A few questions on the whole Christmas is/is not Pagan debate that pops up now and again.?

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I don’t see why this debate is so important to people. So…
Does it matter to you whether Christmas has Pagan roots or not? If it does, why?
If Christmas had pagan roots in the timing and symbolism used, would it invalidate the holiday?
Why is it that some people who complain about Halloween being a pagan holiday because of it’s roots ae often the same people who are so adamant against the idea that Christmas symbolism and festivities have many of the same roots?
Why is it such a big deal?

35 Comments

  1. because according to christians, anything pagan is of satan
    the christmas holiday has pagan influences
    therefore the holiday is of satan
    christians are hypocrites
    that settles it

  2. it matters to me when people are too arrogant about christmas being the only reason for holidays this month, etc. it just gets annoying. they condemn us to hell, but have borrowed one of our holidays. that’s not very friendly, is it?

  3. It doesn’t matter in the least whether Christianity has pagan roots or not. But the facts do matter, and most people are 200 years behind the current scholarship on this subject. It bugs me when people make a blanket claim without ever having read any current sources on the subject.
    Merry Yule is a good example. Historical references to Christmas pre-date references to Yule by several centuries, and Yule was a lunar feast that never fell on December 25th – that is, until German pagans decided to adopt the Christian calendar and move the date of Yule to coincide with the Christian Christmas. And yet here is our blanket claim: that those mean ole’ Christians took over “our” holiday.
    Uh oh, there’s another one. One of the poor fellows below me got all of his information straight from a Victorian work written in the 1830’s and subsequently refuted in the early 20th century.

  4. Well, some Christians claim Christmas is their holiday and their holiday only. They don’t other people to celebrate it, you should see some questions on here, “why do atheists celebrate Christmas?”
    Mainly the debate is just to let them know that Christmas isn’t theirs to own, and that other religions had it first.

  5. It is only important to show that it is not a holiday only for christians and to show the dark underbelly of the cristian organization

  6. It shouldn’t be.
    And the same thing goes for Halloween.
    Christians make such a huge, retarded mess of things when it comes to holidays.
    It’s simply ridiculous.
    (And this is coming from a Christian)

  7. The entire basis of Christianity is pagan. Gods impregnating human virgins, god/men who grow up to be virgin human blood sacrifices for the sake of humanity, his flesh and blood is eaten in order to take the power of the god into his followers, the descent to the underworld for 3 days, the ascent to the upper worlds to sit at the right hand of the Father god.
    ALL of this comes from ancient paganism LONG before Jesus. Word for word. NONE of it is found in Judaism.
    Christians need to stop pointing fingers at one another and accusing each other of paganism. You’re ALL pagans.

  8. To me it is a technicality and not terribly important. I think it is only brought up, specifically on here, when some Christians give off the notion that Christmas is theirs (by asking “why do non-Christians celebrate Christmas”). Pointing out the pagan roots of many christian traditions is a response.
    It is irrelevant to me because as soon as it was decided by our government that Dec.25th was a national holiday it became secular.

  9. It only matters because (some) Christians get their panties in a wad over “putting Christ back in Christmas” when Christ wasn’t in it to begin with. That is the only time I bring it up, but I don’t celebrate Christmas either way.

  10. No. It’s mostly an American capitalist secular tradition nowadays, anyway, deprived of most of its religious elements (or the symbolism, at least, with the symbols being taken for Christmas itself). Nowadays, it’s mostly about giving gifts (willingly or no), having good food, and enjoying time with family.
    No, even if Christianity had pagan roots in the timing and symbolism, it wouldn’t invalidate the holiday, since it’d be another expression of the same joy and meaning of Christ, since any one symbol can be applied and reinterpreted to represent and symbolize anything. Look at the Bible, after all, with all of its stories and metaphors!
    People want their religions and holidays “pure”, just like how English is “pure”; they don’t want outside influences and syncretism, despite that that’s what all human activities (religion, culture, tradition, language, food, education, entertainment, and so forth) tend to do. They’re basically whining about the course of evolution of human customs, and it gets old after a few decades. Jack Chick can only make so many comics about the material, one would think, but he just keeps complaining on and on and on.
    It’s a big deal because people make it one. Pass it off as another reason to be happy and be with family (or give and get gifts, if you’re so persuaded), and life is all the better.

  11. I agree–it couldn’t matter less, from an argumentative atheist perspective or a defensive Christian one.
    There isn’t a thing under the sun that doesn’t either borrow from, is inspired by, or built upon a slice of yesteryear’s culture.
    Devout folk shouldn’t give a hoot; if the day, to them, is about celebrating Jesus, then that’s all it needs to be. If it’s about presents and evergreen trees to the rest, that’s also fine. If neo-pagans want to celebrate the winter solstice or honor Mithra, they should go right ahead. End of story.

  12. catholics made christmas a holiday as a choice rather than letting their own practice the pagan worship festival
    i think i like that choice no matter what dec 25 means

  13. There’s nothing wrong with Christmas, if you look at it as a holiday for family gatherings, light gifts exchanges and an s-load of food.
    It’s bad if a Christian doesn’t know the history of Christmas THEN argues to try and prove that its known history is wrong. I think one should know the origins of their religion if one is to follow/practice it.
    Also, it goes to show how ignorant some are that they have no clue what Christmas is all about. It’s not about their heavenly father, it’s about the winter solstice.
    I just think it’s a tad sad that those who follow this god have no clue about the traditions of Christmas because of what they’re taught as they grow up. Then, they have the nerve to disagree with the facts because they can’t come to accept that their religious beliefs are just hand me downs from other religious beliefs.

  14. Christmas is still Christmas even though the entire thing is based on Paganism. Christmas trees, lights, and the date are all Pagan.
    The truth is there is NO recorded birth date of Christ. No one knows when he was born, but astronomical records show that it was probably closer to June or July. The reason Christmas is December 25 is that is the date of the Pagan holiday. The Pope wanted to dissolve the sins of the pagans so he put the holiest day of the year on that date.
    It is not important that Christmas is basically a pagan holiday, but it is true. I am atheist and I stil celebrate Christmas. It is not about history, it is about family, friends, togetherness, and giving.

  15. Absolutley, the secular part of Christmas is of pagan origin. When pagans converted to Christians, they brought some of their traditions with them. The important thing is that we celebrate and worship the Christ, and we can party, too.
    Christ’s Mass is for Christians, Yule is for Pagans.

  16. 1-No
    2-No-bc now bc less and less ppl are celebrating Christmas for the Christian focus of the birth of jesus christ, it is more close to the pagan holiday bc it is just about putting up a tree…
    3-because they don’t have the same roots, it is just that the pagan holiday started first and then came the whole jesus thing. and they ended up merging the traditions of the two holidays together because they were close in time.

  17. Because the Christian Tradition an see the truth in even the most failed beliefs. We saw the good in the festival of Yule and brought the truth and message of Jesus’ birth to it.
    Basically, we took over the Holiday and made it right.

  18. Yes, it does matter because Christianity and Paganism are two different sets of beliefs and cannot come together. The Catholic Church under Constantine is responsible for creating Christmas which is the winter solstice with a Christian veneer. Merry Christmas literally means celebrating the death of Christ. Santa represents Satan and has the same attributes as Jesus Christ like omnipresent, omniscient and so on and so forth.

  19. Well the truth is that many Christmas traditions are from old pagan celebrations.
    There’s only one reason why we celebrate Christmas when and how we do. The Catholic church way back in the day decided that it would be appropriate to have a holiday to celebrate the birth of Christ. They were also aware that many of their people still took part in pagan festivities. So they decided, “Why not create a holiday of our own and also take one back from paganism? Two birds with one stone…”
    Personally, I think the effect of the pagan roots depends on the manner in which you celebrate. For me, I’m not trying to exalt pagan gods or worship the earth or the sky or anything like that by putting up mistletoe and a tree. Those things are just to spread a little joy. Christmas is a time to glorify God, be thankful for what we’ve been given, and have fun. If what used to be a pagan tradition helps accomplish any of those without displeasing God, so be it.
    It really should be that simple. These things get too often blown out of proportion.

  20. I used to work with some antisemitic person who continually felt the need to tell me how christian they were.
    One day, on the subject of christmas decorations in public places vs. hannuka decorations in public places, they asserted that christmas was a secular holiday and hannuka wasn’t, and the next day, on another subject of christmas they asserted that christmas was about the birth of Jesus.
    So I say, yes, it has pagan origins and it does matter.

  21. Dear Friend,
    The big deal is this. Man has been brainwashed into believing a lie. We come into this world and we believe what we are taught to be absolute truth. Well, it’s not. This world is ruled by Satan and he just loves to have people indulged in…self. The name Christmas should in fact be changed to what it really stands for…SELF-mas.
    Just look at the time, money, stress, etc., and they call that MERRY Christmas? You have to be kidding me. More people commit suicide during the holidays than any other time of the year. What a perfect strategy for Satan.
    When the three wise men came to visit Jesus, they brought HIM gifts. Not Mary, Joseph and no interchanging of gifts. We are to present ourselves to Jesus as a gift. We are to take care of the poor, homeless, fatherless, and widows.
    Do you know where the exchange of gifts “really” came from? Oh yes, it most certainly came from the Bible, but it is completely taken out of context. Read Revelation 11: 1-10. Verse 10 explains the exchange of gifts.
    If it isn’t in the Word of God, it is a lie. If Christians want to celebrate a proper HOLY day (not holiday), it is Passover. Period!!!

  22. The importance stems from the Christian vs. Pagan debate about culture and religion. Given the fact that Christianity has stolen many things from Paganism, then its intrinsic core(root) foundation on Pagan or non-Pagan beliefs does not invalidate it.
    Christians are so adamant because Yule technically falls on December 21 not the 25. But regardless it is well founded in Pagan beliefs.
    And that is why people make a big deal out of the whole argument.

  23. I’m a Christian, and I learned last year where a lot of Christmas traditions supposedly come from, connections to pagan traditions. First I’ll say it’s so hard to know what’s really true about history, has it been “rewritten” to show one thing or another. But here’s what I think:
    Firstly a lot of what we think of as “Christian” in “Christmas” isn’t. Is gingerbread, or presents under a tree Christian? No, it’s food, and decorations. Has nothing to do with Christ. So to find out that gingerbread men were based off some bloody massacre of some kind (I can’t even remember what) doesn’t shake my faith at all. And it doesn’t bother me to eat the cookies. It’s the celebration of Christ having come to earth to die to save us from our sins – that is the part that is Christian, and nothing about Christ is “pagan.”
    Second, a thing is what you make it. Yeah maybe halloween was based off of witchcraft and other forms of evil. But is something wrong with dressing up, pretending to be someone else, having fun and acting more like a community for once, going door to door? Of course not, we should do that more often! I know other Christians will disagree with me on that, but I have thought this through.
    Lastly I’ll say, of course December 25th wasn’t the actual day Jesus was born. Maybe it was a pagan holiday at the time. But it’s the day that we choose to remember his birth and celebrate it in a special way, across the world. What does it matter if it’s not on the actual day-of, when we can’t know the actual day-of. And if there are other traditions thrown in that didn’t originally have anything to do with Christ’s birth but are now treasured traditions, why would that invalidate the celebration of Christ’s birth? It’s up to me to make my family’s Christmas about Christ. What the rest of the world does is up to them.

  24. It is not a big deal to Christians. We already knew.
    In a general non-offensive sense it is everyone else who just figured it out who like to find Christians and be: omg! did you know that your holiday is totally based on a pagan holiday! Jesus wasn’t even born that day!

  25. Dear coz of this debate, many innocent Christians are educated to refrain from following the pagan traditions….They then realize as to what should be it like and search through THE HOLY BIBLE and find out that….the truely proper way to celebrate Christmas is like the angels, the wise men and shepherds did…
    Matthew 2 :11..On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
    Luke2 : 13-20 …
    13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
    14″Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
    15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
    16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
    …thanks for your query, may GOD richly bless you

  26. I like what Sam Block said. “Ditto” dude!
    I was brought up in the Baptist tradition, but not all Baptists are the same. Some are accepting of other beliefs even though they themselves believe differently. Others get defensive, argumentative & say their way is the only way. Considering the countless worldwide religions. is there ONLY one that is correct-even if the majority have a common thread? (Yes the Bible says Jesus is the only way, but so do other religions.)
    Inquisitive minds explore diversity to understand the culture & perhaps themselves. The conundrum is that each one of the belief systems are certain theirs is the right way. This is from being taught from a young age. Study to discover the similarities & differences. Since this was what many ppl were taught (Christmas), it’s all they know & can’t fathom anything else. When Christians condemn other beliefs, they are judging – which God tells them not to do. Sure, some are using the ‘great commission’ to ‘save’ a soul, but according to the bible…only God can prompt a person to turn to Him.
    The best approach is to be informed. Know the history-and yes, it’s pagan tradition which was followed by a Mass for Christ by the Pope – thus “Christ’s Mass”
    What I haven’t seen posted yet is ppl upset with ‘x-mas’. That’s a biggie you hear every year. However, X is the 22nd letter in the Greek alphabet “Chi” (meaning-christ). This history was commandeered by Christians who were being persecuted. They wanted a way to communicate Christmas without negative consequences (i.e. death), so they substituted ‘X’ to form a code to actually PROMOTE Christmas without being hunted down (not to take out Christ). These ppl still had their Christ, Christmas &, more importantly, their lives. Now, the uninformed are complaining about taking the Christ out of Christmas when the ppl actually were doing it to keep Him in there.
    Let’s face it-the shortest, darkest days of the year. Who couldn’t use a celebration? Whatever one chooses to call it.
    Also, I suppose we’ll be having this discussion at Easter-even more celebrated by Christians due to the resurrection, but even more pagan influences, whatwith the fertility & everything.
    For the record, I’m a christian, but I don’t check my brain at the door. I also don’t tell ppl what to believe, my way is my-My way and I ACTUALLY am interested in hearing their beliefs. I don’t believe everything I hear and research to come to my conclusion. Rational minds are something, aren’t they?
    This might sound very cut & dried and even as if I’m on ‘one of the other teams’ to some Christians, but I have Christian beliefs. I also believe anyone can believe anything they want. (Freedom of religion is guaranteed as one of the US first amendment rights). No one has a right to tell anyone their religion is wrong. For Christians to judge & fuss at them is not only being hypocritical, it’s JUDGING & isn’t God the only one who’s supposed to do that?

  27. Totally disingenuous!! Christmas, Easter and Halloween were all taken in by Christians in an attempt to subdue pagan religions but they failed to do it to the pagans whist turning christianity pagan!!!
    It is nothing to do with either Christianity or Islam but it does have it’s origins in the midwinter festival and many other basically pagan rites but since much of it is a celebration of nature rather than religion everyone should be able to enjoy it and be happy together despite religion!!
    The ancient European pagans celebrated the midwinter festival and a number of other festivals long before Christianity ever existed!
    Babylonians celebrated the feast of the Son of Isis with gluttonous eating and drinking, and gift giving and the goddess of fertility, love, and war.
    The Romans held a festival on 25 December called “Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, celebrating their own god Sol Invictas – PAGAN.
    The Persian god Mithras, the Syrian sun god Elah Gabal, the German Sol, the Greek Helios and the Mesopotamian Shamash. But also Saturnalia, honouring Saturn, the God of Agriculture. The law courts and schools were closed. No public business could be transacted an this is where the holidays originated – ALL PAGAN!!!
    Wax tapers were given by the more humble to their superiors. The origin of the Christmas candle – PAGAN!!
    In Rome groups of costumed went from house to house entertaining their people. And this was where the carolling Christmas tradition originated PAGAN!!
    Statues of the Mother and lover or Mother and son were paraded through the streets not only in Italy but also in Africa, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany and Bulgaria. Thus, the symbolism of the Heavenly Virgin and the infant child paraded on a yearly basis are not of Christian origin. They stem from the Mother-goddess religion, which is very ancient ENTIRELY PAGAN!!.
    Scandinavian countries celebrated Yule honouring Thor – PAGAN.
    In Germania (not Germany) they celebrated midwinter night followed by 12 wild nights of eating and drinking. The 12 days of Christmas PAGAN!!
    The church under Pope Julius I declared that Christ’s birth would be celebrated on December 25 in 350 AD in order to try to hijack the PAGAN festivals but it was largely ignored. Christians did not really celebrate Christmas until 378 but it was then dropped in 381 and not resurrected until 400.
    The Christmas tree stems from pagan tradition and ritual surrounding the Winter Solstice, which included the use of holly boughs ivy and other foliage as an adaptation of pagan tree worship. Holly and ivy represented male and female. Mistletoe was considered a sacred plant, and the custom of kissing under the mistletoe began as a fertility ritual – all PAGAN!!
    Santa Claus came from the Dutch “Sinterklaas” and was a tall figure riding a white horse through the air and usually accompanied by Black Peter, an elf who punished disobedient children. Also the origin of the reindeer, sleigh and the elves ALL PAGAN!!
    The modern red coated Santa was brought about by coca cola!!
    America actually banned Christmas several times and is the originator of the expression “Happy Holidays” which came about because of the pagan origins of Christmas to include all religions and traditions!!
    The Venerable Bede, an early Christian writer pointed out that the Christian church absorbed Pagan practices when it found the population unwilling to give up the festivals. Thus a lot of what Christians now see as Christians practices are in fact pagan!!!
    Seems christians are probably more pagan than pagans nowadays and desperate to prove it!!!

  28. welllll does it invalidate the holiday, if the whole story is made up???
    Uhhhhhhhh, yeah! Kinda of!
    I mean…….not that Santa and all that isn’t COOL and all, and kids still like getting presents…………no doubt………..
    but anyone who actually REMEBERS what the day is SUPPOSE to be about……………would be a LITTLE put off, if it turned out the whole thing was just a hoax……….I would THINK:
    And I too, have had this very argument with the local priest here………..who OPPOSES my Halloween decorations BITTERLY every year…………yet has Carnivale parties in the Church parking lot for the kids.
    I mean………..Carnevale is not Pagan, but Halloween IS?
    What’s up with THAT???????? it’s all a bunch of hoo-ha.—–I just like throwing parties for the kids and letting kids be kids.

  29. Just to quickly respond to what Schmo said, Paganism isn’t completely involved with all of that. Some of the “sects” of Paganism might, but that is not how Paganism is defined; the definition of Paganism was (before it was changed to anything that isn’t Christianity or Catholicism) any religion that had a physical manifestation of their goddess/god/goddesses/gods that could be found within the natural world.
    Anyways: Back to the matter at hand:
    I do find it important that Christmas had Pagan roots; but I will not go around yelling at people who celebrate Christmas as they want…that is unless they sit there and try to preach to me about how because I’m a Pagan, I’m going to hell and I should celebrate the birth of Christ, blah, blah, blah.
    But I find it important because it is part of history; people need to know about and understand history, otherwise they are blinded by an obscene lack of knowledge which often tends to turn into ignorance. It also can cause one to make the same mistakes over and over again.
    As said before, the only time I will sit there and argue about it is when I am attacked; when someone is blindly ignorant; or when someone for some reason doesn’t accept history.
    Does it invalidate the Christian holdiay? No, not unless they try to invalidate the Pagan holiday(s).
    As for what exactly does it take; people have already discussed the symbolism and all of that, but for some reason, they have only been mentioning Yule (well most of them). The truth is that there are tons of Pagan holidays that fall either on or around December 25th. This was done for two reasons; 1) so those who converted would find the season more comfortable—2) It was for competition; Paganism was seen as evil in the Christian and Catholic churches, but they still had a large following. So as a form of competition for popularity they placed a holiday of their own during that time. This also allowed them to point at the Pagans and say how wrong and evil their holiday(s) was (were) and say that they were going to go to hell unless they converted. (Fear was a major factor used during the times of conversion.)

  30. It is a big deal mostly to those without religious tolerance. I’m not Christian, but I think it’s the most wonderful time of the year as it coincides with several celebrations. People get into the holiday spirit and bring joy to the world. With pretty decorations, silver bells, jingle bells, and a little drummer boy. People are more spiritual, spending a silent night, when all ye faithful come on the o’ holy night. Festive gatherings, family reunions with chestnuts roasting on an open fire: I know I’ll be home for Christmas. And ti’s the season to take out yours sleds/skis/snowboards, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
    Have yourself a merry little Christmas Aingeal.

  31. No, but either way, Christmas is about Christ and I don’t worship or honour Christ, so I don’t celebrate Christmas.
    The fact that noone considered the message of christ, christmas is so over-commercialised and the season turns even the nicest people into rabid rude mongrels in shopping centres, people drive like morons, have no consideration for others and the road death toll goes through the roof – THAT invalidates the reason for the season as far as I’m concerned.
    Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I consider Halloween to be a christian holy day. Some pagans don’t. Some times people take word of mouth and wikipedia to be gospel, without doing research and they see a difference of opinion as a personal attack.
    It doesnt matter HOW you celebrate the holy day, what matters is in the intent in your heart.

  32. Oh that easy. Look at the Motivation of the Questioner.
    The more Fundy Xian sees Pagans as Representing Evil. If they raise this question itÅ› usually to pick on a fight.
    When most Pagans raise this is, it is asking for people to recognise that their socio-historical traditions have been adopted by a growing Xian faith.
    These are just two examples.
    .

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