First of all, when I refer to the holidays, I am not just referring to Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, but all big holidays. This includes Easter and Halloween too. Sorry Earth Day, we’ll have to recycle you for another list.
HALLOWEEN IS NOT A PAGAN HOLIDAY
Have you ever went up to a stranger on the street or someone at work in October and said, “Happy Halloween” only for them to reply, “I don’t celebrate that day, it is the Devil’s holiday”. Wow, thanks for raining on my whole day and calling me a Satanist while you’re at it! I am not even one of those Anton LaVey/Ayn Rand Satanists either! Evidently I worship the universal symbol of evil and corruption in the hope that somehow when I die Lucifer will make my afterlife a little less “Helly”.
In 2005 The National Confectioners Association reported that 80 percent of adults in the United States planned to give out candy to trick-or-treaters, and that 93 percent of children, teenagers, and young adults planned to go trick-or-treating or participating in other Halloween activities. So, to make this perfectly clear 93% of the US unknowingly celebrate a day dedicated to Ol’ Scratch himself? Somehow though, a few people in that 7% range know the truth? Well, I think you might want to visit a few sites on the Internet that has like minded people there. Try Googling “9/11 Conspiracies” and “The Illuminati”.
Now I visited a few online sites and talked to few people who believe the whole Devil-Halloween connection and mentioned these issues with their theory. Some told me that despite the origins it has been “adopted” by pagans, witches and Satanists. Someone call the FBI! My holiday has been stolen! Even Carmen Sandiego would have trouble with this one! But, pagans, witches, Wiccans and, yes, Satanists too, celebrate a variant of each holiday including Christmas (Yule Time, Winter Solstice, etc.) and Easter (I’m a saving up for this one). Does that mean we have to get all Puritan and reject all the holidays?
HALLOWEEN IS A CHRISTIAN HOLIDAY!
Accept it. Deal with it. That goes for everyone who wants it to be pagan as well. Not only is it Christian, it is specifically Catholic. Yes, some traditions come from older pagan traditions, but ALL of the major holidays borrowed from older traditions.
It is simple to make the connection. In the days of old, people observed their holidays on the day of the holiday and began the celebrations on the evening before. This is a reference to Genesis in the bible, “And there was evening, and there was morning – the first day.” Not to be confused with Genesis the Device.
So many holidays had evening celebrations including – ALL SAINTS DAY. Halloween is the evening celebration of All Saints Day. A day to celebrate the ridiculous amount of Saints there are - all of them. Let’s break it down for you: All Saints Day is also called All Hallows Day. This began its celebrations on All Hallows Evening or Hallow’een or Halloween. There you go! Catholic. If you don’t like it, take it up with the Pope.
The American Expansion during the 19th Century can be blamed for some of the confusion. New towns with small populations were sprouting up faster than kudzu. Some towns had no more than 500 people and yet had 5 or more denominations fighting for the flock. Protestants, Baptists, Lutherans, Catholics and the occasional Cthulhu-style cult all fighting for control of the populace. Eventually someone took note of some of the kids dressing as monsters and thought, “It must be the work of the Devil!” This gets past down from pastor to pastor and then, even today, there’s someone saying, “I don’t celebrate that day, it is the Devil’s holiday”.
EASTER HAS MORE PAGAN TRADITIONS ASSOCIATED WITH IT THAN HALLOWEEN AND CHRISTMAS COMBINED!
Ah, Spring is in the air! Butterflies are Butterflying, birds are chirping and ancient Anglo-Saxon Goddesses are flying through the air via winged fairies looking like a cross between the evil Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and the Blair Witch. Yikes!
Easter Eggs, Easter Bunnies, Easter Baskets, Easter Bonnets. Not even Nike gets name brand recognition like this! But what do any of these things have to do with the resurrection of the Son of the Christian God? Not much truth be told. Resurrection – yes, Jesus – nope. The egg has always been a symbol of life and birth. I mean, it’s kind of obvious why. Just watch Return to Oz on DVD! The ancient Zoroastrians New Year was called Nowruz, which falls on the Spring equinox. Sculptures on the walls of Persepolis (the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire) show people carrying painted eggs for Nowruz to the king. Nothing mentions the King’s bowel movements or odiferous popularity later.
Christian however painted the eggs red to represent blood! The blood of Christ specifically. I’m just going to leave that there. There is just way to much symbolism in bloody eggs we do not need to address.
Birth and rebirth customs go back to ancient Egyptian times or more than 3,000 years ago, but the name Easter, well, that more than anything else is what makes the holiday so much more Pagan somehow. In fact, some denominations prefer the term Resurrection Day or Resurrection Sunday. Why? Well, remember that scary Pagan Goddess? That is where the word Easter comes from! Her name was Ēostre or Ostara. It the only Christian holiday actually named for something Pagan! Ēostre had the super power to turn herself into a hare! Close enough I suppose to a bunny. Wouldn’t you agree?
Christians had already for quite some time associated hares with Christendom, but that had more to do with a complete misunderstanding of mammalian biology than anything else. They believed that hares were able to reproduce so well because they were hermaphrodites and subject to virginal birth. Yup. Peter Cottontail is a metaphor for Jesus. As well as Peter’s dozens of brothers and sisters. Truth be told, by a phenomenon is known as superfetation, hares can get pregnant again while still pregnant with another litter! Take that Octomom!
WE KISS UNDER THE MISTLETOE TO CELEBRATE MURDER!
Kissing under the mistletoe should be romantic. It should not conjure images of plunging a battleaxe into your loved ones chest like Gimli the Dwarf on bath salts! We can thank the Norseman for this festive and somewhat disturbing Yuletide tradition. According to legend a prediction was made that the god Balder the Great would soon be slain. Frigg, Balder’s mother naturally “Frigged-out”. She did what any god being would do under these circumstances, she asked everything on Earth, plants, rocks, the air, animals, people, etc. not hurt Balder. Oddly enough, what sounds like it could have come out of a Disney/Muppet joint venture – it worked! The only problem was she forgot to ask the lowly mistletoe.
After a quite a bit of mead was ingested, the gods of Asgard decided to have some fun with Balder’s new and awesome superpower. They began to throw all kinds of things at him, from pebbles to Thor’s axes. All would bounce off or divert their course due to their “promise” to Frigg. Now, you cannot have a good Norse god story without the troublesome half-god Loki! Loki was peeved because he was not invited to party and chose to get revenge. He managed to weasel the info away from Frigg on the mistletoe mishap by transforming himself into a stranger. This works because; evidently Asgard gets a lot of guests. He then magically transforms a mistletoe branch into an arrow. Hey, if Rumpelstiltskin can weave thread into gold, why not make a mistletoe arrow!
As if to say, “I can be a bigger jerk yet”, Loki convinces the blind god Hod to shoot the arrow! He volunteers to steer the arrow for Hod. The arrow hits its mark and kills Balder. In honor of this insanity, we are told to embrace under the mistletoe which eventually became kissing.
MANY ST. PATRICK’S DAY TRADITIONS – NOT IRISH!
Hmm, corned beef and cabbage. Although I do have some Irish heritage myself, I didn’t learn to like this classic tradition until I was well into my 20’s. I guess it did help that I was also German and pungent foods were not new to me. Little did I know, this classic St. Patty’s tradition is American! Ye old Irish ancestors used pork ya know! But corned beef was cheaper and more widely available.
St. Patrick’s Day of course is Irish. Wouldn't it be great to actually go to Ireland to see a traditional St. Patrick’s Day parade? Too bad for you since St. Patrick’s Day parades are, once again, an American tradition!
On March 17, 1762, Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City. Along with their music, the parade helped the soldiers reconnect with their Irish roots, as well as with fellow Irishmen serving in the English army.
THANKSGIVING MYTHS YOU THOUGHT WERE TRUE!
After fried chicken, Thanksgiving turkey is my favorite food in the world. Trust me; I like a lot of foods! In my old hometown of Baltimore I could walk to any number of international cuisines. But Thanksgiving dinner beats most of them hands down. I’d stuff myself silly and then that L-tryptophan would kick in and knock my ass out! Stupid L-tryptophan! I’ll never make it through a game! Unless you didn’t read this articles title, you must have figured out there is an issue with this assumption. For one, chicken has more L-tryptophan in it! Yes, an essential amino acid with a documented sleep inducing effect, L-tryptophan in high does can make you sleepy. But, there isn’t enough to even affect you at all. It is the carbs, the effort of putting dinner together, and stress and a little drinky, drinky that contributes more to that Tyson (turkeys, get it?) knock out.
CHRISTMAS WASN’T MADE COMERCIALIZED BY MODERN CAPITALISM, IT WAS ALWAYS LIKE THAT!
If someone today said, "There are worlds of money wasted, at this time of year, in getting things that nobody wants, and nobody cares for after they are got," you might nod your head in agreement while reminiscing about day gone by when Christmas wasn’t run by evil corporations like Walmart and Toys R Us. You must be pretty ancient gramps. Those words were spoken by Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1850. Christmas always was a time of holiday chaos and excess. Take that Dickens!
Think about it… When was the last time you whittled a toy train or knitted a sweater for someone? For a long time now, our self interests have outweighed our ability to create vs. our capability to buy. ‘Tis the season!
Every generation for the last 250 years tends to think it was only in the last generation that it got commercialized. - Stephen Nissenbaum, an emeritus professor of history at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
The History Channel. http://www.history.com/minisite.do?content_type=mini_home&mini_id=1076
Spooky Halloween: Customs, Traditions and History. Hal Siemer (May 2006). Quest Magazine. http://www.questmagazine.com/library_halloween.html
American Select Top "Trick-or-Treat Travel Destinations , National Confectioners Association, 2006. http://www.candyusa.org/Media/Seasonal/Halloween/pr_2006_release.asp
The History Channel. http://www.history.com/topics/history-of-easter
The Eostre Hares and Pagan Easter. http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/easter/qt/EostreHare.htm
The Death of Balder. http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/norsegodspictures/a/baldersdeath.htm
INDEPENDENCE DAY SOURCES
The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/top-5-myths-about-...