Every Christmas tradition is pagan in origin

By Gerald McWilliams | 27 November 2019
The Atheist Experience and The Non-Prophets – Fans

(Photo by Arun Kuchibhotla on Unsplash)

Christmas Tree: It is a 17th-century, pagan, German tradition, of bringing greenery into the home, as a symbol of the spring yet to come.

Yule Log & Mistletoe: The Celts and Gaels burned logs as a druidic solstice ceremony to cleanse the past year and welcome the new. And they gathered mistletoe for the festival of Alban Arthuan (or Yule) ~ First described in writing by Roman historian Pliny the Elder (Gaius Plinius Secundus AD 23 – August 25, AD 79).

Father Christmas or Santa Claus: He is a mashup of the tale of the Turkish Saint Nicholas and the German, Kris Kringle or the Dutch, Sinterklaas.

Midwinter festivals: “If you happen to live in a region in which midwinter brings striking darkness and cold and hunger, then the urge to have a celebration at the very heart of it to avoid going mad or falling into deep depression is very, very strong.” ~ Ronald Hutton, a historian at Bristol University.

Christmas Day: The Bible gives no reference to when Jesus was born. It was marked on at least three different dates: 29 March, 6 January, and sometime in June. It wasn’t until Pope Julius I, in 340 AD, who moved it to 25 December. This was conveniently used to convert pagans, since it coincided with two major pre-Christian festivals: Roman Bacchanalia, or Saturnalia, and various Yule celebrated by the Norse, Gaels, & Celts.

Stockings and Gift-Giving: A mashed up tradition of St. Nicholas tossing coins down the chimney of the needy families and of setting out shoes with hay in so Odin’s horse Sleipnir would leave them treats.

Caroling: It started in Victorian England, every holiday had door-to-door singing well-wishers.

Every, single, Christmas tradition was taken from a pagan tradition or religion. For fun, read about Isis & Horus; Devaki & Krishna; and Anahita & Mithra…all which predate Christianity, and detail immaculate births of a savior. And, 16th Century Protestants in England and New
England even forbade celebrating the holiday.




Reprinted with permission from the author.

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The Origin of Christmas

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  1. what most people aren't understanding here is the timeline. All these traditions were happening WAY BEFORE Christianity was even invented. The Christians took the pagan gods and turned them into 'saints' and used the pagan holiday dates to create their own holidays. At the end of the article they talk about Isis, Osiris and Ra (thousands of years older than Christianity) and their story has been weirdly revamped by the church to be Mary, Jesus and Joseph.

    • While many repeat that Christianity is simply a copy of Egyptian religion and gods, this doesn't turn out to be historically accurate. There are virtually no biblical scholars (including atheist ones) who accept this mythical view. Just because there are similarities (such as gods being male and female and having children) does not mean one story was taken from another. But you certainly can look for common meaning.

  2. And all of it is symbolism, light, trees, saints, Isis, Osiris, Ra, stars, virgin/ or young maiden birth etc. It's not literal, but symbolic, and many of the early church took these ideas and used them to signify the idea of 'holiness' & closeness to God. Fundamentalists, of whom Evangelicals usually are a part, believe it all literally, or most of it. Progressive/modernist Christians do not take it all literally. The use of pagan elements was quite deliberate and strategic to 'win' converts to the (then) newer Christian religion.Difference being the teachings of Jesus were unique in his time/place and highly unusual for the Judaism of his time in the midst of the Roman Empire.

  3. This gets trotted out every year … it doesn’t negate Jesus. You can make the point that the festivities predate Christians’ appropriation of the practices. Jesus was not born in December, the timing does not square w/ the biblical record — church fathers saw that people would not cease the winter festivities, though, so they were appropriated, re-branded and re-purposed. Birthday celebration itself is a pagan / non-biblical practice.

    My point: Jesus is everything He says He is, and He never said He’s the Reason for this season. The assertion ‘the traditions are pagan in origin’, then, is a shoulder-shrugger.

    When He says “I Am the Truth and the Light, no one comes to the Father except by me”, He has every right to make that assertion. We accept or reject that one at our peril.

    • Your comment about who Jesus is and that according to the Bible, no one comes to the Father but through Him is exactly right. Most of the Christmas traditions are pagan, but to reject His gift of salvation, is to do so at our eternal peril.

    • I guess you missed the whole “Horus, et. al.” predated Jesus point that was made in the article.

      I grew out of Christianity as I began to learn how the world works. Religion is a tool that’s used to keep the masses from tearing each other apart. Prison isn’t a good enough deterrent to committing murder and other crimes, but have a all powerful, all seeing deity promising eternal damnation and they (mostly) fall into line.

      I’d much rather have Christmas turned back into a pagan celebration because at least most of these rituals refer to a Mother Earth. She’s being molested and tortured currently and all of the “God fearing” politicians—the ones that violate most of the commandments—continue to let it happen while laughing to the bank as the poor simultaneously multiply and die off.

    • Well said Tom! So what if those traditions were Christianized. They might have never become so popular staying connected with only paganism. How about the bloody wars fought under Communism? Nothing Religious about them.

  4. Carol singing pre-dates the Victorian age, it took place on 12th night rather than advent or Christmas. Villagers would walk/dance around the village singing carols and playing simple instruments,, usually simple chants rather than the carols we are familiar with now. They were led by the Lord of Misrule, one of the villagers who had been chosen to be “king for the night” and would knock on the doors of those who had not joined them, demanding “wassail”

  5. Please leave Christmas “alone “ Dec 25 has been celebrated for centuries as birth of Christ. If the true reason for the season is kept in mind, then it can remain one of the most sacred family celebration of the year. There can be no wrong in the celebration if one believes in Christianity

    • Dear Christian person please stop stealing our celebrations and fond your own dates, it’s a perfect sign on how fake Christianity is!!

    • Technically Jesus wasn’t even born on that date. Read the article. I’m not religious, stopped believing when I almost died from an anaphylactic shock, but Christmas is Pagan, so get over yourself.

  6. Please check your research. Some of your information is not correct. Christmas trees became a thing in the 16th century. Also Luther is credited with putting candles in them. The wreath, which meant different things to people in different times and places was adopted as a symbol of God’s love for humankind that that has no beginning or end.

  7. All very interesting, consider that our modern celebration of Christmas as a compromise that brought different groups of people and their different cultures closer together.
    We could go a long way to bring peace if we would celebrate our similar attributes and needs over our differences.
    I like my Christian Faith and see many similar points in many of the worlds belief systems, a world united can solve more issues than the divisions that exist today. Peace to you.

  8. The article contradicts the title. Santa Claus is shown to be of Christian origin as well as carols. And who exactly were the 17th century pagan Germans bringing in trees? By the 17th century Germany was quite Christian. There is more historical inaccuracy, but the main condemnation of pagan origin would not be much of one to the ancients who saw no problem with commonalities of tradition and gods. Perhaps the monotheistic obsession with religious purity should be thus condemned.

    • A generalized definition:
      If you don’t believe in heaven and hell, and you do not spend your time worrying about what happens after you take your last breath, you’re probably a Pagan. We are all born as Atheists, but most are brainwashed that we are sinners and that God will burn us in Hades as punishment!

  9. Belief in some kind of god is pagan. Not just celebrating the birth of some kind of messiah. People are afraid of dying. Losing friends and family. Religious beliefs allow them a false comfort. They will all meet again in some kind of heaven


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