I don’t know about you, but when I first became a Christian, I started wondering about what all these holidays were really for. I’m recording this in October of 2021, and we’re coming into Halloween and Halloween is the start of the “holiday season.” So, I thought I’d talk about some of the different holidays and what they mean, where they come from, and what they’re about; but especially whether or not they’re actually Christian holidays.
Of course, Halloween is not a Christian holiday. Halloween originally a Celtic festival called Samhain (pronounced “Sowin”).
After the Romans conquered the Celts, they made November 1 All Saints Day to recognize the saints of the Catholic religion. I would argue to say that those saints that are recognized on that day would be telling everybody not to recognize them, but to recognize Jesus. There really should be no All Saints Day. But they did do it to combat Halloween, which is definitely a pagan festival.
Halloween was really a celebration of the end of summer and the beginning of winter, the time when things were dying.
It was a fertility festival generally, where people would go out and have sex in the fields, thinking that they would help to fertilize the fields for the next year’s crop. That’s what the whole thing was about. And that’s what Christianity was trying to push against, because it was a very sexually immoral festival, to put it lightly.
And of course, Halloween really isn’t much of a Christian holiday, but it kind of starts off the holiday season, doesn’t it?
After that we’ve got Thanksgiving, which is also not necessarily a Christian holiday: That’s a Puritan holiday. That’s a holiday that we have in America, but I don’t think most of the rest of the world celebrates it.
Thanksgiving is actually from the Puritans when they first came to America, and they sat down and had a feast with the Native American Indians to celebrate they’re coming together as a people.
And of course, us Westerners then completely ruined the Native American heritage, which was terrible.
What do we do on Christmas? On Christmas, we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, that’s December 25 every year. But it’s interesting because Christmas has its origins in replacing several Roman pagan festivals.
I also find that interesting because it was the Roman conquest of the Celts that made All Saints Day to Combat Halloween. And it was the Christian Christmas that replaced Roman pagan festivals.
It’s estimated that Christ actually was not born in the winter: It’s much more likely that he was born in the fall. The reason for that is that most people during that time were farmers because farming was a huge commodity.
And what do farmers do in the winter? Well, almost nothing. What else are they going to do other than have kids? So, there were a lot of kids that were conceived during the wintertime and then born the following fall.
But we don’t say that Jesus Christ was born on the 25th of December, We just celebrate December 25 as the day he was born. The whole thing about giving gifts really is a distortion of what Jesus preached. Because remember, Jesus preached that were to give freely of what we have. Giving was big among Christians and much about giving can be found in the book of Acts. And Jesus was very much about giving freely from what we had.
Then the commercial people turned that into: Spend a bunch of money that you don’t have on gifts and go into debt, unfortunately.
Another Christian holiday is Easter. But actually, Easter has its origins in Babylonian culture and the worship of another pagan god. However, we can say that the time of Easter is when Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected. So, it’s actually one of the few “Christian” holidays that has a Biblical basis.
Christmas has no Biblical basis. In fact, if we want to be specific, there is no Biblical basis for any single holiday for Christians. The only thing that Jesus ever said for us to do was communion, and that’s not a holiday.
Luke 22:19. And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
Communion is the only thing that we’re supposed to be doing in remembrance of Jesus. We’re not supposed to have Christmas or Easter.
If you really want to unpack it, Jesus died on the cross at Easter time, which is actually the time of the Jewish Passover. Jewish Passover was when they sacrificed lambs in remembrance of the first Passover, when the angels came, and it was one of the plagues that was given to Egypt.
If we’re not supposed to have these Christian holidays, and these Christian holidays actually aren’t anywhere in the Bible, then what are we supposed to be doing?
Well, if we look at Jesus life, and we see it as Jesus showing us how we should be living, then we as Christians should still be observing Jewish holidays and Jewish traditions.
Luke 22:7-8. Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.”
Jesus made it so that we didn’t have to do sacrifices anymore. But there’s nothing in the life of Jesus that says that we are not supposed to celebrate the Jewish holidays and feasts anymore.
In fact, Jesus celebrated the Jewish feasts every year; all three years of his life recorded in the Bible, it shows that he did that.
Wouldn’t that mean that we should be doing that ourselves as well? So next holiday, take a look at why you’re celebrating the holidays. And maybe look at the Jewish feasts and the Jewish holidays instead, because that’s what Jesus showed us that we should be doing.