Many of the current “Christian” Holi-days have their origins in ancient pagan feasts that were ushered in by Romanism early in it’s history. The Roman Emperor, Constantine was a pagan sun-worshipper who supposedly had a “spiritual experience.” Romanism used this authority to pollute the truth beginning in the 3rd century with various practices of sun-worshipping paganism. The following are a few of those.
Author’s note: I encourage you to do your own research on the origins and meanings behind the word “Holi.” (Holy) In a few words, I found that it is not a word to use in association with The True Creator, Yahwah as depicted in The Scriptures; Genesis – Revelation. In fact, it is a word associated with Hindu mighty ones and is celebrated annually in their version of “good triumphing over evil.” For these and other reasons, I refrain from it’s use. (Exodus 23:13)
Early believers kept the Seventh day as the Sabbath (gathering day) until March 7, 321 CE when Emporer / Pope Constantine passed a law requiring believers to worship on Sunday, the day the pagans worshipped the sun-god. True Believers still kept the Seventh day as the Sabbath until another law was passed eleven years later. This law signed into decree by Pope Constantine forbid believers to worship on the Seventh day (Sabbath) being punishable by death! Many believers were burned to death for their commitment to the Commandments in the Scriptures and for keeping with the Sabbath on the Seventh Day! Research it for yourself! The True Sabbath has NOT been changed, according to the Scriptures! (See article on “Catholic Quotes…” and “Names of the Days of the week”)
Did you ever wonder what the basis is for using eggs and bunnies to celebrate Easter? Ishtar or Astarte or Euostre or finally “Easter”, also known as Semiramis, the widow of Nimrod, is referred to in the Scriptures as the “queen of heaven.”(Jeremiah 44:17-25) She is the bare breasted pagan fertility goddess of the east. Legend has it that she came out of heaven in a giant egg, landing in the Euphrates river at sunrise (the first sunrise service?) on the first Sunday after the vernal equinox, busted out, and turned a bird into an egg laying rabbit!!! Now THAT takes a lot of imagination! :>) According to some (unverified) sources, the priests of Easter would then sacrifice infants (human babies) and take the eggs of Easter and die them in the blood of the sacrificed infants (human babies). This process was orchestrated so that the Easter eggs would hatch on December 25th, the same day her son Tammuz the reincarnated sun-god would be born…how convenient?!
In second century Europe, the predominate spring festival was a raucous Saxon fertility celebration in honor of the Saxon Goddess Eastre (Ostara), whose sacred animal was a hare. As it happened, the pagan festival of Eastre occurred at the same time of year as the observance of the Resurrection of Messiah. Therefore it was decided to alter the festival itself and attempt to make it a Christian celebration. The early name, Eastre, was eventually changed to its modern spelling, Easter.
Prior to A.D. 325, Easter was variously celebrated on different days of the week, including Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. In that year, the Council of Nicaea was convened by Emperor Constantine. (There is that name again!) The Council issued the Easter Rule which states that Easter shall be celebrated on the first Sunday that occurs after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox. (Another attempt to replace the True Scriptural observances of Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread and First-Fruits!).
All Saints’ Day was followed by All-Souls’ Day, November 2, unless that was a Sunday then it was November 3, this was another Roman adaptation of pagan festivals for the dead. Prayers for the dead are an integral part of the traditional All Saint’s Day services, which are scheduled in Catholic churches on November 1, and on the next Sunday. Halloween gets its name from the Catholic holi-day, it is a Hallowed evening, because it precedes All Hallows’ Day, thus: Hallow’en. Halloween is a pagan holiday to honor the dead and evil spirits. In the Scriptures, we are warned not to take part in customs and traditions such as these. All Scripture quotes are KJV unless otherwise noted and the True Names of THE Creator, as I understand them; Yahwah and HIS Son, Yahusha have been inserted instead “Lord, GOD, Jesus”, etc)
“…take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise. You shall not worship (YAHWAH) your (Elohim) in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.“Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.” Deuteronomy 12:30-32
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:11(Thus, this article!)
Halloween is a perfect example of what these passages are referring to. Pagans served their gods by honoring the evil spirits on Halloween. They did this by dressing up like the evil spirits and giving offerings to the evil spirits. This is also where the practice of giving out candy came from; because they gave offerings to the evil spirits. The phrase “trick or treat” is attributed to this practice because pagans believed the evil spirits would do something bad (a trick) to them if they did not leave an offering (a treat) for them.
We often think of Thanksgiving as an American holiday, begun by the Pilgrims in Plymouth in 1621. In reality on that day in 1621 that particular event was just the first observance of Thanksgiving Day in the New World! Thanksgiving, in the guise of the pagan harvest festivals, can be traced right back to ancient Babylon and the worship of Semiramis!
The pagans in Rome celebrated their thanksgiving in early October. The holiday was dedicated to the goddess of the harvest, Ceres, and the holiday was called Cerelia. The Roman Catholic church incorporated the pagan holi-day and it became well established in England, where some of the pagan customs and rituals for this day were observed long after the Roman Empire had disappeared.
“In England the “Harvest Home” has been observed continuously for centuries. The custom was to select a harvest queen for this holiday. She was decorated with the grain of their fields and the fruit of their trees. On Thanksgiving Day she was paraded through the streets in a carriage drawn by white horses. This was a remnant of the Roman ceremonies in honor of Ceres…the Pilgrims brought the “Harvest in” to Massachusetts.” (Little, Brown & Company, Boston, 1953. Pgs 159-160)
There certainly is NOT anything wrong with giving thanks to our Creator for HIS goodness to us! However, to replace HIS Set-Apart Days (i.e. The Scriptural observance of Tabernacles) with an observance that inculcates pagan practices is to put one at odds with the very Creator responsible for the harvest!
A “winter solstice” observance (our December 25th or thereabouts) was celebrated by pagan sun-worshippers for thousands of years before the Messiah was born. It all started (as recorded by tradition and the Scriptures) during the building of the tower of Babel. Nimrod (Genesis 10:9-10) supervised the operation and supposedly, was called the sun-god and worshipped as such. Then a prophet of the Most High killed him and cut his body into pieces and scattered those pieces all across the land. Ishtar or Astarte or Euostre or finally “Easter”, also known as Semiramis, the widow of Nimrod, is referred to in the Scriptures as the “queen of heaven.”(Jeremiah 44:17-25) She claimed to be impregnated by the rays of the sun (Nimrod) and later had a son by the name of Tammuz (Ezekiel 8:14) who had a miraculous birth on December 25th. All of the pagan sun-worshippers celebrated the birthday of the reincarnated sun-god Tammuz on December 25th. Scripture is very clear that believers in the Truth of YAH’S Word are not to participate in these types of observances: “ The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger. 19Do they provoke Me to anger?” says (YAHWAH) “Do they not provoke themselves, to the shame of their own faces?”Jeremiah 7:18-19
The passage above is stating Yahwah’s obvious displeasure with practices that are in opposition to HIS Word. Let’s move on and read another passage from Scripture.
“Thus says (Yahwah): “Do not learn the way of the Gentiles ( those considered the ungodly at that time); Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, For the Gentiles are dismayed at them. For the customs of the peoples are futile; For one cuts a tree from the forest, The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They decorate it with silver and gold; They fasten it with nails and hammers So that it will not topple.” Jeremiah 10:2-4
Sound familiar? This passage is obviously referring to a practice of those who were not considered followers of Yahwah. Is the prophet referring to a “christmas tree?” Well, there certainly are similarities! A quick internet search using the terms associated with the celebration of this season will reveal that their origins are anything but righteous and have nothing to do with birth of Yahusha, the True MESSIAH! Actually it is fascinating to realize those entities whose births were on December 25th! For example, Isis (Egyptian god), Mithra (Babylonian sun god) and of course Tammuz, the son of the queen of heaven!
Pagans in Rome celebrated the evening of February 14th and February 15th as an idolatrous and immoral festival in honor of Lupercus “the hunter of wolves”. It was not until the reign of Pope Gelasius that the holiday became a “Christian” custom. ” The Encarta Encyclopedia states that it is “a holiday that probably derives from the ancient Roman feast of Lupercalis.” From Edna Barth’s book “The Story of Valentine Symbols” we read “St. Valentine’s name was given to the festival of Lupercalia in the 5th century.” In his book “The Valentine, and it’s Origins” by Frank Staff, we learn how the ancient church fathers at Rome used syncretism; the mixture of so-called truth and abject error, to win converts from among pagans…” As for “Cupid” the strange little cherub, who shoots arrows at people, it’s name means; “desire!” According to Funk/Wagnall’s Encyclopedia, the Greek counterpart is “Eros”, the god of love, son of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty” who presided over their drunken orgies and multiple day celebrations! Do your own study of this so called holiday and it’s association to Lupercalia as well as their similarities to “Mardi Gra!” I’m sure that you will be shocked at what you find! It might make you think before you encourage your little boy or little girl to participate in the tradition of being matched up with a child of the opposite sex through the exchanging of “Be my Valentine” cards…
THE Scriptural Set-Apart DAYS
In comparison to those observances listed above, the Scriptures explicitly command Yahwah’s people to observe HIS Sabbaths and HIS FEASTS in Leviticus 23. (See related articles on The Spring, Summer and Fall Feasts) Though much of Christianity today chooses to ignore this command, believing that these were ONLY for the people of Israel, the Scriptures do not support this notion. Yahusha observed the 7th day Sabbath and the Scriptural Feasts. The first disciples continued to observe them, even after HIS death and resurrection, and so did professing believers in Yahwah up to the 3rd century, as stated above. Now that you’ve read this brief synopsis, you too are faced with the same choice as those early believers; to follow YAH’S ways according to HIS Word or to continue in man’s ways according to man’s tradition. Yahwah’s special Days/Feasts give great insight into HIS Plan for the Redemption of mankind. Man’s traditional observances are based, to a great degree upon Bablyonian, Egyptian, Greecian and Roman paganism and actually detour people AWAY from the Truth of YAH’S Word. The choice is yours! People just like you, all over the world, are waking up to the Truth of The Word! HE is accomplishing exactly what HE had promised to do in the last days! You may be a part of that process as you read HIS Word and come to realize the deception of man’s traditions! May you hear HIS Voice and come out of the bondage of man-made religion and begin to walk in HIS Truth!
It is written in 2Cor 6:16-18)
“And what agreement has the temple of YAH with idols? For you are the temple of the living EL. As Yahwah has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their EL, and they shall be My people.Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says Yahwah. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, Says YAHWAH ELOHIM.” NKJV
And in Jeremiah 51:6-7
Flee from the midst of Babylon, And every one save his life! Do not be cut off in her iniquity, For this is the time of YAH’S vengeance; He shall recompense her.
Babylon was a golden cup in the YAH’S hand, That made all the earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; Therefore the nations are deranged.
And finally in Revelation 18:4-5
And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and ELOHIM has remembered her iniquities.”
Our Prayer is that you are a lover of Truth! And that this small effort has been used by our Master to prick your conscience enough for you to dig deeper in HIS Word and follow HIM according to HIS Truth!