A Quick Lesson on the International Pagan Origins of Traditional Christmas Customs and Celebrations

AJ+ offers a quick animated lesson about the Pagan roots of time-honored Christmas traditions such as decorating the tree (from Latvia and Northern Europe), Santa Claus (Odin), La Befana, 8 flying reindeer (Sleipnir, Odin’s 8-legged horse) and even the date of Christmas (Sol Invictus, Balder, Mithras).

Whether you’re putting up the tree or decking the halls, you might be surprised that some of your favorite Christmas traditions are actually pagan.