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Christmas is not Pagan

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posted on Dec, 23 2004 @ 06:02 PM
Go to the history channel right now theyre explaining the history of Christmas. One thing that it said and arguements Ive seen here is that the tree is pagan. They said it started in the 19th century so it couldnt be pagan. Go see hurry.

And a Merry Christmas to you All

[edit on 23-12-2004 by Croat56]

posted on Dec, 23 2004 @ 06:17 PM
Christmas has nothing do with Christianity: it's never mentioned by an scripture, and is not extoled as such. Christians may have celebrated this pagan holiday, but it holds no creedence to the actual faith. I don't believe Yaweh every adovacted for such a festival.

Decemeber 25th was the date of the winter solstice worshipped by the "Cult of Mythriasm". It's not the date of Christ birth, nor do any scripts insinuate this. The date is very much pagan: Mithra of Persian, Mitra of India, Attis of Phrygia, Dionysus/Bacchus, and Horus/Osiris of Egypt were all born on this date, and predate the figure of Christ be a clear shot --they're startingly familiar with Chris in story, persona, and origins..

Either way, I still say ho ho ho every Christmas. I love it, and I'm not even a Christian.


posted on Dec, 23 2004 @ 06:18 PM
christmas is mostly christian the christmas tree i heard is about a christian saint sorry i dont know the full story and so you know paganisum was around before christianity and when christians converted loads of people they sort of started to purifie the land of pagan saying the were devil worshipers worshiping the horned one they did worship christmas in the form of the winter solstice oh and christ was'nt born on dec 25th the days where changed so much that his birth ogt distorted somwhere along they way
i better summerize now befor i go on and on

the christmas tree i christian

posted on Dec, 23 2004 @ 06:19 PM
I hate to break it to you, but pagan traditions go back alot farther than the 19th century. Christmas may not be entirely pagan, but a buttload of the symbols were ''borrowed" no matter what someone yaps about on the History Chanel says.

posted on Dec, 23 2004 @ 06:21 PM
A little trivia....

If the birth of Jesus coincided with the time of the census order by Rome, then many historians place it in the spring of 4 BCE.

Easter, not Christmas, is the major holiday (holy day) in Christianity. Until the early middle ages it was actually considered somewhat of a minor holiday and celebrated at different times in different traditions. A feast commemorating a major figure in Christianity was celebrated with the Mass. The Christ Mass became Christmas, the Michael Mass became Michaelmas (still a British tradition), etc.

The placement of the Christ Mass in the Western liturgical calendar was standardized to coincide with the winter solstace so that the newly converted Germanic tribes would still be able to celebrate a solstace feast within the context of Christianity. It was common practice for local cultures to "baptize" local customs into their new religion. Christmas trees, yule logs, misletoe, wreaths, and dozens of other Christmas traditions have pagan roots. A winter solstace celebration was not "stolen" from the Pagans, they brought it with them and thus turned Christmas into a major Western holiday. It is not quite the same big deal in the Eastern Christian traditions.

There were (and still are) two traditional dates for Easter, one celebrated by the Eastern Christian tradition and one by the Western tradition. In the East the tradition was designed to coincide with the Jewish Passover, while the Western tradition developed a different calendar. This caused some friction between the traditions for a time but it was eventually resolved.

Easter has few Western European pagan influences as the celebration is rooted almost entirely in the symbolism of the Passover. Western European paganism had its own springtime religious feasts which fell by the wayside because the pagans simply found the Easter celebrations more attractive and Paganism could just not compete. Some pagan customs like the fertility symbol of the rabit endure. Most of the traditions like eggs and blessing baskets of food were already part of the Easter celebration by the time Easter was introduced to Western Europe.

There is somewhat of an "urban legend" that Christianity had to be shoved down the throats of Western European pagans, this is not historically correct. Additionally, many folks who refer to themselves as "Pagan" (in the religious, not outlaw biker sense of the term) actually practice a new-age interpretation of Western European paganism that selects common themes and practices from the hundreds of pagan religions practiced in Western Europe.

The terms "pagan" actually comes from a word used by the Romans to describe what we would call a "hick" or perhaps a "redneck". It was used to describe an unsophisticated person and was applied to early Christians as well as those who practiced simple "country" religions. As the Roman Empire expanded it actually raised the standard of living of the people it enveloped. It brought roads, a common currency, trade, a common language, technology, and economic stability. They really did not have to do much conquering in the military sense, they simply purchased most of their Empire once people saw that they were better off being part of the empire.

In short, to be "Roman" was the fashion that lasted hundreds of years. The more "Roman" one became, the more civilized they were considered with the ultimate status symbol being to purchase or be granted Roman citizenship. When Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire people began to flock to Christianity, not because of force or even a genuine conversion, but because thats what "civilized" people did. This included the pagans.

Eventually the Roman Empire began to crumble from within which caused the economic and political system to fail. The were no more universal stabilizing factors in the West. The people in the outer parts of the empire already lived in a hybrid Roman-local culture and the economic and political void was filled locally. Most of the "barbarian invasions" were actually people who were allies of Rome who came from these hybrid cultures and were just filling the void. There was a brief resurgency of "paganism" because there was a religious void since the Church used the same infrastructure as the Empire. The Church eventually overcame this and by default became the only stabilizing factor throughout Europe for centuries.

It is interesting to note how history repeats itself. Today there is a general tendency among the fashionable and sophisticated to adopt varies Eastern and Western "pagan" religious systems while traditional Christians are viewed as the "hicks". It is we Christians who lament the "stealing" of our religious holidays, not because secularism is shoving it down people's throats, but because people just find it more attractive. The "Christ" is not being conquered out of Christmas, it is being purchased out. We must look to ourselves and not blame others to find the reason we Christians just can't compete.

posted on Dec, 23 2004 @ 06:32 PM
Of course christmas is not pagan. It has pagan roots. That is different.

Religion is fiction. Fiction borrows from older fiction. We all stand on the shoulders of giants.

And 19th Century can not be true. Sometime around 400 they set the date of Jesus Birth to of December although that does not comply with the bible but with sol invictus (pagan holiday)
That could be counted as first christmas, although lots of customs we have today have been added mostly during the christianisation of europe.
Santa is the newest thing about christmas iirc. At least in his current form as some weird mixture of very different religious figures. But we have a thread about that somewhere.
Your TV show must have been referring to the fact that some time in the 1920 or so the holiday with the presents was moved from st. Nics day to Christmas. But as you can see, nick had the longer breath

Edit: Great post Skibum
You just made mine obsolete ^^

[edit on 23/12/04 by tsuribito]

posted on Dec, 23 2004 @ 06:32 PM
Excellent article! quite an interesting read. Do you have any references to the material that you present?

posted on Dec, 23 2004 @ 07:10 PM
Christmas, what is it made up of?

Ok there is the birth of jesus. Obviously this is as christian as anything can get so lets leave it at that.

The magi bringing gifts. The magi weren't christians, bringing gifts to baby births isn't specific to christians, and there fore it might not be able to be listd as a christian aspect of christianity.

This leaves the christmas tree and santa claus.
The fir tree has a long association with Christianity, it began in Germany almost a 1000 years ago when St Boniface, who converted the German people to Christianity, was said to have come across a group of pagans worshipping an oak tree. In anger, St Boniface is said to have cut down the oak tree and to his amazement a young fir tree sprung up from the roots of the oak tree. St Boniface took this as a sign of the Christian faith. But it was not until the 16th century that fir trees were brought indoors at Christmas time.

Long before the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ evergreens were used by the pagans in their superstitious worship. They took their ability to remain green year round as a symbol of immortality, fertility, and the resurrection of the sun god.

In the northern regions of Europe they were brought inside also under the superstitious notion that the woodland spirits and fairies would live in them during the winter and thus survive the cold. (No doubt this would also give "good luck" to the people as well.) In Italy evergreens were used to decorate in honor of Saturn.(1)

(1) the stories of our Christmas Customs, by N. F. Pearson, Ladybird Books Ltd.

I have also been under the impression that the ancient germans used to set the trees on fire at around that time of year, and this has been replicated in putting candles or lights on the trees themselves.

On santa claus, croat, things get more interesting, and perhaps closer to you, for one of the earliest and most primitive rituals that the santa claus tradition stems out of is a balkan festival.

here is a fortean times article about it

Its actually extremely interesting. It references, amoung other things, a book that tracks back the santa claus story back thru time, frmo the american creation of santa, to earlier customs, to those balkan feasts, back to a bear feastival ritual amoung the ainu in japan, and from there even back to bear skulls arranged ritually in neanderthal caves. Then, of all things, apparently it notes that neanderthal skulls are found in homo sapiens' caves arranged in a similar ritualistic manner.

It sounds absurd, and the fortean times article is more of a review than anything, but, again, well worth the read.

So ultimately, is Christmas a christian festival? Well, sure, its the Mass of Christ. But its origins, since it is entirely extrabiblical, had to come from somehwere and for some reason. It was built up on the already existing traditions amoung the pagans in europe. Indeed, where else could it have come from?

posted on Dec, 24 2004 @ 12:16 PM
The evergreen tree by some was cut and brought into the home, by others
boughs were cut and hung in and around the home. the Evergreen tree
was and is a symbol of everlasting life, the only tree not to die/hibernate in winter. The Yule Log which was burned is another tradition that I am not familial with the particulars of the practice, only that gifts were given to the fire.
The ornaments that are hung on the tree started as Witch Balls, balls that were hung to repel evil.

Ok there is the birth of jesus. Obviously this is as christian as anything can get so lets leave it at that.

Which DOB would that be ? the historic date Either Apr 1 or 15, the Official
date Sept 15, the pre Constantine/Nicea date Jan 6, or the post Nicea date
of 25 Dec. ?

The Santa archtype is represented in most beliefs world wide i believe.

posted on Dec, 24 2004 @ 12:57 PM
Well our image of Santa comes from a cartoonist called Thomas Nast. He also did the republican elephant. He based the illustrations off Saint Nicolas and of the elves in German tradition.

posted on Dec, 25 2004 @ 10:42 PM
Ok couple of things to point out, first off Skibum is almost entirely right on with their analysis, but there are just a few minor clarification points that I would make as a Philosophy of Religion student:

1: Skibum is correct, the word "Pagan" did mean pretty much hick in Roman times, however it was turned by the early Catholic popes to refer to all native religions of the peoples of Europe who were not converted. As such, the term became a blanket statement for most ancient earth-bases and polytheistic religions of Europe. The Neo-Pagan revival was started by Gerald Gardner and was based upon the old pre-Christian religions that the early popes had deemed Pagan.

2: While Christianity did not have to be pushed upon the Western Europeans, the Eastern Europeans, and especially the Slavic peoples had a much more... ...tumultuous time converting. In fact some Yugoslavian pagans did not fully submit to the influences of the Eastern Orthodox Chruch until the mid 1800s. The placement of Christmas was instrumental in converting the Germanic tribes without too much trouble, and the Celts liked it even more, as their were a great many parallels between the mythologies.

3: It has been argued that it is possible that the entire "Christmas" story was inspired by the myths surrounding many of the Greek and Roman heros who were fathered by the gods. The story itself is quite common for the time period's heros.

May Peace Travel With You

posted on Dec, 26 2004 @ 08:42 AM
I watched this show....Christmas started out as a big party of drinking and sex, and was eventually banned all together by the Puritans (as I mentioned in another thread about this the other day) Christians were to celebrate the resurrection, not wasn't until much later that Christmas rooted firmly as a religious holiday and yes it took all of our pagan traditions with it....

posted on Dec, 26 2004 @ 01:56 PM
Believe it or not but Christmas did not become popular again until the Industiral Revolution in Europe, slightly later in America.

Many of the Christmas traditions are borrowed from other religions, as is most of Christianity actually. This is called syncratism and it's very popular within the world's religions. The tree, midnight mass, even the "yule log are all directly borrowed from Pagan tradion as is the timing of the holiday.

Christians, ever seem weird to you that major holidays seem to coincide with the changing of the seasons? Christmas, Easter, All Saints Day, in the cases of at least two of these (and arguably Easter as well) the Chruch timed this as many pagan tribes had celibrations regarding the changing of the seasons.

Even the myth of Christ's death and rebirth was borrowed from the story of the Greek god of wine and pleasure.

Saying Christmas is not based upon Pagan traditions is kind of like saying that the Columbus was the first to discover the new world, it's not true, but it makes the believes feel really nice about themselves.

Blessed Be Baby!

posted on Dec, 26 2004 @ 05:57 PM

Originally posted by stalkingwolf
Which DOB would that be ? [/quoet]
I don't think that it makes a difference what date is used. The idea that its a holiday around the birth of a 'god' could be considered to b 'paganistic', but I was saying that they can get a 'free pass' on that one.

[qote]astral city
The Neo-Pagan revival was started by Gerald Gardner and was based upon the old pre-Christian religions that the early popes had deemed Pagan.

They didn't know what those beleifs were tho. For example, the modern druids consider themselves to be the ideological descendants of the origianl druids, when nothing is known about the beleifs of the ancient druids. They left no corpus of texts before being eradicated and most of whats know is thru other groups, like the romans, who can't be considered unbiased on teh matter.

posted on Dec, 26 2004 @ 06:11 PM
If your heart is at peace with the life your living and your soul is at peace with your creator, whoever you consider your creator to be, than everything else is just icing on the cake.

I believe it was Yasser Arafat who said that arguing over religion was nothing more than arguing over who had the better imaginary friend. Thats not an exact quote but close.

It doesn't really matter to me though, As a spiritual anarchist I believe that ALL religions must be overthrown if mankind is to truly come to know the divine nature of not only his creator, but himself as well.

Love and light to each of you,


posted on Dec, 26 2004 @ 06:14 PM
Christmas is christian mixed with Pagan values. ya see, everyone was using this holiday before it was Christmas to get drunk and have a party with a lot of sinning, so the religious guys put together a mass, and it was a mass for Christ, hence Christmas. so Christmas is a mixed pagan/christian values in the holiday, when the holiday itself deamed "Christian" no, its not truly official, related to the Bible or anything, but its just a day taken out to celebrate Christ birth

posted on Dec, 26 2004 @ 06:21 PM
There is nothing wrong with being a Pagan. There is nothing wrong with being a Jew. There is nothing wrong with being a Christian.
Knowledge is Power. We are all Free to be what ever we want to be!

Do What Thou Wilt & Harm None!

posted on Dec, 26 2004 @ 06:53 PM
Well that was interesting, sounds to me Christmas was an amalgamation of lots of traditions from different religions to bring together many different people under one celebration. Seems to have done the job.

I have nothing against Christmas really especially not the eating part, as i am full, but i dont like the way Christmas is commercialised and believe as was mentioned in one of the posts that the tradition of giving should be toned down to the giving of gifts of little value but greater sentiment.

posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 12:24 PM

have a party with a lot of sinning

sin/sinning is a christian concept.

They didn't know what those beleifs were tho. For example, the modern druids consider themselves to be the ideological descendants of the origianl druids, when nothing is known about the beleifs of the ancient druids.

and this is different from christianity how? actually there are some writings
from the period. again who says the old religion/s died out? maybe they just
went underground and are now re- emerging?

posted on Dec, 27 2004 @ 12:36 PM
The old religion and ways never died's still here and always has been....

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