The Hidden Almanac for
Wednesday December 25th, 2013
Episode 45
Previous episode: 2013-12-23
Next episode: 2013-12-27


Today is Dies Natalis Solis Invicti. It is also the day of the signing of a historic treaty. It is the Feast Day of Mithras, and in the garden, we pause for the Solstice.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Welcome to the Hidden Almanac, I’m Reverend Mord. Today is December 25th, 2013.

It is Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, the Birth of the Unconquered Sun. Other people were born today, but very few of them can compete with the Unconquered Sun.[1]

It was on this day, in 1701, that a historic armistice was signed with the mole-people, bringing their assaults on our gardens and sewer systems to a halt. All new construction must be approved by the mole-people or risk being plunged into the dark tarn. This has led to extremely thoughtful city planning and is generally considered by architects to have been a Good Thing.

It is the Feast Day of Mithras, traditionally celebrated by sacrificing a white bull without black hair or blemish. This ritual has fallen off in recent centuries with the rise of unscrupulous bull-dying techniques.[2]

In the garden, the turning of the solstice some days ago means that the days are beginning to lengthen. The coldest weather is still ahead, but at least we can stop staring out the window and saying “It gets dark so early these days!”

We here at the Hidden Almanac wish you and your family a very happy Dies Natalis Solis Invicti. May the sun shine brightly on you all.

Especially the vampires.

The Hidden Almanac is brought to you by Red Wombat Tea Company, purveyors of fine and inaccessible teas. Red Wombat — "We Dig Tea."

Also brought to you by Steve’s Used Memorial Fund. Celebrating Steve’s extraordinary life and trying to forget the gruesome details of his extraordinary death.

That’s the Hidden Almanac for December 25th, 2013. Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Out of Character

The Hidden Almanac is a production of Dark Canvas Media, written by Ursula Vernon and performed and produced by Kevin Sonney. Our theme music is Moon Valley and our exit music is Red in Black, both by Kosta T. You can hear more from Kosta T at the Free Music Archive. All other content is copyright 2013, Ursula Vernon.


  1. Sol Invictus was an actual deity worshiped in the late Roman Empire. It is sometimes claimed that Christians chose 25 December as the date of Christmas by assimilating Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, but I gather this theory is not well regarded by serious scholars - for one thing, apparently the earliest surviving historical evidence of Sol Invictus and Natalis Invicti dates from several centuries after Christianity took off.
  2. Mithras is another late Roman deity. Some scholars believe 25 December was a significant date in Mithraism, but this is not universally agreed. (I found one dissenting source asserting in as many words that the theory arises from getting Mithras confused with Sol Invictus.) Surviving Mithraic artifacts include many depictions of Mithras slaughtering a bull, but nobody now knows what the image signifies or even whether it was literal or metaphorical.

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