It is the 25th of December of the year 2011 of the Gregorian Calendar and it is the anniversary of the day of the birth of the Invincible Sun (Dies Natalis Solis Invicti).
More correctly, of course it is the presumed date of the birth of the Earth’s revolutions around the Sun. This revolution would have existed even when the Earth was just an amorphous conglomeration of gas and particles orbiting the Sun and still waiting to coalesce as the Earth. Since the seasonal celebrations could never be suppressed, it is the date which was hijacked as the day of the birth of Christ (first recorded in 354AD), some 1,657 years ago. But Natalis Solis Invicti goes back much longer than that. And to the best of our knowledge that was about 4,540,000,000 (±1%) years ago.
And while the celebrations around the world at this dark time of the year remain of vital importance in the human calendar, its relevance as the birthday of Christ has become largely meaningless. It is the celebration of renewal, of the beginning of a new year, of the coming lengthening of the days after the winter solstice which pre-dates Christian tradition and will continue long after its inevitable extinction. It is the certainty of belief that the earth will continue to revolve around the Sun and all that follows from that which lifts the human spirit.
Here the sun rises today at 08:48 and sets at 15:05 – a day-length of just over 6 hours. But the days are getting longer and already by next Saturday the day at this latitude will be 6 minutes longer. Over the next 200 days the length of each day will increase by an average of more than 3 minutes each day and by high summer the length of the day will be around 17 hours. And it is the affirmation of this renewal, this anticipation of what is to come and the reconfirmation of “certain” belief in Sol Invictus which lifts my spirit.
And so my greetings to all on this day to celebrate the day of the birth of the Invincible Sun.