Aurelian is known for reuniting the Empire after its fracture during the reign of Gallienus, and also for being the Father of Christmas. In the year 274, the winter solstice fell on 25 December. The Emperor Aurelian proclaimed that fixed date the Natalis Solis Invicti, the festival of the sun. Early Christians, who in those days worshiped in secret for fear of being fed to the lions, could not celebrate the birth of Jesus in the open.
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