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Christmas celebrations in Puritan New England (1620–1850?) were culturally and legally suppressed and thus, virtually non-existent. The Puritan community found no Scriptural justification for celebrating Christmas , and associated such celebrations with paganism and idolatry . The earliest years of the Plymouth colony were troubled with non-Puritans attempting to make merry, and Governor William Bradford was forced to reprimand offenders.
Saturnalia was an ancient Roman festival in honour of the deity Saturn held on December 17 of the Julian calendar and later expanded with festivities through December 23. The holiday was celebrated with a sacrifice at the Temple of Saturn in the Roman Forum and a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival atmosphere that overturned Roman social norms : gambling was permitted, and masters provided table service for their slaves . [ 1 ] The poet Catullus called it "the best of days." [ 2 ] In Roman mythology , Saturn was an agricultural deity who reigned over the world in the Golden Age , when humans enjoyed the spontaneous bounty of the earth without labor in a state of social egalitarianism . The revelries of Saturnalia were supposed to reflect the conditions of the lost mythical age, not all of them desirable. The Greek equivalent was the Kronia . [ 3 ]
"For how many years shall this festival abide! Never shall age destroy so holy a day! While the hills of Latium remain and father Tiber, while thy Rome stands and the Capitol thou hast restored to the world, it shall continue." - Saturnalia Conspicuous Consumption in Saturnalia as in Christmas Around Christmas it's often difficult to separate commerce from religion. I want to do something different this year.
Double-faced Mithraic relief. Rome, 2nd to 3rd century AD ( Louvre Museum ) The Mithraic Mysteries were a mystery religion practised in the Roman Empire from about the 1st to 4th centuries AD.
Part 2: Pre-Christian and Christian Traditions Pre-Christian Traditions It is not, however, clear that this dating was done for wholly Christian reasons. I don't think that it is entirely coincidental that in 274 CE, when the winter solstice fell on December 25th, pagan emperor Aurelian proclaimed this day as Natalis Solis Invicti, the festival of the birth of the invincible sun. Throughout pagan Europe, Christianity was known for supplanting pagan celebrations and holy places in an effort to speed conversion, and it is easy to see this as another example of the same.
Dear Everyone, Happy Holidays! It’s Christmas Eve and I have had a wonderful month celebrating this season and what it represents for me. A couple of days ago, I attended a Solstice dinner party with lovely friends. I’ve been making treats, watching my favorite holiday movies and now I am in the Midwest, preparing to celebrate tomorrow surrounded by my beautiful family by extension – my partner’s family. Because of all of this and how much I look forward to this time of year, it’s especially disheartening to hear the annual complaints about the supposed “War on Christmas” – the yearly whining by some Christians who seem to be stuck in a permanent victim mentally about how people who do not practice their religion are trying to co-opt their traditions .
Many of the customs that we associate with Christmas come from largely pagan or pre-Christian backgrounds. The word Yule comes from an old Norse word for a twelve-day celebration. Mistletoe was prominent in the traditions of the Druids and the lore of northern Europe. It had no roots, yet remained green. The Norse associated it with their goddess of love Frigga, perhaps the origin of kissing under it.
Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH) : Should Christians Celebrate "Christmas"? The Shocking Pagan Origin of CHRISTMAS! Although the whole world celebrates Christmas as a "Christian" holiday, including millions of non-Christians, is Christmas really "Christian" at all? Consider this fact: Look high and low throughout the pages of the Bible, and you will find not ONE WORD of "Christmas" being celebrated by any of YEHOVAH's people!
Every year after Thanksgiving, most people’s thoughts turn to Christmas. It is the time when professing Christians are supposed to focus on Jesus Christ. After all, it is the “Christ-mass” season!