by Beltane or Walpurgis in the Celtic/Pagan calendar, a date preempted by the Catholic Church as that of St. Joseph, stepfather of Jesus. The Church apparently also appropriated Walpurgis by claiming it was the feast day of “St. Walpurga,” who supposedly lived in England in the 8th century but who is evidently the remake of the fertility goddess Waldborg.[29] The feast day on April 18th of St. John the Apostle likewise may have been placed in order to arrogate Pagan holidays on or around that date. There exists no scientific evidence that the Apostle John as depicted in the New Testament and Christian tradition was a single, historical personage. Like other “Ascension Days,” that of Jesus occurs on the day before the new moon, representing the disappearance of the sun’s light as the moon wanes. In 2010, the Christian Ascension Day occurs on May 13th. On May 21st of this year occurs the Buddhist celebration of Wesak/Vesak, which commemorates not only the birth of Buddha but also his enlightenment and death. This “coincidence” of all three milestones happening on the same date is an indication of the mythical nature of “the Buddha,” who is in reality a soli-lunar godman, as demonstrated in my book Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled.

  • June

  • June is named for the chief Roman goddess, Juno, queen of heaven and wife of Jupiter. June is the month of the summer solstice, which begins on June 21st but which is celebrated for a few days before and after, including as “Midsummer Day” on the 20th, as well as Inti Raymi or the day of the Inca sun god Inti on the 24th. The Catholic Church superseded the summer solstice by placing the nativity of John the Baptist on the 24th, precisely six months before Christmas Eve, when his “cousin” Jesus—the winter sun—was born. In the New Testament, the Baptist’s mother is six months pregnant when the Virgin Mary conceives (Lk 1:36), and John is later depicted as making an enigmatic remark concerning Jesus: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (Jn 3:30) This statement makes sense when it is understood that Jesus and John represent the sun at the winter and summer solstices, respectively. The placement in June (28th) of Vidovdan or the Feast of St. Vitus, who is known as the patron saint of dancers, appears to have been designed to Christianize the “midsummer dancing madness” of the Pagans. Likewise, the placing of the feasts of Sts. Peter and Paul on June 29th also served to override Pagan holidays, including possibly the Roman fest of Hercules Musarum or “Hercules of the Muses.”

  • July

  • July was the month of Quintilis (“Fifth”) before being named after the Roman emperor Julius Caesar. Like that of Jesus, the Ascension of Mohammed also occurs on the day before the full moon (July 9th in 2010), indicating various astrotheological aspects of Islam as well. July 11th in the year 1 AD/CE and for centuries following would have been the “Day of the Escape of the Fugitive Eye” in the Egyptian Calendar, referring to the sun god Ra. Oddly enough, the Catholic feast day of St. Benedict was also placed at that time centuries later, peculiar because of the story wherein Benedict had turned a temple of the Greek sun god Apollo into a Christian “oratory of St. John,” after which it was said that the “enraged god returned to torment him in the form of a black monster with flaming eyes.”[30] The heliacal rising of Sirius varies from place to place and era to era, in this modern era usually occurring on July 20th, although alternative dates include the 26th of July[31] and the first of August.[32] The 27th of July is the feast day of the Catholic St. Pantaleon, who is said to be a Christianized Italian god. The five epagomenal days upon which the gods Osiris, Isis and Horus, etc., were said to be born are generally placed in the middle of July. However, in the year 1 AD/CE, for example, these would not have occurred until the following month.

  • August

  • August was previously called Sextilis (“Sixth”) before being renamed after the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus. The first of August represents “Peak Summer,” with attendant Pagan holidays obviously commandeered by the Catholic Church placing the Fast in Honor of the Virgin Mary on this day. This day of Lammas was also co-opted by the Church as the supposed date of St. Peter’s miraculous escape from prison in the book of Acts of the Apostles. As is the case with John the Apostle and many others, there is no concrete evidence of Peter’s existence, and he appears to be a remake of Pagan deities, including the Roman god Jupiter. As with other Catholic feast days, the Transfiguration of the Lord on August 6th was designed to appropriate a Pagan celebration, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia (“Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ,” August 6th): The Armenian bishop Gregory Arsharuni (about 690) ascribes the origin of this feast to St. Gregory the Illuminator (d. 337?), who, he says, substituted it for a pagan feast of Aphrodite called Vartavarh (roseflame), retaining the old appellation of the feast, because Christ opened His glory like a rose on Mount Thabor.[33] The original Pagan celebration was “an early harvest festival celebrated in the western highlands of Asia (Persia, Iran, maybe Afghanistan) dedicated to a goddess called Vartavarh, or Roseflame (early chroniclers identified her with Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love).”[34] August 15th is also noteworthy because it was the day of an ancient festival of the Roman goddess Vesta, while both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches placed festivities of the Mother of God on that day as well, including the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. August 15th is said to have been chosen by the Catholic Church because on that day the sun rises and sets near the constellation of Virgo, the Virgin, whom the Christian Virgin was designed to supplant. Although they are often placed in July, the important five epagomenal days from the Egyptian calendar constituting the birthdays of the children of Geb and Nut would have occurred from August 24th to the 28th during the year 1 AD/CE. August 29th is another notable day, as it would have served as the birthday of the Egyptian sun god Ra-Horakhty and the beginning of the Egyptian New Year in 1 AD/CE and for centuries afterward. The calendar inscription of Ramesses II at Abydos also names this date as that of the Rising of Sirius, which, again, would signify the beginning of the Egyptian New Year. Meanwhile, centuries later the Catholic Church usurped the day by making it the commemoration of the beheading of John the Baptist. However, the Baptist is demonstrably a mythical figure, and his beheading represents an astrotheological motif. As Rev. Dr. Robert Taylor remarks: John the Baptist is beheaded on the 29th of August, because, on the fourteenth and a half of that day, the bright Star of Aquarius rises in the calendar of Ptolemy, while the rest of his body is below; and as the direct adversary of Aquarius is Leo, whom I have shown to be none other than King Herod: so King Herod, every 30th of August, at half after two in the morning, annually repeats the operation, of cutting off John Baptist's head.[35]

  • September

  • September is named after the Latin term for “Seven,” septem, because it used to represent the seventh of the 10 months in the original Roman calendar. In 2010, September 5th is the Muslim festival of Laylat al Kadr, which is held to be the date when the first verses of the Koran/Quran were received by Mohammed. However, this celebration is an evident takeover of an earlier Arab New Year Festival. Another indication of the astrotheological nature of elements within Islam exists in the celebration of Chaand Ra or “Moon Night,” which occurs on the new moon (Sept. 8th). Interestingly, “Chandra” is the name of the Indian moon god, whose main festival, Karwa Chauth, falls in October (27th in 2010), about nine days before the Hindu holiday of Diwali. The Jewish celebrations Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot are likewise based on the phases of the moon, both Islam and Judaism constituting lunar cults, while Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism are largely solar cults. September 21st, 22nd and 23rd contain various vernal equinox celebrations, including the Coya Raymi of the Inca, as well as the Pagan/Wiccan Mabon and the Catholic Conception of St. John, nine months before his birth at the summer solstice. St. Matthew’s Day was also placed on the 21st of September in order to preempt the Pagan equinox celebrations.

  • October

  • October comes from the Latin/Greek word for “Eight,” octo, originally representing the eighth month of the year. October is full of harvest and wine days. The Zoroastrian/ Persian festival of Mihragan or Mehregan on October 2nd is an important date, as it represents the vernal equinox and harvest time, dedicated to the ancient Persian sun god Mithra, whose feast day represents a sort of resurrection and whose birthday was traditionally celebrated at the winter solstice, specifically on December 25th, before the Catholic Church usurped that date. It appears that the placement of the feast day of St. Denis, Dennis or Denys on October 9th was designed to supersede the Oschophoria/Oskophoria celebrations of Dionysus, as well as the other Dionysian festival on the 3rd, as this Christian saint is evidently a remake of the Greek god. The Feast Day on October 18th of St. Luke, who was associated with horns, may be an appropriation of a Pagan celebration having to do with the Horned God or Herne, also known in the Celtic as Cernunnos. It seems that the placement of St. Luke’s Day on this date was an attempt to co-opt Pagan harvest and fall festivals. Another such supplantation occurs on the 21st of October, with the feast of the Teutonic moon goddess Urschel, as well as the Slavic moon goddess Ursala, being turned into the Catholic St. Ursula’s Day. Ursala or Ursula means “Little bear,” derived from the Latin for “bear,” ursus, and these moon goddesses may also have been bear goddesses equivalent to the Greek deity Artemis. The placement of the Feast Day of St. Simon & Jude on October 28th may have constituted a Christianization of the first day of the Celtic month of Ngetal or “Reed.” The story of the martyrdom of Simon in Britain, as well as his purported death also in Persia, having allegedly been sawn in half, making him the patron saint of woodcutters, causes one to believe he may be a remake of the Celtic woodcutter god Hesus or Esus. Halloween, while celebrated in largely Christian countries, is an ancient “Peak Fall” festival, one of the many “day of the dead” commemorations at this time, which represents a transition to the death of winter.

  • November

  • November was named for the Latin word for “Nine,” novem, was originally the ninth month of the Roman year. The Christian festivals of All Saints and All Souls Days were obviously placed in order to usurp the various Pagan peak fall festival days. The day after Halloween, All Saints Day is also called Hallowmas or All Hallow, followed by All Souls Day, likewise termed the Day of the Dead, as it is in the Maya calendar as well. The Rites of Hella were a Scandinavian festival in which the goddess of the underworld was beseeched to raise the dead. All Souls in the Roman Empire originally occurred on May 13th, likewise appropriated by Christianity: The chosen day, May 13, was a pagan observation of great antiquity, the culmination of three days of the Feast of the Lemures, in which the malevolent and restless spirits of the dead were propitiated.[36] The commemoration of St. Hubert’s Mass on November 3rd is said to be the Christianization of a feast day of the popular Pagan Horned God, this Catholic “hunter’s day” celebrated with dogs, horns and antlers. Although it is claimed that Hubert or Hubertus himself is a remake of the Horned God, his biography indicates he may have been a historical figure who has been reworked to co-opt the Pagan deity and religious motifs and celebrations. The apocryphal story of Hubertus becoming a more devout Catholic after being threatened, while out hunting on a Good Friday, with eternal damnation by a stag with a crucifix between its antlers sounds like a legend designed to convert the Horned God into a Christian saint, the stag or deer with antlers associated with the Celtic Cernunnos or Herne. The stag in the Hubert myth was at times identified as being white, such white stags figuring prominently in pre-Christian myths as well as in Christianity, with Jesus himself identified as a white stag. The deliberate takeover of a Pagan festival is evident in the placement of St. Martin’s Day or Martinmas on November 11th, which was previously the Roman festival of Vinalia, celebrating the Greek wine god Dionysus/Bacchus and the vine. This appropriation is expressed in an old ecclestiacal calendar: As the feast of Martinmas occurs at the genial period of the year when the harvest is in, and cattle are slain for the winter season, and new wine is first opened and tasted, it followed that Martin became the embodiment of good cheer and inherited some of the characteristics of the ancient Bacchus. There is certainly a strong resemblance between the Vinalia of the ancients and the Martinalia of the mediaeval period.… an ancient ecclesiastical calendar…under the head of November 11 expressly says, “The Vinalia, a feast of the ancients removed to this day, Bacchus in the figure of Martin.”[37] The celebration of the Passion of Osiris on November 13th is from the date set forth in the Cairo Calendar and Plutarch, 17 Athyr/Hathor, as it would have occurred in the Roman historian’s era. By this chronology, Osiris is resurrected on the 16th of November, whereas the same or similar important festival is also recorded at Dendera centuries earlier as having taken place from the 18th to the 30th of the month of Khoiak, which in Plutarch’s time would have corresponded to December. One of several dates for the alleged birth of Christ, as put forth by early Church father Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-215 AD/CE), is November 17th or 18th, which actually represents the New Year and feast day of the sun in “the province of Syria.”[38] Christ’s purported November birth is one or two days after the resurrection or rebirth of Osiris, according to the Athyr/Hathor dating of that festival. The placement of the celebrations of Christ the King and Archangel Michael on November 21st was likely designed by the Catholic Church to preempt a Pagan festival. It is interesting to note the contention that the Mexican god Kulkulcan/Quetzalcoatl likewise has his feast on that day. It is possible that the Feast of Christ the King was established in order to supersede the ancient Mexican festival. The Brumalia beginning on November 24th apparently constituted a Roman festival celebrating Bacchus, lasting a month, while the Brumalia fest that honored Bacchus/ Dionysus on December 25th was evidently a Greek commemoration. The confusion comes from two different roots for the word brumalia, one of which, bruma, means “shortest day.” The celebration of St. Andrew on November 30th also likely represents a replacement of a Pagan holiday, as the evidence points to Andrew himself being a rehash of an ancient Greek god representing manhood or “Andros.”[39]

  • December

  • December comes from the Latin word for “Ten,” decem, originally representing the 10th and final month of the Roman calendar. The feast of “Saint Barbara” on December 4th appears to be a remake of the Roman festival dedicated to the important goddess Minerva, also known in the Greek pantheon as Athena. The word barbara in Latin simply means “barbarian woman,” which may have signified the Pagan goddess. December is full of winter solstice celebrations beginning in remotest antiquity. For example, the date of December 21st as the festival of Amaterasu represents her “coming out of the cave,” a typical solar myth. The placement by the Catholic Church of St. Thomas’s Feast Day on December 21st is indicative of his role in questioning Christ’s resurrection, as Jesus is the sun, and “Doubting Thomas”—the “Twin”— symbolizes the time when the day star takes a “stutter step,” unsure whether or not it will return on its long journey back to fullness at the summer solstice. Likewise noteworthy is the festival of the Egyptian baby sun god Sokar occurring on 26 Khoiak, as related in the Calendar of Hathor at Dendera,[40] corresponding at the turn of the common era to December 22nd. The longstanding ritual of Sokar being carried out of the temple on this day in an “ark” closely resembles the censored commentary by Church father Epiphanius (c. 310/320-403) concerning the Egyptians bringing forth the baby sun born of a virgin at the winter solstice. This Egyptian “Christmas” celebration, styled by Epiphanius the “Kikellia,”[41] has also been called the “Rites of Isis” and has been asserted elsewhere to begin a few days earlier than December 25th, such as the “true” solstice of the 21st or 22nd, corresponding to the Sokar festival. The winter-solstice celebrations were so important that at times they exceeded the one or two days of the actual solstice in the Gregorian calendar, i.e., December 21st or 22nd. Solstice celebrations therefore do not necessarily fall on the traditional time of the solstice but may occur up to several days before or after, such as is exemplified by the Roman celebration of Saturnalia, which began on the December 17th and ended on the 23rd. Hence, a “winter solstice” birth as asserted for a number of gods would not necessarily be celebrated on those exact days or even on the more commonly accepted date of December 25th, which signifies the end of the three-day period of the solstice, as perceived in ancient times. The nativity of Inanna and advent of Isis—who possesses solar attributes —as well as the winter-solstice celebrations in India, all of which fall in January, nevertheless representing the return or rebirth of the sun, provide examples of this development. The winter-solstice birthday of the Greek sun and wine god Dionysus was originally recognized in early January but was eventually placed on December 25th, as related by Macrobius. Regardless, the effect is the same: The winter sun god is born around this time, when the day begins to become longer than the night. In 275 AD/CE, December 25th was formalized by Emperor Aurelian as the birthday of Sol Invictus, the Invincible Sun, and it is claimed that Aurelian likewise combined the Greek festival of the sun god Helios, called the Helia, with Saturnalia as well to establish this solstice celebration.[42] The highly important Mysteries of Osiris, which begin on the 14th of December and end with his resurrection on December 26th, follow a wintersolstice pattern similar to the Brumalia, Saturnalia and Christmas celebrations. The facts that this period comprises several festivities having to do with the passion, death and resurrection or rebirth of this prominent Egyptian sun god, and that the dates for these mysteries happened to correspond to the winter solstice when the wandering Egyptian Calendar was finally fixed, are extraordinary. The commemoration of the death of the Persian prophet Zarathustra or Zoroaster during this solstice time (21st or 26th) is also extraordinary, especially in consideration of the memorial of Osiris’s death around the same time. Although many people believe Zoroaster to have been a real person, apocryphal tales surrounding him similar to those of mythical figures, as well as his very name, which in Greek means “living star,” indicate he too may be a mythical figure, possibly a (sun) god made into a prophet, a common act in the ancient world. December 26th is likewise the feast day of St. Stephen, who also is likely a mythical figure, possibly based on the Crown/Corona constellation, stephanos in Greek meaning “crown.” Stephen’s Feast Day may have been placed at this time in order to preempt the resurrection of Osiris, which would have been fixed to this day, based on its Khoiak date, after the Alexandrian Calendar was created. Also, as Dr. Arthur Drews remarks, the Corona constellation “becomes visible at this time on the eastern horizon.”[43] As I further relate in my book Suns of God, the “Northern Crown” or Stephanos Arcticos is the “First Martyr” at the vernal equinox.[44] The date of December 27th for the feast day of St. John, according to tradition the “disciple whom Jesus loved” (Jn 13:23, et al.), may be a contrivance by the Church to co-opt the festival of the Egyptian god Nehebkau, who was the right-hand man of the sun god Ra. Interestingly, Nehebkau is considered a snake god, i.e., a master of the snake, while John’s legend has the saint being immune to snake venom and miraculously producing a snake from the venom in a chalice. Moreover, as I demonstrate in my book Christ in Egypt, the Gospel of John is highly Egyptian in nature and obviously created for an Egyptian audience.