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Why do you teach that true Christians should not observe Christian holidays such as Easter and Christmas?

We have published several pieces of literature on this misunderstood topic, including a booklet, titled, “Don’t Keep Christmas,” and an Editorial, in Update #89, on the celebration of Easter.

In this Q&A, we would like to include several additional reasons, which clearly prove that it is absolutely WRONG for a true Christian to celebrate these holidays. These additional reasons are adopted from Professor Philippe Walter’s book, “Christianity–the Origins of a Pagan Religion,” copyright 2003, 2006. Walter is professor of medieval French literature, and has published numerous books on the Middle Ages. In his above-cited book, Walter makes several startling statements about the real origins of Easter and Christmas, as well as their customs.

It has been well-known that Halloween was originally referred to as “Samhain” (compare our Q&A on Halloween). It is celebrated today by the Roman Catholic Church on November 1 as “All Saints’ Day.” That is the time, according to pagan belief, “when the beings of the Otherworld have temporary permission to visit the living and is also the moment when the living gain furtive access to the Otherworld” (Walter, page 35). Walter explains that pagans believed in the Otherworld “as a place of choice for ghosts and is primarily the world of fairies” (page 36).

Less known, however, is the fact that certain rites and customs, which are celebrated on Christmas and Easter, have the same pagan origin of a supernatural belief in ghosts and fairies that leave the Otherworld on those days to visit the living.

Walter explains on page 52:

“For Christians, Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus… The commemoration of Christ’s birth on December 25 resulted from seasonal and mythological associations to pagan beliefs that are older than Christianity.”

Walter continues to explain the pagan belief that by the end of December and on “New Year’s Day” (January 1), “fairies… enter the homes of those who worship them… One must take pains to prepare the meal that should be offered to them in a clean and isolated room… the meal with fairies is also held at the birth of certain predestined children. This is why fairies show up on the night of the birth of heroes… Thus it seems entirely natural to fix the Nativity of Christ on this night of the Mothers (or night of the fairies) on which the birth of profane heroes was already celebrated. The setting of Christmas on December 25 seems a clear association with the pagan custom of attaching the fairy repast to the birth of an exceptional individual” (Walter, pages 55-56).

Walter asks the question whether “the Midnight Mass [which is celebrated on Christmas in the middle of the night] supplanted the pagan rite of a communion meal with beings from the Otherworld. The common presence of bread and wine both in the fairies’ meal and in the rite of Christian Communion serves to underscore a reference to the same sacred rite” (page 55).

Walter also points out the seeming incongruity between Judaism and orthodox Christianity, when Christians slaughter pigs and eat their flesh, including on Christmas. He states on pages 93-94: “… the saint [Saint Anthony] has always been depicted accompanied by one of these animals. It is indeed quite paradoxical to see a pig accompanying a saint of Paradise, for the Bible and the Koran have found no virtue in this animal and have saddled it with the most extreme taboos. As heir to the Hebrew scriptures, Christianity should have followed Judaism on this point, yet it did not… Merlin is accompanied by piglets, and these animals become the seer’s confidants… in making Saint Anthony a guardian of swineherds, Christianity was merely transferring the old beliefs of Indo-European paganism.”

Walter continues to explain, beginning on page 60, that “Santa Claus.. is simply the good natured avatar of a mythical figure… the beneficent… fairy figure from the Otherworld who periodically visits men to give them gifts.”

Regarding “Saint Nicholas,” whose day is sometimes celebrated on December 6, but who “merged” with Santa Claus into one personage, Walter states on page 67:

“The folklore of Santa Claus (who became Father Christmas) pushes to the forefront Saint Nicholas’s connection to the Otherworld. Indeed, Nicholas is a genie of passage.”

He concludes, on page 72: “Christmas clearly belongs to an enchanted time that allows the Otherworld to break into and enter the human world.”

Walter reaches the same conclusions regarding the celebration of Easter. He points out on pages 100-101:

“Easter can be understood as a date marking an intense circulation between the Otherworld and the human world… The Easter Bunny, for example, is a springtime reincarnation of [a mystical figure] and belongs among the host of magical animals that haunted the medieval imagination… its mystical role is much older than Christian civilization, for it can be found in ancient Buddhist and Chinese mythology. According to these myths, a rabbit lives on the moon, were he prepares food of immortality. Easter eggs seem analogous to this food… The druids of an earlier era also believed in the magical power of the egg…”

On page 122, Walter explains:

“Easter was thus a Christianized version of a double tradition: It constituted a Christian reply to the Jewish Passover and gave a Christian dimension to the great Celtic myths of passage to the Otherworld.”

The reasons, then, why true Christians must abstain from the observance of holidays such as Christmas and Easter, are manifold. Firstly, God told us not to worship Him in the way the pagans worshipped their gods, by adopting pagan customs and incorporating them in our worship. Deuteronomy 12:30-31 tells us:

“… take heed to yourself… 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 the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods…”

In addition, we have seen that many of those pagan customs are DIRECTLY related to the superstitious belief in spirits, ghosts, fairies and demons, who–according to that belief–leave the Otherworld and visit the living on certain days, including on the days of Christmas and Easter. These spirits are clearly demonical in nature, and Paul tells us that we must not have anything to do with demons and avoid them at all costs. He tells us NOT to observe religious rites, which are derived from pagan worship, so that we do not come in contact with demons. Note 1 Corinthians 10:20-22:

“… the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?”

This warning is far too serious than to be ignored!

Lead Writer: Norbert Link