PAGAN HOLIDAYS

Section Ten of Biblical Holy Days
Compiled by Richard C. Nickels

Distributed by:
Giving & Sharing, PO Box 100, Neck City, MO 64849

Introduction

Section Ten of Biblical Holy Days covers the subject of Holidays, which are commonly observed, but NOT derived from the Bible. Encyclopedias and newspapers regularly report the pagan origins of many of these popular holidays, yet the majority still continue to observe them. The Bible, however, condemns following pagan traditions. The Pagan Holidays, even if they have been dressed up by the Catholic Church to seem to be Christian, stand in contradiction to the Almighty's Holy Days commanded in the Bible. The Messiah said that the majority would worship Him in vain, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Valentine's Day, New Year's Day, and other holidays of pagan origin are to be carefully avoided by all those who seek to follow the Bible. Let us observe the Bible Holy Days, NOT the holidays of man.

"Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain . . ." Jeremiah 10:2-3.

"Take heed to thyself, that thou be not snared by following them . . . and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which He hateth, have they done to their gods . . . What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it," Deuteronomy 12:30-32.

"But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men," Matthew 15:9.

Should a Christian Observe This World's Holidays?

Have you ever stopped to consider the holidays observed by man? In the United States, Canada and around the world many days other than God's Holy Days are observed -- more or less depending on location. Three lists of holidays follow. These are labeled for convenience as POLITICAL, SPECIAL AND RELIGIOUS.

Political
Martin Luther King's Birthday, Lincoln's Birthday, Washington's Birthday, May 1, Armed Forces Day, Victoria Day, Flag Day, Canada Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving Day -- Canada, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day

Special
Birthdays, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Memorial Day

Religious
New Year's Day, Epiphany, Candlemas, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Lent, Easter, Halloween, Hanukkah, Immaculate Conception

Not all of the holidays are shown. In fact, there is nearly one holiday for every day of the year -- not all are observed in every locality. To the list of special days might be added "Ground Hog Day" and "April Fool's Day." One should determine the basis for these days before becoming involved. There may be disagreement over the classification I have chosen. Some may say that Memorial Day and Hanukkah should be classified as political. Our concern is not the classification but rather "should the day be observed?" The original intent of many holidays has been lost, changed or perverted.

Political Holidays

Note that there are more Political days than Religious days. Perhaps this shows our present inclinations to worship men rather than God. Many of these days are forced on us by the political system. Offices, banks and schools are closed. The patriotic origins are all but forgotten. Many have turned into just another day to go fishing or watch a favorite game on TV. We should consider the fourth command also -- the overlooked part -- "six days shall you labor . . . ." Many sins result from idleness.

Does God frown upon observance of political days? Certain national days were observed in Old Testament times. See Esther 9:26-32 (Purim), Zechariah 8:19(special national fast days) and John 10:22 (Feast of Dedication -- now known as Hanukkah). These days had nothing to do with God's Holy Day plan. They were important to God's people because of miraculous occurrences. These days have significance to the Jews but are of little or no importance to called and converted Christians. They are like our Independence Day and Thanksgiving.

The days honoring individuals, especially those who founded the country, need to be carefully considered. They border on violation of the first command if carried to the extreme. For those who know the truth of the beginning of the blessings bestowed on the United States, British Commonwealth countries and western Europe, the real beginning of our heritage goes back to Abraham's obedience. For proof of this, read The United States and Britain in Prophecy by Herbert W. Armstrong.

The other political days need to be looked at in the light of the first and second commandments. When you observe them are you putting another god or idol in place of the true God? Or are you putting a day that stands for godless atheism or humanism -- May 1 -- in place of God's plan? According to Pastor Peter Peters writing in Patriot Review, "Baal Worship in America," "MAY DAY AND THE MAY POLE: The most important holiday in Russia is May day. The May pole and May day come from the worship of Astarte and sacred pole Ashera." Do you violate the intent of the sixth command when observing the militarily oriented days?

Memorial Day, Mother's and Father's Day

What about the special days? Honoring the memory of our loved ones on Memorial Day could turn into ancestor worship such as practiced in China. Remember the first commandment -- "Thou shalt have no other gods before me," Exodus 20:3. If done in the context of the fifth command "Honor thy father and thy mother . . . " (Exodus 20:12) then it is a different matter.

As for Mother's and Father's Day, haven't they been grossly over commercialized? Again in the context of the fifth command, such days could be justified. However, adoration such as that given to Mary should not be done. In recent years no Sabbath-keeping church appears to have taken a stand on these days. Recently Raymond C. Cole of the Church of God, the Eternal, stated that he had strong doubts about Mothers' Day. However, because Herbert Armstrong continued to observe this day "because we should do something for our mothers," the Worldwide Church of God never took a stand on this issue.

Perhaps Mr. Cole's concern is this quote from the American Book of Days by Douglas:

The custom of holding a festival in honor of motherhood is very old. It dates back in the Western world to the times of the ancient Greeks who worshipped Cybele, the mother of gods, and honored her with rites in woods and caves. The custom was introduced into Rome from Greece about 250 B.C., and on the Ides of March the festival of Hilaria in honor of Cybele was begun and continued for three days. But these celebrations were entirely different from that in honor of the human mothers on the second Sunday in May.

Birthdays

Should you observe your own birthday or attend birthday parties? Whose birthday would be the most important? Christ's! Yet the Bible nowhere gives the date of His birth. Most Bible commentators recognize that the Bible hints at a fall (not winter) birth for Christ. Yet many believe they honor Him in December. If the Savior's birthday was important, don't you think God would have revealed the exact day of this most important birth?

Note what Job 3:3 says: "Let the day perish wherein I was born . . . ." The other Biblical references to birthdays are not favorable. See Genesis 40 where Pharaoh celebrates his birthday by hanging his Chief Baker. In Matthew 14:6-10, we find Herod beheading John the Baptist on Herod's birthday. Many believe that Job's children were apparently celebrating a birthday when calamity befell them Job 1:4-19.

A good brief history of birthday observance is "Happy Birthday? WHAT IS THE VERDICT," by Chuck W. Henry (you may write him for a free copy at 3624 S. 16, Ft. Smith, AR 72901). He quotes "Horoscope" from the World Book Encyclopedia:

HOROSCOPE, . . . is a chart that shows the influences the stars supposedly have on a person because of their positions at the time of his birth . . . . Astrologers also use positions of the stars a t the time they cast the horoscope to predict the person's future. The word horoscope comes from the Greek horoskopos meaning the one who observes the hour . . . .

Further, Let's hear what the World Book -- Childcraft International on "Holidays and Birthdays" has to say on this subject:

. . . For thousands of years, people all over the world have thought of a birthday as a very special day. Long ago, people believed that on a birthday a person could be helped by good spirits or hurt by evil spirits. So when a person had a birthday, friends and relatives gathered to protect him or her. And that's how birthday parties began.

The idea of putting candles on birthday cakes goes back to ancient Greece. The Greeks worshipped many gods and goddesses. Among them was one called Artemis . . . the goddess of the moon. The Greeks celebrated her birthday once each month by bringing special cakes to her temple. The cakes were round like a full moon. And, Because the moon glows with light, the cakes were decorated with lighted candles.

He also shows the pagan origins of spankings, noisemakers and other birthday customs. Quoting Kenneth C. Herrman "Should Christians Celebrate Birthdays" from the December, 1959, Plain Truth magazine:

The Jews in Christ's day knew God's law forbids celebrating birthdays. Josephus, the Jewish historian of the first century, declares: 'Nay, indeed, the law does not permit us to make festivals at the birth of our children . . . .' (Against Apion, book II, #26).

A still greater deterrent to annual birthday observance is the insertion of a 13th month in the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th, 14th,17th, and 19th years of a 19-year cycle. Imagine the confusion of attempting to schedule birthday parties!

Solomon tells us "It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart," Ecclesiastes 7:2. God is telling us that it is better to visit those grieving from a recent death rather than with those celebrating or partying (birthdays?).

Religious Holidays

Note God's commands in Jeremiah 10:2 "Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen . . . ." Also Deuteronomy 18:9 " . . . you shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations," and also read Deuteronomy 12:30-31. God is warned that His people Israel have a natural inclination to be like the heathen, and worship like they do, Ezekiel 20:32. If any religious holidays are pagan in origin these three scriptures alone are enough to cause us great concern.

To keep this paper within a reasonable length, not all of the proof available on each day will be covered. The reader, should he want more conclusive evidence of what follows, is urged to secure copies of the writings quoted or research the subject completely. We are commanded to " . . . prove all things . . . ," I Thessalonians 5:21.

New Year's Day, January 1

When does God's year begin? Exodus 12:2 says "This month shall be unto you beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you." The name is Abib or Nisan and corresponds to March or April. Note that the context is Passover time -- in the spring of our Roman calendar year. See also Exodus 23:15, 34:18, Deuteronomy 16:1and Esther 3:7.

Genesis 1:14 says the sun and moon would be the signs of the calendar division. One rotation of the earth = 1 day. One rotation of the moon around the earth = 1 month. One rotation of the earth around the sun = 1 year. See our article in this series, "How Does God's Calendar Work?" You can determine that the new moon begins each month by comparing Psalms 81:3 and I Chronicles 23:31 with Numbers 10:10, 28:11, 29:1 and Leviticus 23:24.

Writing for the Radio Church of God, Kenneth C. Hermann in "God's Sacred Calendar 1962-3" says:

Rather than follow the God-given principles, the Roman calendar begins a new year in the dead of winter, its day in the middle of the night, and its months without reference to the moon. . . . God made His Calendar known to Israel when He brought them out of Egypt . . . . Our notion has gone back to observing the very calendar which our ancestors used during their slavery in Egypt.

But isn't our calendar of Christian origin? Doesn't it have the approval of almost all Christian sects? History answers:

Our (Roman) calendar is not Christian in origin. It descends directly from the Egyptians, who originated the 12 month year, 365 day system . . . . From 'Journal of Calendar Reform," September 1953, footnote p. 128.

Further study brings one to the realization that the entire Roman calendar is of pagan origin with the single exception of the seven-day-week feature . . . .

What happens on New Year's Eve? Drunken orgies, kissing other men's wives (contrary to the 7th command), and if a person is "religious" perhaps he goes to "watch night" services. Watching for what? The celebration begins after dark and reaches its intensity at midnight. God's day begins at sunset -- not midnight. See Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31. Read also Leviticus 22:7 and 15:5 which show that sundown commences the new day.

New Year's Day is not celebrated at the right time of day or at the right time of year to be in agreement with God's calendar. Some historians even say that April Fool's day used to be New Year's day -- "All Fools Day" from Encyclopedia of Religion. This would make it closer to the true first day of the year which is in March or April. Yet there are more important reasons to avoid this celebration. It is known that New Year's Day dates from pagan Babylonia 2,000 years before Christ.

The New Year's festivities that had originated in Babylon found their way to Greece and finally to Rome. The Romans called it 'Saturnalia' . . . a time of revellings, drinking bouts, orgies -- finally ending in HUMAN SACRIFICE!

The first day of the Saturnalia shifted during the lifetime of Rome . . . it began around the middle of December . . . and continued until January first. In its midst was December twenty-fifth, the day, as the Romans calculated, when the sun was at its lowest ebb . . . . (E.W. Count's 4000 Years of Christmas, page 28.) . . . Caesar . . . instituted the New Year's festival on January first . . . . He transferred to the first of January Saturnalia! (From "The Truth about New Year's!" by William H. Ellis -- Ambassador College reprint #830.

He goes on to show that the New Year's babe is Dionysus or Bacchus -- the Greek god of wine -- and that the white-haired old man (father time) is in reality the Greek god Cronos.

The 'silent reaper' anciently 'reaped' little children in horrible episodes of mythical cannibalism! This Greek rite of human sacrifice was adopted by ancient Rome, where human sacrifice was practiced at least until 300 A.D.

There is nothing in God's word even remotely connected with this type holiday with beginnings so completely foreign to God's instructions.

Julius Caesar gave us January 1 as New Year's Day. The ancient Roman calendar was lunar, and began in March. In 46 B.C., Julius Caesar asked the astronomer Sosigenes to review the calendar and suggest ways for improving it. Acting on Sosigenes' suggestions, Caesar ordered the Romans to disregard the moon for calculating their calendars, and instituted twelve non-lunar months of 31 and 30 days, except for February which had 29 days, and 30 days every fourth year. He moved the beginning of the year to January 1. The Romans renamed Quintilis to honor Julius Caesar, giving us July. The next month, Sextilis, was renamed August to honor the emperor Augustus. Caesar Augustus moved a day from February to August to make August as long as July.

Says the World Book Encyclopedia,

In Ancient Rome, the first day of the year was given over to honoring Janus, the god of gates and doors and of beginnings and endings. The month of January was named after this god. Janus had two faces, and looked both ahead and backward. On the first day of the year, the Roman people looked back to what had happened during the past year and thought of what the coming year might bring. Romans gave one another presents on New Year's Day. Many persons brought gifts to the Roman emperor and wished him good fortune. At first the gifts were simply branches of bay and palm trees; but later more expensive presents were given.

Catholics followed the Julian Calendar, although for hundreds of years they observed the beginning of the year on March 25 (which was then spring equinox), and not on January 1 as Julius Caesar had instituted. However, January 1 became a Catholic holiday, in 487 A.D., when it was declared the Feast of Circumcision (January 1 is 8 days after December 24). The World Book Encyclopedia, article "New Year's Day," says, "At first, parties were not allowed on this day, because the pagans had followed that custom. This was gradually changed, and celebrations could be held again."

Slight errors in the Julian Calendar pushed January 1 and the times of the equinoxes ahead a little bit over the centuries. Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, upon advice of astronomers, dropped 10 days from October of that year. The day that would have been October 5, 1582, became October 15, restoring the next equinox to its proper date. To correct the Julian Calendar's regular errors, the pope decreed that February would have an extra day (29 instead of 28 days) in centuries that could be divided by 400 (such as 1600 and 2000), but not in other century years, such as 1700, 1800 and 1900. Catholics, who had followed the Julian Calendar, now followed the adjusted Julian Calendar, called the Gregorian Calendar. Pope Gregory returned to observance of January 1 as the beginning of the year. Not until 1752 did Protestant England and America switch from a March 25 to a January 1 New Year.

Among the pagan customs of New Year's Day continued today is the tradition of making noise with firecrackers and/or gunshots at the beginning of the new year. From ancient Babylon, India, China, Russia and Siam, new year's noisemaking was believed to frighten away evil spirits. "New Year's Resolutions" comes from the ancient Roman custom of cleaning out one's chimney on New Year's Day to bring good luck and a fresh start.

EPIPHANY (January 6) or Twelfth Night, Three Kings Day

This day according to Compton's Encyclopedia commemorates the showing of Christ to the Magi. The Biblical justification, if any, would be the story found in Matthew 2. This observance must be based on a December 25 birth. We have already said that the Bible nowhere indicates the exact date of Christ's birth, but the indications are that it was in the fall.

The Encyclopedia of Religion ties this day to,

. . . the Sunday following the octave of Christmas . . . . It was originally either a feast of Christ's baptism in the Jordan or of his birth at Bethlehem . . . . The date may have at first been observed as a feast of the baptism of Christ among the second century Basilidian gnostics. In the fourth century it was certainly a feast of the nativity of Christ . . . .

Part of the gnostic's belief is that this day is the day when the Phantoms entered Christ at His baptism. To literally believe this is to say that some spirit being (angel or demon?) possessed Christ and that He is not Christ but some other being. It is probably a perversion of the "baptism of the Holy Spirit" which occurred for Christ after baptism as an example for us and which occurs for true believers after the laying on of hands immediately following baptism.

CANDLEMAS - February 2; Valentine's Day February 14;

Festival of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM)

Forty days after December 24 is February 2, the Catholic holiday of Candlemas. Because "The feast commemorates the purification of the BVM and the presentation of Christ in the Temple which took place, according to Luke 2:22-39, forty days after His birth, as the Jewish law required (Leviticus 12:1-4)" (Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church) this day must relate to the pagan celebrations of Valentine's Day and Christmas for there is no Biblical command to keep it. One of the major means used by the Catholic Church for conversion of the pagan masses was to take pagan holidays and attach "Christian" meaning to them.

Baronius states that it was instituted by Pope Gelasius (492-496 A.D.) as a check to the heathen Festival of the Lupercalia (Encyclopedia of Religion & Ethics). The transference of the Festival from 14th to 2nd February was due to the institution of the Festival of Christmas (q.v.) on December 25.

This day honors the Nimrod of Genesis 10:8-9. Eventually God caused Shem to kill this despot for his evil anti-God ways. Other names for Nimrod was "Pan," "Baal," "Lupercus," and "Santus" or "Santa" meaning "Saint." Hence "Saint Valentine's Day." The heart, "bal" in Babylonian, became a symbol of Nimrod. He was the original "valentine." It is said women lusted after him.

Why was February 14th chosen? Let Dr. Herman L. Hoeh explain in "St. Valentine's day . . . " (Reprint #240 Ambassador College)

The Romans called the festival the 'Lupercalia.' The custom of exchanging valentines and all the other traditions in honor of Lupercus -- the deified hero-hunter of Rome -- was also linked anciently with the pagan practice of teenagers 'going steady.' It usually led to fornication. Today, the custom of 'going steady' is thought very modern. It isn't. It is merely are birth of an old custom 'handed down from the Roman festival of the Lupercalia, celebrated in the month of February . . . .' That's the admission of the Encyclopedia Americana, article, 'St. Valentine's Day.' . . . 'Nimrod . . . was said to have been born at the winter solstice . . . on January 6 . . . . Later . . . on December 25 and is now called Christmas . . . . It was the custom . . . for the mother of a male child to present herself for purification on the fortieth day after the day of birth . . . .'

Forty days from the original day of January 6 is February 15. The celebration started the evening before. This is how Valentine's day came to be observed on the 14th of February. On that day Nimrod's mother, Semiramis, was supposedly purified and made the first appearance as the "mother and child." The Encyclopedia Britannica indicates that Nimrod was also called "Cupid" which means desire. Later on, Semiramis married this "Cupid" -- her own son Nimrod. Nimrod is the "desire of women" found in Daniel 11:37.

Can you find these practices approved of in the Bible? I Corinthians 6:18 answers part of the Valentine's and New Year's activities -- "Flee fornication . . . ." The seventh command as expanded by Christ in Matthew 5:27-28 should cause us to avoid many of the customs involved in this worldly holiday.

ST. PATRICK'S DAY (March 17)

This day is in honor of the patron saint of Ireland -- the man who introduced Catholic "Christianity" to that country. Perhaps this day would be better included with political observances for it has no real religious significance and certainly no Biblical justification for any other than the Irish. Those who observe it nowadays do so with an abundance of alcohol and wearing green.

EASTER (and related holidays)

Compton's Encyclopedia defines the Easter related religious festivals as:

Mardi Gras (French: Fat Tuesday) In many Catholic countries, Lent is proceeded by a carnival season . . . . Elaborate pageants often close this season on Shrove Tuesday -- (the day before the beginning of Lent).

Ash Wednesday -- First day of Lent . . . from the practice . . . of putting ashes on the foreheads of the faithful . . . to remind them that "man is but dust" and that he must do penance.

Lent -- Period of forty days, not including Sundays, ending with Easter, observed in memory of the 40 days' fast of Christ in the desert.

Lent is nothing more than a continuation of a fast begun in Babylon over 4000 years ago. Ezekiel 8:13-14 says "He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do. Then he brought me to the door of the Lord's house which was toward the north; and behold there sat women weeping for Tammuz." Quoting Herman L. Hoeh in "Where Did God Command You to Observe Lent?" (Radio Church of God - 1957 #142).

They wept for Tammuz, the false Messiah of the Pagans! That weeping preceded the pagan festival in honor of the supposed resurrection of Tammuz. Fasting was joined with weeping for a period of forty days before the festival in honor of Tammuz. The period of weeping and semi-fasting fell during the springtime. That is why the word Lent means 'spring!' Lent is a continuation of the pagan spring-time custom of abstaining from certain foods just prior to celebrating a fake resurrection! And God calls LENT an ABOMINATION!

Passion Sunday -- second Sunday before Easter.

Palm Sunday -- Sunday before Easter. " . . . celebrates the triumphant entry of Christ into Jerusalem. Holy Week begins on this day." The problem with this day is that it really occurred on a Thursday. Proof of this is found on pages 160-163 of A Harmony of the Gospels in Modern English (First Edition) by Fred Coulter.

Maundy Thursday -- Thursday before Easter. " . . . is in memory of the Last Supper of Christ with his disciples." The truth is that the 'Last Supper' was on a Tuesday evening.

Good Friday -- Friday before Easter. " . . . commemorates the Crucifixion." The crucifixion really occurred on a Wednesday as shown in other writings.

Easter -- "First Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox."

Ascension Day -- "Forty days after Easter" always the sixth Thursday after Easter. This day celebrates "the withdrawal of Christ into Heaven, witnessed by the Apostles (Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51, Acts 1:9.)" -- Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, article "Ascension of Christ, The." This was kept "from the later years of the 4th cent." but is nowhere commanded in the Bible.

Whitsunday (Pentecost) -- "Fifty days after Easter."

Whitmonday -- "The day after Whitsunday."

Trinity Sunday -- "Sunday after Whitsunday."

Corpus Christi -- "Thursday after Trinity Sunday" is

A festival of the Roman Catholic Church in honor of the Eucharist . . . . As early as Augustine's time . . . . After the Council of Constance (1414-18) the popes took occasion by the amplification of indulgences to stimulate the zeal of the faithful still further . . . . "Corpus Christi" from Religious Encyclopedia.

Some confusion exists over the beginning of this day but it was not observed by the early church.

These days are all false -- not commanded by God -- some with their roots in pagan antiquity!

The resurrection was not on Sunday nor the crucifixion on Friday. Therefore, these celebrations connected with Easter are not of God.

Mardi Gras is just plain debauchery! Semi-nude women creating lust. Too much alcohol and revelry. All directed to pleasing the flesh just a few weeks before the most serious event in God's Holy Day season. Then 40 days of semi-fasting to supposedly put one back into the mood for a false crucifixion and a false resurrection. God instructs us to live righteously year-around! The Encyclopedia of Religion & Ethics says

Joseph Addison, in the year 1684 or 1685, took part in another Shrove-tide custom at Lichfield Grammar School. It was a custom practiced at Christmas and Shrove-tide, and links the Bacchanalian customs of Shrove-tide with the Saturnalian license of Christmas.

Like the rest, this celebration of pagans has been given "Christian" meaning as a pacifier of the masses.

"Easter" only appears once in the King James version in Acts 12:4 as a mistranslation. It should read "Passover." You can verify this yourself in your concordance. The word "Easter" comes from "Astarte" -- a title for Beltis, queen of heaven, or "Istarte." Astarte was the consort of Baal, the sun god. Refer back to Valentine's Day to see who Baal was. It is readily apparent that Astarte was none other than Baal's mother, Semiramis!

By now the reader should be realizing that all of this world's religious holidays have a pagan origin.

HALLOWEEN, or Allhallows, Hallowmas or All Saint's Day

Evidently the Druids celebrated this day in honor of Samhain, Lord of the Dead. This Samhain is also known as Saman or SATAN. This celebration began long before Christ's time! Later on the Catholic Church picked this day to honor all of the various "saints" as there were not enough days for each one to have a separate day, hence the name "All Saint's Day."

Originally this day was to teach the false doctrine of the immortality of the soul. In early Germany there was a custom of praying to the dead on this date. This custom became the belief that those dead who had not quite made it could be helped to a higher heaven by the prayers of the living. In other words, once dead, you really were not dead but waiting to be perfected before you could reach the final heaven and see the "beatific vision." Of course this is contrary to the Biblical teaching that the dead are really dead, awaiting one of the three resurrections.

The "trick or treat" practice of today comes from an old custom of buying off the demons so that they would not curse your next years' crop. For further proof of the pagan background of this day see "Halloween Through Twenty Centuries," "The Book of Halloween" or "Halloween Where Did It Come From" (Ambassador College reprint #160).

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION (December 8)

God did not record Mary's birthday -- it is therefore impossible to know the exact date of her conception! The idea that Mary was "immaculately conceived" is nothing but a figment of men's perverse reasoning. See the Oxford Dictionary of Christian Church article "Immaculate Conception of the BVM" for proof.

HANUKKAH (Feast of Lights) near winter solstice (December 21)

The New Century Dictionary says:

The Feast of the Dedication, a Jewish festival commemorating the dedication of the new altar on the occasion of the purifying of the Temple at Jerusalem after its pollution by Antiochus Epiphanes . . . beginning of the 25th day of the month Kesleve, and lasting for eight days (mostly in December): called also 'Festival of Lights,' from the lights burned specially during this period.

Note that this is the day mentioned in John 10:22. Christ's presence on that day neither signifies approval nor disapproval. However, the Encyclopedia of Religion says

According to some historians, the origin of the festival is to be found in pagan festivals of light in midwinter. The prayers for Hanukkah refer only to the victory, but in practice the kindling of the lights is the main feature of the festival . . . . It is nowadays customary for Hanukkah presents to be given to children. This practice if found in none of the early sources and seems certain to have been introduced to offset the giving of Christmas presents at this season of year.

The meaning of this feast as originally observed seems to have been replaced by the pagan practices associated with Christmas. Note the similarities -- 8 days (the octave of Saturnalia), "festival of light" (rebirth of the sun), and gift giving.

CHRISTMAS -- December 25

As alluded to earlier, this day does not really honor Christ's birth. The real origins are the birth of Nimrod (Baal). Since Christ's time the Roman church "converted" a pagan holiday into a "Christian" holiday -- just like they did all of the other holidays. It was a deliberate attempt to get away from God's Holy Days which were called "Jewish" days. Note the clever transference. The real New Year's day became April Fool's day. The Passover (Christ's death on a Wednesday) became Good Friday. Unleavened Bread became Holy Week and the resurrection -- not even commanded to be observed -- became Easter, a day originally observed in honor of Nimrod and Semiramis.

Then Christ's birth, another day without Biblical justification, became Christmas -- a day originally observed in honor of the birth of Nimrod. The original "mother and child" was not Mary and Christ but rather Semiramis and Nimrod many centuries before Christ's birth. This day was not celebrated by the early church! Not observed in the Christian community until the 4th century and made official by the Roman Church "in the 5th century to be celebrated on the day of the old Roman feast of the birth of Sol . . . " per The Encyclopedia Americana.

Christmas relates back to the pagan Brumalia (December 25) after the Saturnalia (December 17-24 or the octave) and celebrates the shortest days of the year and the rebirth of the sun. For a full explanation see "The Plain Truth about Christmas" from Ambassador College, which shows the pagan origins of Santa Claus, mistletoe, the Christmas tree (but note Jeremiah 10:2-6), holly wreath and yule log. If you are concerned about the gift-giving at this time of year just stop and think who the wise men gave their gifts to. It was not to each other. It is customary to give gifts when coming into the presence of a ruler.

Conclusion

Now to directly answer our title question, "Should a Christian Observe this World's Holidays?"

Political holidays are not directly prohibited in the Bible. Depending on their nature there is evidence that some of these type of days were observed.

Special holidays, depending on how they are observed, can be either bad or good.

There are none of this world's religious holidays that a true Christian should observe. He should rather observe God's Holy Days as outlined in Leviticus 23; Deuteronomy 16; Ezekiel 20:12, 20; Exodus 31:13; and 34:18-23.

If you are keeping this world's holidays God is talking to you in Deuteronomy 12:30-31; Mark 7:7, 9, 13; Hosea 2:11, 13; Revelation 22:18-19 and Matthew 15:9. "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues"

Revelation 18:4. Now would be a good time to review the preceding articles on the Holy Days to appreciate the simplicity and logic of God's plan for mankind.

-- written by William B. Scherer, expanded by Richard C. Nickels

 

Additional Articles:

Christmas is NOT Christian
Christmas Reinvented
The Plain Truth About Easter
Halloween: "Learn Not The Way Of The Heathen" (Jeremiah 10:2)

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Written by: Richard C. Nickels
Giving & Sharing
PO Box 100
Neck City, MO 64849
United States of America

This material distributed on the Web by the Giving & Sharing site at: http://www.giveshare.org


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