It’s become a common claim among atheists and others against religion to say that many pagan gods were born on December 25th. The implication is that the story of Jesus’ life is really just an amalgamation of pagan myths.
You may have seen graphics like this floating around:
The problem is that it’s completely false: these pagan figures (most of whom are mythical) either weren’t born on December 25th or we don’t know when they were born.
For example, Horus was believed to have been born in the summer. No one knows when Zoroaster was born, but he is remembered as part of the New Year festival in Iran in March. Krishna‘s birthday is celebrated in August. There is no specific birthday for Adonis. The same goes for Hermes. Etc.
Further, the paragraph about Jesus is also problematic. Among both Christian and non-Christian scholars, there is no serious dispute about whether Jesus existed. Regarding when he was born, no one knows for sure (the Bible doesn’t say), but there are actually some good reasons to think Jesus was born on or around December 25th. Lastly, there isn’t any solid evidence that Christians chose December 25th to celebrate Christmas as a way of Christianizing pagan holidays.
So why did people start believing this in the first place? These ideas were popularized by Zeitgeist, a low quality documentary that garnered an online following in the last decade or so. But it’s not true!