Christian holidays similar to Pagan holidays - VeggieBoards
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 Old 04-11-2008, 06:46 AM
Veggie Regular
 
rainforests1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 4,204
Pagan holidays:

Winter Solstice-December 21. Christmas was put around the same day.

Vernal Equinox-March 20-21. Easter was put around the same day. They even have symbols for Vernal Equinox like eggs and rabbits that Easter also uses.

Do you think this is just a coincidence?
rainforests1 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 Old 04-11-2008, 06:49 AM
Veggie Regular
 
gillibean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,794
It's not a coincidence. I believe the christians stole the dates from the pagans and mutilated them for their own purposes.



ETA originally i believe it was so that christians could celebrate without the worry of being prosecuted but the christian versions have since totally taken over.
gillibean is offline  
#3 Old 04-11-2008, 06:51 AM
Veggie Regular
 
Technobarbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 249
Those holidays fit perfectly in the pagan tradition and religion. I've never heard an explanation from the Christian camp that didn't make me roll my eyes. If one reads the history of the Church, with some basic history knowledge of that time and Mesopotamia, you'll see many of these coincidences.
Technobarbie is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#4 Old 04-11-2008, 06:52 AM
Veggie Regular
 
bigdufstuff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,472
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainforests1 View Post

Pagan holidays:

Winter Solstice-December 21. Christmas was put around the same day.

Vernal Equinox-March 20-21. Easter was put around the same day. They even have symbols for Vernal Equinox like eggs and rabbits that Easter also uses.

Do you think this is just a coincidence?



Just about every culture ever has worshiped the winter solstice. It was very significant for people that relied entirely on the sun for many of their resources. It marked a time of rebirth. It is no coincidence that we see this is many religious myths including those of christians and pagans.
bigdufstuff is offline  
#5 Old 04-11-2008, 06:55 AM
Veggie Regular
 
bigdufstuff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,472
List of different cultures that observe or worship the winter solstice. http://http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...ce#Observances



Notice it is not unique to christians and pagans.
bigdufstuff is offline  
#6 Old 04-11-2008, 07:04 AM
Veggie Regular
 
rainforests1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 4,204
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdufstuff View Post

List of different cultures that observe or worship the winter solstice. http://http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...ce#Observances



Notice it is not unique to christians and pagans.

Thanks. I don't know much about the day itself. It just sounds weird that the day that Jesus died and was born is so similar to Pagan holidays. My brother is Pagan and he has read a lot about the holidays. He says that they purposely put the holidays on those dates to satisfy the Pagans. I'm not even sure if I can celebrate Christmas next year after having read this.
rainforests1 is offline  
#7 Old 04-11-2008, 07:06 AM
Veggie Regular
 
gillibean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,794
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainforests1 View Post

Thanks. I don't know much about the day itself. It just sounds weird that the day that Jesus died and was born is so similar to Pagan holidays. My brother is Pagan and he has read a lot about the holidays. He says that they purposely put the holidays on those dates to satisfy the Pagans. I'm not even sure if I can celebrate Christmas next year after having read this.



How would sharing holidays satisfy the Pagans?
gillibean is offline  
#8 Old 04-11-2008, 07:11 AM
Veggie Regular
 
bigdufstuff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,472
Quote:
Originally Posted by gillibean View Post

How would sharing holidays satisfy the Pagans?



The way the christians teach the children is that in ancient Rome the pagans wanted to kill all the christians. One easy way to do this was to wait until they were observing a christian holiday and then walk around and kill anyone observing the holiday. To sneak around this, they made their holidays identical to the ones of the pagans.



I don't know how much of this is true as I've never looked into it. But it is what my catholic school teachers tried to convince me of with the rest of their lies.
bigdufstuff is offline  
#9 Old 04-11-2008, 07:21 AM
Veggie Regular
 
gillibean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,794
I can see why they would want to change the holidays to avoid the pagans but satisfy? It would seem that not being able to kill christians would annoy them rather than satisfy the pagans. This version is more or less what I was probably taught. I saw probably because this subject is just another of those bits of random knowledge that I have no memory of ever attaining.
gillibean is offline  
#10 Old 04-11-2008, 07:51 AM
Veggie Regular
 
guinnesshero's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,510
I have seen things on discovery about how when christians would convert pagan people they would often incorperate the major holidays into christianity and change them as a way to help pull them in.
guinnesshero is offline  
#11 Old 04-11-2008, 09:35 AM
Veggie Regular
 
kingsnorkie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Pennsylvania, US
Posts: 1,052
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdufstuff View Post

The way the christians teach the children is that in ancient Rome the pagans wanted to kill all the christians. One easy way to do this was to wait until they were observing a christian holiday and then walk around and kill anyone observing the holiday. To sneak around this, they made their holidays identical to the ones of the pagans.



I don't know how much of this is true as I've never looked into it. But it is what my catholic school teachers tried to convince me of with the rest of their lies.



I haven't done a tremendous amount of research into it, but this is what most scholars think is likely. Of course, there isn't going to be memos written out by church fathers saying "Let's copy the pagan's holidays", but seeing the holidays move in line with persecutions makes this a likely bet.
kingsnorkie is offline  
#12 Old 04-11-2008, 10:06 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 11,551
whats your history knowledge like? i was taught in college (from what i remember, anyway) that the romans (and not just the romans) liked to shuffle stuff about a bit to placate the natives when they invaded and integrated everyone.



makes sense to me, if you've got a lot of maurading debaucherous pagans already having a proper bevvy fueled orgy over something or other, and you want them to swap religions to your current system of choice, then just persuade them thats its kinda the same stuff, but your variation on things is actually a bit better and more in their interests to do, and ooh look- the new story features really similar characters, and there is still drinking and snacks- and voila- less stress.
jeneticallymodified is offline  
#13 Old 04-11-2008, 10:15 AM
Veggie Regular
 
raefactor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 739
Christ was not born in winter, more likely in spring or fall, but the Romans decided to turn the Saturnalia festival into a celebration of Christ's birthday to proselytize the pagans.



Easter this year was on the wrong date. If you're celebrating Christ's death and resurrection, Biblically you would celebrate it the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during Passover. This year it fell over the pagan holiday for the goddess Ishtar.



This is why I only celebrate Jewish holidays. Less "corruption", and honestly Jesus probably would not have celebrated his birthday at all, let alone with a "Christmas tree" (pagan symbol) and yule log (another pagan symbol). He also would NOT have eaten ham and yeast rolls to celebrate his resurrection during passover, lol. We know Jesus celebrated Hanukkah (John 10:22) and Passover, so what's wrong with celebrating those things rather than commercialized, "Churchized" (not even Christianized, really) holidays that don't even make sense in a Biblical context? Not that I'm bashing those who *do* celebrate them, but I have no reason to and don't find anything odd about not celebrating Christmas and Easter.
raefactor is offline  
#14 Old 04-11-2008, 10:20 AM
Veggie Regular
 
kingsnorkie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Pennsylvania, US
Posts: 1,052
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoodedclawjen View Post

whats your history knowledge like? i was taught in college (from what i remember, anyway) that the romans (and not just the romans) liked to shuffle stuff about a bit to placate the natives when they invaded and integrated everyone.



makes sense to me, if you've got a lot of maurading debaucherous pagans already having a proper bevvy fueled orgy over something or other, and you want them to swap religions to your current system of choice, then just persuade them thats its kinda the same stuff, but your variation on things is actually a bit better and more in their interests to do, and ooh look- the new story features really similar characters, and there is still drinking and snacks- and voila- less stress.



I think that is how a lot of "Christians" were made in the early years (and like you said, lots of religions did that) They could point out that whatever deity the new people worshipped has a lot of the same points that Jesus did, but Jesus is even more special because he can do _____.

This also led to issues later on, when Christianity became more standardized. Then they had to root out the people that liked Jesus, but also liked whatever their original deity was.



As for my history knowledge, its a little weaker then it once was, because I'm old and haven't kept up, but I did get my degree in history. Early Christianity was an interest of mine, really fascinating how it so quickly sprang up, got standardized and basically took over Europe.
kingsnorkie is offline  
#15 Old 04-11-2008, 10:33 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 11,551
Quote:
As for my history knowledge, its a little weaker then it once was, because I'm old and haven't kept up, but I did get my degree in history. Early Christianity was an interest of mine, really fascinating how it so quickly sprang up, got standardized and basically took over Europe.



i wasn't directing the question at you specifically (i don't know where i was directing it, actually!). it is really interesting stuff though- we covered it a bit in archaeology. unfortunately i didn't get any kind of qualification- i probably could have earned a diploma in rizla paper and beermat studies though, had one been offered.



i don't really celebrate holidays. evey day is jen-day round here. much less confusing that way.



OP: if you have one, has this new information affected your faith in some way?
jeneticallymodified is offline  
#16 Old 04-11-2008, 11:01 AM
Veggie Regular
 
JLRodgers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 4,819
I once saw a show that said Christians picked the Pagan holidays to make it easier to convert them (or something) -- like a "see you're Christian you're celebrating this holiday!" type of thing. Then another schloar said that the pagans stole the holiday from the Christians. Then another said something about they picked holidays that are similar so no one could tell what religion you were.....



Then another one popped in and said he didn't know why, but the Christian's celebrate the birth and resurrection on days that are months from when the actual date was, so it was just a symbolic thing anyway (i.e. basically that it didn't matter).
JLRodgers is offline  
#17 Old 04-11-2008, 11:42 AM
Veggie Regular
 
Willowriver's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 554
Well, I'm going to ditch the "avoiding persecution" thing. Sounds like just another lie to kiddies to make them feel better about participating in something with such a violent history. In my experience, many Christians (and, well, people in general) like to develop unwarranted persecution complexes because it helps them form a more cohesive club (see "war on Christmas" bs).



Most of the Christian holidays the way they are currently celebrated incorporate many cultural traditions from pre-Christian Northern Europe (tree, Yule log, etc.). Also, Christians incorporated Northern European deities into their list of saints. They put churches where sacred groves were. They were not persecuted by the time they got to Northern Europe, they were invaders, and they were trying to convert (control) the natives. These tactics were used to try and placate them into converting. It was an easier transition that way, because people hate to give up their traditions.
Willowriver is offline  
#18 Old 04-11-2008, 01:16 PM
Veggie Regular
 
frenchie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,478
Quote:
Originally Posted by guinnesshero View Post

I have seen things on discovery about how when christians would convert pagan people they would often incorperate the major holidays into christianity and change them as a way to help pull them in.



Everything I have ever heard or read on this subject, gives this explination. It's just like Christians today, starting different ministries to draw in a certain crowd. At my old church, we had a huge "need" for a skate park to accomodate the kids in the area. We built a full blown skate park on the church grounds, and started a youth ministry around it. Every week we had loads of kids come to the skate park. They willingly sat and listened to a "message" at the end of the skate session, and many of them returned and eventually became "born again" Christians. There were a good handful of kids that just came to skate and hang out. It kept them off the streets, in a safe environment with positive role models to look up to.
frenchie is offline  
#19 Old 04-11-2008, 01:20 PM
Vegan Police Officer
 
Diana's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 5,211
I don't think the Christian churches have ever wanted to hide the fact that they used the pagan holidays in order to install their own.



It's not like it's some hidden secret or anything.



Those who want power cannot allow people to follow old paths. The old must be cleared out in order to install a New Order.



The 25th December was actually also chosen so people would stop worshiping Mithra (who was a very popular god, also born of a virgin, who died at the age of 33, and who had a million other similarities to the story of Jesus of Nazareth... only Mithra predated Jesus of Nazareth by a LONG LONG time.) So even the story of Jesus was based on something else. But this too, is not something that is hidden knowledge.) In fact, if Constantine had not decided to become Christian, people would probably still be worshipping Mithra today instead of Jesus Christ. And if you are interested in Egyptian mythology - check out the similarities between the Virgin Mary and Isis. (Isis was in fact also based on an even more ANCIENT legend dating back to the Babylonians).



All myths evolve from older, more ancient ones. This has been going on since the beginning of humanity.
Diana is offline  
#20 Old 04-11-2008, 01:25 PM
Veggie Regular
 
rainforests1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 4,204
Quote:
Originally Posted by gillibean View Post

How would sharing holidays satisfy the Pagans?



I haven't read much on the religion myself, so I'd have to ask my brother about that.
rainforests1 is offline  
#21 Old 04-11-2008, 01:29 PM
Veggie Regular
 
rainforests1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 4,204
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoodedclawjen View Post

OP: if you have one, has this new information affected your faith in some way?

My father grew up in a Christian family, but he's pretty much the only one in my immediate family who was a Christian at one time. My family has always celebrated holidays, so I've done it as well. I'm just not sure what to believe, so I'd consider myself agnostic.
rainforests1 is offline  
#22 Old 04-11-2008, 01:30 PM
Veggie Regular
 
gillibean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,794
Rainforests, I'd be interested in his answer if you ask him about it.
gillibean is offline  
#23 Old 04-11-2008, 01:35 PM
Veggie Regular
 
bigdufstuff's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,472
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post

I don't think the Christian churches have ever wanted to hide the fact that they used the pagan holidays in order to install their own.



It's not like it's some hidden secret or anything.



Those who want power cannot allow people to follow old paths. The old must be cleared out in order to install a New Order.



The 25th December was actually also chosen so people would stop worshiping Mithra (who was a very popular god, also born of a virgin, who died at the age of 33, and who had a million other similarities to the story of Jesus of Nazareth... only Mithra predated Jesus of Nazareth by a LONG LONG time.) So even the story of Jesus was based on something else. But this too, is not something that is hidden knowledge.) In fact, if Constantine had not decided to become Christian, people would probably still be worshipping Mithra today instead of Jesus Christ. And if you are interested in Egyptian mythology - check out the similarities between the Virgin Mary and Isis. (Isis was in fact also based on an even more ANCIENT legend dating back to the Babylonians).



All myths evolve from older, more ancient ones. This has been going on since the beginning of humanity.



There is almost nothing original about christian myth (sorry Jesus worshipers). It all goes back to astrological myths which are based on astronomical observation.
bigdufstuff is offline  
#24 Old 04-11-2008, 04:44 PM
Veggie Regular
 
paganveg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toronto Canada
Posts: 698
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post

I don't think the Christian churches have ever wanted to hide the fact that they used the pagan holidays in order to install their own.



It's not like it's some hidden secret or anything.



Those who want power cannot allow people to follow old paths. The old must be cleared out in order to install a New Order.



The 25th December was actually also chosen so people would stop worshiping Mithra (who was a very popular god, also born of a virgin, who died at the age of 33, and who had a million other similarities to the story of Jesus of Nazareth... only Mithra predated Jesus of Nazareth by a LONG LONG time.) So even the story of Jesus was based on something else. But this too, is not something that is hidden knowledge.) In fact, if Constantine had not decided to become Christian, people would probably still be worshipping Mithra today instead of Jesus Christ. And if you are interested in Egyptian mythology - check out the similarities between the Virgin Mary and Isis. (Isis was in fact also based on an even more ANCIENT legend dating back to the Babylonians).



All myths evolve from older, more ancient ones. This has been going on since the beginning of humanity.









Most of these holidays were chosen centuries after Jesus lived, I believe during the Council of Nycea? (sp) That was when Christianity was officially adopted by the Empire, and Jesus' divinity was proclaimed. It was also when they decided which gospels were to be included in the Bible, and which would be rejected as heresy.



OT - I don't, however, believe that Jesus was an imaginary person. I believe he was an enlightened individual who came to give us an important message. He was A savior, if not THE savior. This is basically how he is described in The Third Jesus by Deepak Chopra. Great book!



Anyway,as a pagan, I kind of like that the holidays are similar. It allows me to celebrate with my extended family, even though we have different beliefs.
paganveg is offline  
#25 Old 04-11-2008, 04:51 PM
Bof
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 3,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by gillibean View Post

the christian versions have since totally taken over.



Not at my place!
Bof is offline  
#26 Old 04-11-2008, 05:16 PM
Veggie Regular
 
Technobarbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post

I don't think the Christian churches have ever wanted to hide the fact that they used the pagan holidays in order to install their own.



It's not like it's some hidden secret or anything.



Those who want power cannot allow people to follow old paths. The old must be cleared out in order to install a New Order.



The 25th December was actually also chosen so people would stop worshiping Mithra (who was a very popular god, also born of a virgin, who died at the age of 33, and who had a million other similarities to the story of Jesus of Nazareth... only Mithra predated Jesus of Nazareth by a LONG LONG time.) So even the story of Jesus was based on something else. But this too, is not something that is hidden knowledge.) In fact, if Constantine had not decided to become Christian, people would probably still be worshipping Mithra today instead of Jesus Christ. And if you are interested in Egyptian mythology - check out the similarities between the Virgin Mary and Isis. (Isis was in fact also based on an even more ANCIENT legend dating back to the Babylonians).



All myths evolve from older, more ancient ones. This has been going on since the beginning of humanity.



I think I mentioned this in another thread, by thought it worth repeating and somewhat relevant. Diana is probably familiar with many of these but ...



Here are some books for those interested in the viewpoints of the ancient world on the Christians, as well as, possible sources of Christian borrowing from other religious mythology.



The Christians as the Romans Saw Them, by Robert Wilkens

Porphyry's Against the Christians.

Celsus on the True Doctrine

The Devil: Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity



Then there are Samuel Kramer's books History begins at Sumer and The Sumerian's. These books are obviously about the Sumerian's, but their are several comparison between the Sumerian mythology and the Bible. One of favorites parallel was the possible original of the Adam and Eve story, and the probably mistranslation of the word rib. Unfortunately, I'm too lazy too look up which book it was in.
Technobarbie is offline  
#27 Old 04-11-2008, 05:27 PM
Veggie Regular
 
gillibean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,794
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bof View Post

Not at my place!



Party at bof's! :
gillibean is offline  
#28 Old 04-11-2008, 06:25 PM
Veggie Regular
 
Skylark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 15,684
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainforests1 View Post

Pagan holidays:

Winter Solstice-December 21. Christmas was put around the same day.

Vernal Equinox-March 20-21. Easter was put around the same day. They even have symbols for Vernal Equinox like eggs and rabbits that Easter also uses.

Do you think this is just a coincidence?



My understanding is this:



Pagans were celebrating the winter solstice, and some of them were converting to Christianity. Christianity didn't have a holiday about that same time, so the new converts felt a little weird about sitting on their hands, wanting to do something to celebrate. So the Christians decided since it wasn't imperitive to celebrate Jesus' birth on any particular day, the winter solstice could be tweaked into a savior birthday party. And, putting the resurrection celebration in the spring provided the same function for people who had their whole lives celebrated the vernal equinox in the spring.



If this is what happened, (I can't speak from experience since I wasn't there) then I think it was quite open-minded and accommodating of the Christians. They might have "gotten it" better than many of today's Christians that they don't need to act like they're at war with other religions, and they can exist along with them, even incorporate aspects of the pagans' celebrations, and it doesn't threaten the essence of what Christianity is. This is about connecting with our shared view of the divine. How exactly we do that is much less important and more individual. So I guess to a degree I'm A-OK with syncretism.



Quote:
Originally Posted by raefactor View Post

This is why I only celebrate Jewish holidays. Less "corruption", and honestly Jesus probably would not have celebrated his birthday at all, let alone with a "Christmas tree" (pagan symbol) and yule log (another pagan symbol). He also would NOT have eaten ham and yeast rolls to celebrate his resurrection during passover, lol. We know Jesus celebrated Hanukkah (John 10:22) and Passover, so what's wrong with celebrating those things rather than commercialized, "Churchized" (not even Christianized, really) holidays that don't even make sense in a Biblical context? Not that I'm bashing those who *do* celebrate them, but I have no reason to and don't find anything odd about not celebrating Christmas and Easter.



Well, I don't live in a Biblical context, so I don't feel particularly tied to doing only things that come directly from the Bible... The Bible is quite nice and helpful on some things, but it's not particularly useful as a party-planning guide.

Q: How many poets does it take to change a light bulb? A: 1001...one to change the bulb, 1000 to say it's already been done.
Skylark is offline  
#29 Old 04-11-2008, 06:37 PM
Veggie Regular
 
gillibean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,794
Quote:
Well, I don't live in a Biblical context, so I don't feel particularly tied to doing only things that come directly from the Bible... The Bible is quite nice and helpful on some things, but it's not particularly useful as a party-planning guide.

gillibean is offline  
#30 Old 04-11-2008, 07:16 PM
Veggie Regular
 
Willowriver's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 554
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark View Post

My understanding is this:

If this is what happened, (I can't speak from experience since I wasn't there) then I think it was quite open-minded and accommodating of the Christians. They might have "gotten it" better than many of today's Christians that they don't need to act like they're at war with other religions, and they can exist along with them, even incorporate aspects of the pagans' celebrations, and it doesn't threaten the essence of what Christianity is. This is about connecting with our shared view of the divine. How exactly we do that is much less important and more individual. So I guess to a degree I'm A-OK with syncretism.



Lol yeah, if that's the way it happened, that's cool. I got the distinct impression that it's not though. Christians back then are not known for their ability to share. I think they were burning "heretics" at the same time they were appropriating their festivals.

I remember learning in school that Spain was peaceful and scientifically advanced, and that Christians, Jews, and Moors lived together relatively peacefully until the Moors lost control to the Christians, and the whole Inquisition thing happened.



If I'm wrong on my timeline, someone feel free to correct me though. It's entirely possible.
Willowriver is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the VeggieBoards forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off