Is Christmas a pagan holiday?

In the past the common debate around Christmas was whether or not people were trying to remove Christ from it. In more recent years, there has been a growing number of Christian not celebrating Christmas because of some of the pagan roots in modern Christmas tradition. Should we shun Christmas? Let’s look.

As I discussed previously, Santa Claus is based on an actual person; Many of the lore attached to Santa Claus, however, has pagan origins. Elves, flying reindeer, etc. These things are pagan in nature.

Moving on from there, we can look at Frosty the snowman. A good way to some up this idea about Frosty is with a quote from the movie ‘Doubt’;

Frosty the Snowman espouses a pagan belief in magic. The snowman comes to life when an enchanted hat is put on his head. If the music were more somber, people would realize the images are disturbing and the song heretical.

How about mistletoe? Romans engaged in fertility rituals beneath mistletoe. I haven’t read enough to know if this is where the modern idea of kissing under the mistletoe comes from or not, but it would make sense.

Christmas trees? Various pagan groups in Europe worshiped trees. During the winter they brought them into their houses to celebrate the winter solstice.

How about things having to do with ‘yule?’ Well, first of all ‘yule’ is a time of year when Germanic pagan groups celebrated the ending of the year, lasting roughly twelve days. A ‘yule log’ was a log burned in a fireplace during this time. Consider this the next time you sing a ‘yuletide’ carol. The are still pagan religious groups who celebrate yule, such as Wiccans and Laveyan Satanists.

Now let’s look at the date of Christmas. Some scholars argue that Dec. 25 is the exact day that Jesus was born. Others say that he was born in the spring, closer to the time of Easter. The majority of people agree that the day we currently celebrate the birth of Christ was chosen to coincide with the Roman celebration ‘Saturnalia,’ the day of Saturn, to make the transition to Christianity easier for Roman pagans.

The point I’m trying to illustrate here is that the pagan roots of Christmas are vast, and with the modern commercialization of Christmas, we seem to be moving farther from its actual purpose every year. I’m not going to tell you what you should be doing, or to try and say that doing or not doing something will make you more or less Christian. These are simply things you should take into consideration. It is at times hard to seperate pagan roots from Christianity because over the past two thousand years Christianity has been influenced by all the groups it has come into contact with. For instance, you have likely seen dipications of cherubs, as seen below, in churches.

The problem is, those aren’t cherubs. Those are statues of the Roman god Cupid (Eros in Greek). Discrepancies such as this have been present for a long time. Some are more noticeable than others. Tragically, many people don’t know the origins of these things because they don’t study for themselves, preferring instead for someone else to tell them what is right or wrong. If you don’t already know what a cherub looks like and want to, I’m not going to tell you. Nor will I tell you what verses to look up. It’s in the Old Testament. Good luck.

Whether or not you choose to celebrate Christmas, or at least the modern idea of Christmas, is up to you. What you do is of no consequence to me. I only hope you would focus on what is the most important part of this season. If you don’t feel comfortable partaking in the festivities due to the paganism present, that’s totally understandable. If you can ignore the pagan roots because, while they are present, you’re not celebrating them that’s also understandable.

Merry celebrating the birth of Jesus if you choose to, if not then have a nice day.


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