critics like to claim that the holidays many Christians
really remnants of ancient Pagan festivals. Some Christians are scared
to celebrate Hallowe'en, Christmas or even Easter, fearing these are
really Pagan "sabbats". There is a
widespread belief that the eight holidays
"Sabbats"celebrated by Wiccans and most Neopagans in general are the
exact same holidays celebrated by ancient Pagans.
Also widespread is the belief that many of the unusual local traditions
and celebrations of Great Britain are really the remnants of ancient
Pagan rituals. But is this really the case? Am I going to Hell for
watching A Charlie Brown Christmas for the zillionth time while I swill
Egg Nog??? Is that hollow chocolate bunny really a Pagan idol??? Iscandy
snack of Satan??? Are my holidays just cheap imitation of Pagan orgies
of yore??? Oh woe is me! OK, you know there's a catch or I wouldn't
have dragged you this far.
The idea of every strange holiday custom being proof as to the survival
of some kind of ancient Pagan religion has been taken for granted.
Ronald Hutton has done much to debunk these ideas in his books such as
Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. For
example, many Southern England townsrollflaming
tar barrels through town. Any Wiccan worth her broomstick will be quick
to say that it's an ancient rite done to cleanse the streets of evil
spirits. Indeed, many people have thought this in recent times. But in
reality, it was initially an anti-Catholic demonstration invented for
Guy Fawkes Day.
Of course, no one wants to really admit to the bigoted origins of this
holiday tradition and instead fall back on the "it’s an ancient Pagan
thing" excuse. In fact many things thought to belong to the Pagan era,
from Maypoles to the Easter Bunny, turn out to be things created duringthe
Folklorists desperate to find surviving Pagan customs simply slapped a
label on anything that looked like it could be a surviving Pagan custom
wether it was or not. Many American Wiccanswill
that lighting candles on a birthdaycakeand
blowing them out to make a wish is really an ancient European Pagan
tradition, going back to the worship of Artemis with cakes and candles
in ancient Greece. The truth is, lighting birthday candles started as
an American (i.e., by Christians who didn’t know anything about
Artemis) thing, and it doesn’t seem to be much older than the 1920's.
But hey, it sure sounded like it could have been true, didn’t it?
Many Christians themselves have been a big source of this
misinformation concerning Pagan holidays . Overzealous Protestants in
the 1800 began to try toconnectevery
Roman Catholic holiday with some kind of ancient Pagan holiday. They
Catholicism to Babylonian Paganism...an impossibility because it been
extinct for 400 years by the time of Christ.
The fact of the matter is, thescholarshipof
these folks is questionable at best. Sometimes it is simply dead wrong.
One book I read that tried toconnectRoman
Catholicism to Paganism, Babylon Mystery Religion, cited sources
written by Jehovah’s Witnesses and occult books by Madame H.P.
Blavatsky...hardly credible sources! The mitres of Bishops were said to
be the fish headresses of the Dagonpriests.
In reality the Mitres did not come about until around the 1200's, and
nobody knew who or what a Dagon was by then. Keep this in mind when
doing research on the origins of holidays. If we have learned anything
from the likes of Warnke and Todd/Collins it is to check the source.
"The Wheel of the Year" is really a recent invention. The
holidays were, and are still celebrated, by the O.T.O.(Aleister
Crowley's sex-"magick" and druggie club). Gerald Gardner was
a high ranking member in the O.T.O., which is no doubt where he got the
ideas for these holidays.This Wiccan holidaycalendarcalled
the "Wheel of the Year" was fabricated by authors such as Murray,
Gerald Gardner, and Robert Graves,and repeated by Wiccan authors who
There is some evidence that the Irish Celts observed Samhain , Imbolc ,
Beltane , and Lughnasadh. Samhain and Beltane were apparently the two
most important days. The feasts of Imbolc and Lughnasadh limited
only May Day out of this set, but it was celebrated more like Samhain.
As for the celebration of solstices or equinoxes, there simply is no
evidence. There is no known written evidence for Scotland or Gaul
(France) if these holidays were celebrated.
There is a mention of an 8th Century A.D. Celtic writer that
the British observed the winter solstice, but there is no evidence they
also observed a summer solstice. It is true many ancient cultures
celebrated harvest day, and the autumnal equinox falls close to the
harvest. However, there is no evidence that any feasts held during that
time celebrated the equinox specifically. In the past, many rural
communities celebrated their "homecoming" close to harvest time, but
this not because of a solar event or a throwback to goddess worship, it
just happens to be when there is an ample supply of food!
Historian Ronald Hutton has proven quite conclusively in his books that
many so-called ancient Pagan traditions, were actually the invention of
Tudor aristocrats as a form of entertainment. In the 19th-century.
These same "traditions" were copied by peasants and then later
"discovered" as "remnants of ancient Pagan festivals" in the 20th
century by anti-Christian pseudo-scholars desperate to discover a
pre-Christian religious system in the British past as described in
books by Murray and Frazier. Hutton has also noted that people
investigating folk customs of Great Britain were not above asking the
locals to insert some material into their customs and then declaring a
genuine discovery of a remnant of some Pagan ritual out of these staged
acts! (For more information, consult Stations of the Sun by Ronald
From The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles; Their Nature and
Legacy by Ronald Hutton, 1991.
p. 302-4: "[The Witch Cult in Western
Europe by Margaret Alice Murray] deserves our respect in that it was
the first attempt to study the Great Witch Hunt dispassionately, as an
aspect of social history, and employing a fairly large quantity of
material contemporary to the events described. But both her sources and
her treatment of them were seriously defective. The former consisted of
a few well-known works by Continental demonologists, a few tractsprintedin
England and quite a number of published records of Scottish witch
trials. The much greater amount of unpublished evidence was absolutely
ignored. She began with the premise that the trials were of a genuine
religion, and reconstructed it from the confessions of the accused and
the writings of their persecutors. . . . She ignored or misquoted
evidence which indicated that the actions attributed to the alleged
witches were physically impossible. Or she rationalized it, by
suggesting that an illusion of flying was created by drugs. . . .
"Furthermore, she pruned and rearranged her evidence
ruthlessly to support her assertion that the 'religion' concerned was
standard throughout Europe. Thus she mangled data continually to fit
her assertion that all witches operated in covens of thirteen, though
it is obvious even from the limited data which she scanned that most of
the accused were solitary individuals. Her portrayal of the festival of
the cult was of the same nature. It commenced with the bald assertion
that the most important were May Eve and Hallowe'en, with two lesser
ones at Candlemas and Lammas. These were, of course, simply the quarter
days of the Gaelic year, and her schemerestsupon
the confession of a single Scottish 'witch,' Isobel Smyth, at Forfar in
1661. She found a lot of evidence that persons accused in Scotland, and
in one case Lancashire, had specified Hallowe'en as a time for their
activities, doubtless drawing upon the arcane reputation of the old
feast of Samhain.
She also found a single Scottish trial at which Lammas was mentioned,
though that just happened to be the major holiday during the time in
which the people concerned were accused of having operated. And that
was all her evidence; but it was sufficient for her to speak about the
quarter days as the main celebrations of the witch cult of 'western
At Candlemas, she suggested, a wheel-like dance of torch-bearers had
been performed. She did not provide a reference for this notion and it
seems to have been her own invention. To the great festivals she gave
the name 'Sabbaths,' a term used to describe meetings of witches by the
early modern demonologists (because the same writers held the Jewish
faith to be the antithesis of Christianity, an explanation which is
patent in their work but which Dr. Murray brushed away with a simple
denial.) She also spoke of gatherings for purposes of business instead
of religion, which she termed 'esbats.' This expression actually occurs
only in a single source, used by a French intellectual who did not
himself give it this meani ng. Bur Dr. Murray was happy to declare it
to be another general rule of her 'cult.' She did note that both in
Britain and on the Continent alleged witches stated that they revelled
upon a variety of Christian and traditional holidays. But, having set
her system in place, she was able to dismiss these as "aberrations".
"This method of operation was buttressed
by an apparently wilful ignorance of context and an obstinate refusal
to ask any awkward questions -- even very obvious ones. Dr. Murray's
ignorance of ancient paganism in Western Europe prevented her from
realizing that the rituals imputed to early modern witches were not
antique rites but parodies of contemporary Christian ceremonies and
social mores. Her failure to study Continental sources obviated the
need to wonder why the Great Witch Hunt was confined to certain places
and certain times, and why the 'witch cult' failed to persist in areas
in which it was never persecuted. . . . She had constructed her image
of medieval paganism. It had ancient Gaelic festivals, and a
congregational structure found in the pages of sixteenth-century
demonologists. It worshipped the Horned God -- Dr. Murray's
paganization of the Christian Satan who featured in the early modern
accusations and confessions -- and also the Goddess -- whom she took
from the high medieval records of magical practices. And she was
convinced that she was correct."
The Wiccan/Neopagan Holidays are the product
of bad scholarship!
eight sabbats are the holidays of Wiccans and Neopagans. The esbats (or
eshbats) are regular meetings were the coven members meet, carry out
coven business, and are usually held on the night of the full moon, or
some covens have weekly meetings (such as on a Friday night for
instance). Esbat comes from the French word meaning "to frolic".
Sabbats are the high holidays. I don't know if "frolic" would describe
the meetings of some Wiccan groups which include mindless recitations
of "ancient" ceremonies sometimes hours old in costumed
esbats are usually celebrated during the full moon, there is usually an
emphasis on the goddesses. Sabbats (the High holidays) often correlate
to the lengthening and shortening of the days of the year and are
viewed as solar. .
describe their goddess into three aspects, viewing her as a Maiden, a
Mother and a Crone. These aspects correspond to the waxing, full and
waning Moons respectively. The sabbats are very fertility oriented, so
when the Goddess is portrayed, she is in the aspect of the Mother. She
is not only the consort of the God, but she becomes pregnant by him and
gives birth to him. In the Crone aspect, she represents death.
Celts probably viewed the year as only really having just two seasons,
winter and summer. Summer begins on May 1st with Beltane, and
winter begins on November 1st with Samhain. Along with Imbolc (around
February 1st) and Lughnasadh (around August 1st), they make up the
"Greater Sabbats". .
Lesser Sabbats consist of the solstices and equinoxes. They are also
known as the "Cross Quarter Days", since they are equally spaced
between the Greater Sabbats on the Wheel of the Year. With the four
Greater Sabbats and the four Lesser Sabbats, the year of solar
festivals is completed. The Year begins at Yule and ends at Samhain.
holidays usually begin at sundown on the day before. It is considered
normal to have the big celebration on the night before the actual date
for the Sabbat. The two main themes of this Sabbat. are The Mother
Goddess giving birth to the "sun god", and the "Oak King" slaying the
"Holly King". Many gods of the various ancient Pagan religions were
supposed to be born about solstice time. Most of these were solar
deities or "gods of light". This is because the superstitious Pagans
actually believed the sun and moon were gods! The idea of an old king
having to be slain before a new king could take over is an idea
presented by Sir James Frazer in his book, The Golden Bough. In
reality, this was not the case.
February 2nd Disfest, Oimelc/Imbolic/Imbolg/Imbolc, Brigantia,
holiday with it's slew of names is celebrated on or around February
2nd. The Roman Catholic Church has a holiday on Feb. 2nd called
Candlemas. Some Neopagans think this holiday has continued in America
as Groundhog Day. But Groundhog day did not come to us from the ancient
Celts, but rather, it is, in fact, just an extension of the
Christian Candlemas. The superstitious folks among the Italian (who
were Roman Catholics) believed that if a hedgehog saw his shadow on
Candlemas this was an omen of more cold weather. The Romans (who had
never even heard of Imbolc) brought this idea to the Germans, and
centuries later the Germans who settled the New World brought this idea
there weren’t any hedgehogs in the New World where the German settler’s
setteled, they substituted a ground hog for the hedgehog. So even
though Groundhog Day is rooted in superstition, it is apparently rooted
in a post Pagan superstition. At any rate, the Wiccans believe their
goddess has now recovered from "giving birth to the god" at Yule. She
can now turn her energies to nurturing him, so he can be her husband
someday (yuck!). As the days grew longer, superstitious heathens
thought their sun god was maturing and growing stronger(or at least we
are told they thought this). This idea of Imbolc marking the recovery
of the goddess from giving birth to the "sun god" at Yule was first put
forth by Margrett Murray's in 1921, but there is no historic basis for
this. She simply invented the idea.
the Church holiday which coincidentally falls on this date, was meant
to commemorate the presentation of Christ at the Temple. Candlemas was
placed on Feb. 2 by church councils in Rome who had no idea what Imbolc
was since it was a Celt holiday and they lived in Italy. The fact that
Candlemas and Imbolic fall on the same day have more to do with chance
than anything else. Ronald Hutton noted that "Its especial association
with candles, evident during the course of the early Middle Ages, was
suggested by Simeon's words, read out at the service, that the child
would be "a light to lighten the Gentiles."
the reason Roman Catholics light candles on Candlemas is for Christ,
not a throwback to goddess worship!!! And if the groundhog seeing his
shadow brings even more cold weather, why not just let the poor thing
sleep? Ah, all this scientific stuff! Folks up north seem to take more
interest in it than folks down south, maybe because the winters are
milder in the south. Or could it be Yankees aren't as smart as southern
folks and don't know groundhogs don't control the weather?
I am not saying Groundhog Day is evil. Groundhog Day is one of the
holidays that are pretty much useless, like Arbor Day, or Albanian
Vegetarian Day,but at least they keep the banks and Post Office
open. I used to own a prairie dog, does that count for
March 22nd (or close to it) Ostara, or the
Vernal (Spring) Equinox
the more superstitious types, the equinoxes are thought to be
"magickal" times when the day and night are equal(6). In reality, it's
just because of the earth's position in its orbit to the sun, there is
no magic involved! Winter is gone, and now spring is about to be
sprung. Supposedly Pagans in ancient times believed the sun "god" was
continuing to get stronger because the days were become longer. It was
like he was working out at the gym three times a week now or something.
This is the time of the year when the day light increases the most from
day to day.
and Wiccans take this as a sign that their god is at full power. Some
folks think symbols of the heathen past have worked their way into
Easter celebrations, such as colored eggs, bunnies, baby ducks and
other newborn animals. However, in the book Stations Of The Sun,
historian and author Ronald Hutton says he discovered many things about
Easter like those mentioned were added during the Christian Era, and
have no connection to ancient Paganism. It's just Witch-ful thinking,
is no conclusive evidence of any festival or holiday connected to the
spring solstice in ancient Pagan times. The reason Christians celebrate
Easter in the springtime is because we know from the scriptures that
Christ’s death and resurrection. happened after the Jewish holiday of
Passover. It wasn’t done to stamp out some Pagan springtime holiday.
"Easter" is just an Old English word for "Spring", the time Easter
occurred. There is the false idea that "Easter" is the name of a
Germanic goddess and this is why the word "Easter" is the same in
German and English.
Wiccans are quick to quip that Easter is an ancient Pagan religion, and
that even the very name is derived from the name of a Pagan goddess.
However, Caedmon Parsons, an Eastern Orthodox and scholar of Middle Age
writings, clarifies the true history of the word Easter. Apart from a
misinterpretation of one mention in St. Bede's scientific treatise, De
Temporarum Ratione, there is absolutely no evidence for a Germanic
goddess with a name in any way resembling the word Easter. Every other
recorded use of the term is in a Christian context. In an article on
the true origins of the word and holiday "Easter", he notes:
other recorded use of the term is in a Christian context. Rather than
the term being derived from a goddess, the supposed goddess is derived
from the term. She was postulated by certain 19th century Germanic
scholars in an attempt to explain the etymology of the word. These same
scholars (foremost among them the Grimm brothers, famous for their
folk-tale collections and less well-known as the discoverers of the
‘Indo-European’ linguistic family) had a very definite
nationalist/ethnic agenda in which they were trying to rediscover the
"real" roots of German culture. Thus the folk-tale collection's avowed
purpose was to search for ‘survivals’ of pre-Christian Germanic
religion and culture."
the "Easter goddess" is really an invention to make a Pagan connection
that really isn’t there! Likewise many customs considered to be
straight out of the Pagan past are really Christian inventions. The
Maypole for instance...a game nobody but some Wiccans play anymore,
(only to them it’s serious) turned out to be an invention of the Middle
Ages, and nothing to do with "phallic worship". It was just a game. The
idea came about out of bad anthropology by people like Margret Murray,
and over-Freudian imaginations. The simple reason why the word "Easter"
is used in both English and German is because Germans were evangelized
by Anglo-Saxon Christians.
is the same reason the word for Easter in Russian, "Pascha" is the same
as it is in Greek; i.e. Greeks evangelized Russians. If "Easter" ever
was a Pagan holiday or a Pagan goddess, both terms had disappeared by
the time people started using the term Easter to describe the Christian
holiday celebrating Christ’s resurrection. Every ancient recorded
instance of the usage of the word "Easter" has definite Christian
connotations. So the Pagan goddess "Easter" is as non-excitant as the
May 1st May Eve,
Walpurgis, or Beltane
This used to be Labor Day in America until the communists turned it
into one of their big un-holidays. Beltane is also known as May Day and
Walpurgis, and it falls on anywhere between April 30 or May 2nd. To
Neopagans it is the greatest fertility celebration on the calendar and
it marks the beginning of summer. In Germany Walpurgisnacht (Walpurgis
night) took on some really weird imagery, and was thought to be a time
when ghosts, vampires, and their kind walked the earth, and a good time
to be indoors! Bram Stoker wrote a short story about it that you might
have read titled Dracula’s Guest.
Walpurgisnacht sounds more like Hallowe’en than a summer celebration.
The ancient Pagan Welsh used to have the same idea about this holiday
too. This shows these holidays are not as universal as everyone thinks.
In Modern Wicca, the mating ritual is carried over into the sabbat
symbolism by the ritual sex of the Oak King with the goddess. Usually,
this is just an athame dipped into a chalice of wine, but in some
covens it is actual sex between coven members, not just "symbolic".
It’s not hard to see the appeal of this religion for some folks. When
the charge that Wicca is about sex is brought up, these types will
shake their heads and say "Silly Christians and agnostics, you just
don’t understand". Yeah, sure we don't. Anyway, so the story goes, the
Wiccan god not only mates with the goddess, but dies out of love for
her. She then resurrects him and he continues reigning over the waxing
year. Now the goddess is pregnant with a new sun god at Yule. Wiccans
say similar fertility rituals were supposed to help insure a bountiful
crop in the coming season, but as we can see from Walpurgisnacht, this
was not a universal idea throughout ancient Europe.
June 21st Litha, Midsummer, the
Litha is also known as Midsummer and St. John's Day. It is the Summer
Solstice and occurs about June 22nd. Since it is the longest day of the
year, superstitious Pagans of the past believed the sun god was at his
absolute most powerful. Yesiree, the pedal was all the way to the floor
now! In reality, it simply had to do with the earth and its distance
from the sun. In fact, the ancient Pagans may not have taken much
notice of this day at all, but this is what modern Neopagans believe
how this day was observed. But at any rate, Neopagans feel from this
day the days of the year will start to get shorter and the "sun god"
will become weaker and weaker, in desperate need of a shot of B-12, or
In Pagan religions the Holly King (the King of the waning year), would
to take over rulership from the Oak King. As at Yule, he does this by
defeating and slaying him. The Holly King will now rule until he too
will die in six months. Nowadays, this is done symbolically, but in the
ancient Pagan religions, they actually killed someone as a sacrifice.
St. John's Eve is a major Voodoo holiday in Louisiana, with rituals
being performed by various groups on the banks of St. John's Bayou.
August 1st Lammas, Freyfest, Lughnasdah
Also known as Lammas or Lughmass, it is celebrated around August 1st.
This time of year traditionally marks the beginning of the harvest
season. The Holly King is also known as the Corn King since he rules
over harvest time, and likewise has sex with and then dies with the
goddess in Wiccan mythology. Wiccans say this is symbolic of reaping
the grain. The Wiccan god is resurrected by the goddess so he can
continue his reign. The sun god, poor thing, continues to get weaker.
Mabon Autumn Equinox, 2nd
Harvest, September 21st
Basically, this is Wiccan Thanksgiving. This is the Autumnal (Fall)
Equinox and occurs somewhere about the 21st or 22nd of September.The
Holly king now is at his most powerful (just like Just as the Oak King
was at his full power at the Vernal Equinox). . This is a time to cast
protection and prosperity spells. It’s supposed to be a time of big
feasts and lavish dining. According to some Wiccans activities
associated with this holiday are gathering herbs and walking in the
woods, but Wiccans are always doing that sort of thing anyway. The
altar might be decorated with a horn of plenty, acorns, apples, ivy,
and the "fruits of the harvest".
In ancient times the heathen goddess was thought to be sad this time of
year though, because she realized that her son and boyfriend, the sun
god, was a-dyin'! Fixing to kick the bucket, I tells ya! Of course, the
sun wasn't a god nor really dying at all, the earth was just starting
to get farther away from the sun in its orbit. A lot of regions had a
big feast when the harvest came in, but it was not necessarily out of
respect to some Sun God. Modern scholars have pointed out the reason
Fall was a time for a great feast was because there was an abundance of
food because the crops had been harvested.
October 31st Samhain or Winter
Some people pronounce it "sam-HANE", but it is supposed to be
pronounced "SOW-in". This is the beginning of winter and is celebrated
anywhere between October 30th to November 2nd. The Frosts claim Samhain
occurs on the last full moon before the Winter Solstice, which could
put it in October or November. October 31st is usually the day
celebrated, but it could also be as late as November 2nd. It depends on
the Wiccans doing the celebrating. The Christian church started to
honor all Christians who had died. Rather than being a continuation of
Samhain, it is actually a parody of it. Christians who celebrated
Hallowe'en started to make fun of Samhain. Christians would dress up
like ghosts and goblins and frighten the superstitious Pagans who
really thought they were spooks, demanding treats! Hallowe'en and
Samhain are really not the same holiday as many people think it is.
Hallowe’en is a bout kids wearing costumes and getting candy on the
secular side of it, and to Roman Catholics it is about honoring the
saints that have gone to their reward.
Even Gavin and Yvonne Frost have noted Hallowe’en was "a Christian
parody of Samhain". The two really aren't the same holiday. To
Neopagans of all traditions, Samhain marks the beginning of the dark
half of the year and is called by Neopagans the "Feast of the Dead"
(sounds like a Wes Craven movie). The poor old sun god finally kicks
the bucket and will be reborn at Yule (remember the goddess that is
supposed to be pregnant with him?). Supposedly, the earth seemed to die
to ancient heathens at wintertime, not realizing the earth was the
farthest away from the sun. In ancient times this day marked the end of
the old year, which also seemed to die at this time. So it was a sort
of heathen New Years Day. No honoring of Christian saints or candy with
Samhain. Witches do not look at death as a bad thing, but view it as
part of the cycle of life. Since they believe in reincarnation, it's
just one whistlestop toward a new life. Imagery of death is everywhere
in this sabbat. Occultniks of all types think ghosts of dead loved ones
can come back to visit during this time. Some folks often honor their
dead relatives at this time. Oh, and this holiday is NOT Satan's
birthday as depicted in the Jack Chick tracts since Pagans didn't know
about Satan, and there was no Celtic god of death named Samhain, as
mentioned in horror movies (which is apparently where he gets a lot of
his information from).
Yule December 21st Yule or
Midwinter, the winter solstice
It’s been said that the Roman Catholic Church made Christmas officially
fall on Dec.25th, partly to make a Pagan holiday called "Saturnalia"
celebrated a couple of days later less popular.No one really knows when
Christ was born, we just remember His birthday on that day. Odds alone
say there is a 1 in 365 chance of it, which is much better odds than a
Wiccan love spell actually working (or any spell for that matter).
Because of persecution of the early Christians from the Pagans, the
date of his birth cannot be known with certainty, but Dec. 25th was
being observed as early as the 2nd Century A.D., so it isn’t impossible
that this is on or close to the correct date. There are many Christian
sects who refuse to celebrate Christmas because it falls so close to
Yule. During the last 6 months the amount of day light has decreased
daily. Thus, Neopagans claim the Sun God is said to be born at Yule.
Now with the sun god reborn, the light will begin to return.
The altar may be decorated with evergreen tree branches, holly,
mistletoe and there should be a Yule log in the fireplace, if the there
is one. Few modern Wiccans seem to do this, and instead a log that can
hold three candles may be used instead. In ancient Pagan cultures, so
the story goes, the mother goddess gave birth to the god and he became
her husband. So, the sun god was his own dad. It may remind you of the
comedy song "I’m My Own Grandpa". Even though incest was a taboo in
these cultures, it was thought OK for the gods to practice incest,
seeing how gods could only marry other gods. Apparently the Pagan gods
There are three reasons the ancient Christians decided to celebrate
Christ’s birth on Dec. 25th. One reason was the Roman Empire recognized
Dec. 26th as day as the birth of Mithras. In protest, persecuted
Christians began to celebrate the birth of Jesus on the day before.
Good for them! Let us continue to celebrate it on this day if for no
other reason than Pagans can't push us around! Another reason
Christians derived this day to be the birth of Christ is that Jewish
tradition held that a prophet died on the day he was conceived.
Since we know Christ was crucified during Passover, which is
close to March, counting down 9 months would take us to December. The
third reason (and perhaps the most important) was that the Jewish
festival of C'hanukka was celebrated for the very first time on what
would hae been the equivalent of Dec. 25th on the Western calendar.
C'hannuka is a festival of lights. We Christians too, celebrate
Christmas with many lights. Christmas is simply our C'hanukka, just as
Easter is our Passover. Christians should celebrate Christmas for these
three reasons if nothing else.
Meaning of the word "Sabbat" Wiccans
like to call their holidays "Sabbats". The word "Sabbat" shouldn't
really be used in this context. "Sabbat" was a term used in
Mediaeval times to describe the practices of witches (i.e., not
Wiccans) who would be more accurately described as Satanists. More than
likely what was observed were the rites of Gnostic cults rather than
the practices of some kind of underground Pagan religion. Gnostics were
misguided people who created religions and cults to rebel against
Christianity. Some cults even reversed the roles of God and the Devil,
as Satanists today do. Margaret Murray simply borrowed the
term "Sabbat" to describe holidays for her imiginary witch-cult to try
to link the two together. Sabbat is not the name of ancient Celtic
Pagan celebrations, period! Of course, if modern day Neopagans want to
call their holidays this, it’s their right.
Can Christians celebrate Hallowe'en???
definately! Some Christians are creeped out by the idea of Hallowe'en,
and feel it's a Pagan Holiday that shouldn't be celebrated. I know,
it's a tough choice...candy or damnation. But not only is
Hallowe'en OK to celebrate, it can be a great time to witness! The
controversy stems from claims by both Neopagans and some christians
alike that Hallowe'en is actually the Celtic Holiday "Samhain",
pronounced "SOW-IN". You may have heard how the Samahain was
the Celtic god of death. Wrong, there was no celtic god of death named
Roman Catholic Church created Hallowe'en to mock Samhain. Hallowe'en is
a contraction for "All Hallowed's Evening", also called "All Saints
Day". It was the evening before All Halloweds Day (All Saints Day).
Christians would dress up like ghosts and frighten Pagans who really
believed the dead walked the earth that on October 31st! Sometimes the
more rowdy ones would demand treats or else a trick would be played on
the superstitious Pagans. OK, maybe frightening
superstitous people isn't a very christian things to do, but
the Roman Catholic Church never endorsed that part of it. But the idea
of knocking down superstition is always a good thing.
October 31st, I'm not celebrating "Samhain", I'm celebrating "All
Hallowed Eve". I encourage you to do the same, because you will never
have a better time of year to reach out to people. You can give out
Bible tracts (tasteful ones, not the crazy ones that say Halloween is
the "Devil's birthday". Think more along the lines of "Chalie's Ants"
or "Somebody Loves Me". I used to give out Bibles when I was
still a Christian (along with candy of course) to both kids and adults
on Hallowe'en. If you have one of those "Everything's A Dollar" type
stores, you can find cheap ones there. (And even though I'm an Atheist
now, I'd still rather live in a nation filled with christians over
Muslims, anyday!) I found about 2 dozen new looking New
Testaments at a thrift store for 10 cents a piece. If you look a round,
you can find some cheap ones. Look around and you can find some good
deals, if you want to go this route. If you wanted to, you
could buy 1 $1 KJV a week for a year, and you would have 52 to give out
by Hallowe'en. A buck a week probably wouldn't break you. I've never
had anyone turn one down, and people always seemed thrilled to get one.
Yes, you'd be surprised how happy people will be to get a free Bible.
Try it. And
of course...GIVE OUT CANDY TOO! Don't be a cheapskate. Candy certainly
isn't a sin. If you're afraid the leftovers will wreck your diet, give
it to a homeless person, or a shut in.
decorations, you will probably want to make your own. certainly
traditional fall decorations of corn shucks and pumpkins are OK. And
there's nothing wrong with a Jack-O-Lantern. The Jack-O-Lantern carved
with a silly grin isn't a celtic tradition by the way (Celts didn't
even have pumpkins, it's a veggie of the New World) it's an American
thing, once again done to make fun of the holiday, not meant to ward of
eveil spirits as you've probably read, and the this ancient tradition
goes way back to the early 20th century. I had a Jackolatern this year.
And since I don't pray to jack-O-lanterns, it has no religious
I have a lot of Spanish neighbors, I used to have one sign with a
picture of a santeria idol with a red circle and cross bar (as in "no)
with a Bible verse banning idols. I also have a few signs ith
quotes from Bible verses against occult practices. I have a big banner
that says "Have A Blessed All hallows Eve". Make these signs
yourself with a computer printer. You can download a program
to make banners from tucows.com I use a roll of clear contact paper to
laminate them so I can use them over and over.
You may have
read jack-o-lanterns were originally a human skull with a candle
inside. More bull. This untruth was started by a psychotic named John
Todd (a.k.a., Lance collins) who scared the shortcake out of many
church goerers in the 1970's with his crazy
ex-Wiccan/ex-satanist/ex-Illuminati story. He's currently serving a
life sentence for rape in a South Carolina prison for the criminally
insane, and has reportedly converted to Wicca yet again (he "backslid"
several times during his career in the 1970's).
you have it: Hallowe'en, a CHRISTIAN holiday that's just great for
witnessing (just don't be a jerk about it. K?)
(c) Uncommon Sense
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