I strongly recommend my rare readers to invest in a copy of The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P. Hall, the classic work on the World's Mystery Traditions and first published in 1928.
It is impossible to account for all the rich lore contained in that encyclopaedic book but, it soon being Christmas, I just wished to share the following information.
In the Christian West, Christmas Eve occurs on 24th December and Christmas Day, the alleged date of Christ's birth, on the following day.
These dates did not come from nowhere. It is stated in the book that in the Druid tradition of Ancient Britannia it was
"at dawn of the 25th day of December [that] the birth of the Sun God was celebrated. [...] The Druids had a Madonna, or Virgin Mother, with a Child in her arms [...] and their Sun God was resurrected at the time of the year corresponding to that at which modern Christians celebrate Easter."Further East in Phrygia (now Turkey) the date of birth of a Dying-God named Attis, whom many consider synonymous with the divinity Adonis, was thought to have been born
"at midnight of the 24th of December. To the rites of Atys the modern world is indebted for the symbolism of the Christmas tree. Atys imparted his immortality to the tree beneath which he died, and days in the tomb, rose upon a date corresponding with Easter morn."Hall writes on (after briefly considering Norse god Odin hanging himself from the branches of the World Tree whilst piercing his side with the sacred spear)
"The mystery [of the dying god] has been perpetuated in Christianity in the crucifixion and death of the God-man - Jesus the Christ.[...] The myth of the dying god is the key to both universal and individual redemption and regeneration."A few months ago I wrote an all-too-short blog post called Christianity as Mystery Tradition and it is clear from reading Secret Teachings that Christian mythology is steeped to the hilt with symbolism and concepts drawn from older traditions.
An example out of dozens being the traitor apostle Judas, mirroring the Evil god Loki in the Scandinavian Odinic Mystery tradition - which comprised twelve main gods like Jesus' twelve apostles - and popularised by contemporary Marvel Comics movies in the shape of a scheming Asgardian comic book character.