May Day, Holy Day

For centuries, May Day has been a chief holiday for the peoples of Europe. While numerous groups claim May 1st as their holy day, I highlight three: the communists, the Illuminati, and the pagans. It is about these controversial segments of society that I wish to speak, highlighting the significance and origins of their shared holiday.

Before delving into details, I present an overview of this holiday as it relates to our three groups.

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May Day on Red Square

Overview

1. The holiest day on the communist calendar is May 1st, known as May Day or International Workers’ Day. May Day was selected by the communists as a day to animate the proletariat, or working class, to labor for the world revolution. The impetus for this holiday was the violent Haymarket Riot in Chicago in 1886. May Day is still an incredibly influential holiday with unmistakable communist overtones.

2. May Day is also the day the Order of Illuminati was founded in Bavaria in 1776. Adam Weishaupt deliberately founded this secret society on this day because of its occult significance. The Illuminati, in conjunction with sects of Freemasonry and Jewish revolutionary groups, formed an amalgam of evil that eventually spawned the communist movement in 1848. Communists celebrate May Day as their founding day not by happenstance, but precisely because it was the day the Illuminati Order was founded.

3. Additionally, May Day, more properly known as Beltane, is an ancient pagan holiday celebrated throughout Europe for centuries and still commemorated to this day. To pagans, it was the day that marked the return of the spring after the winter season. As such, Beltane was perhaps the most significant of the eight pagan Sabbats.

The Details

Paganism:

In their book Celebrate the Earth: A Year of Holidays in the Pagan Tradition, Laurie Cabot and Jean Mills – two avowed Witches – describe May Day thus:

“The word Beltane simply means “fire of Bel.” Bel is the “bright or shining one.” The Romans called him Belanos, but his roots can also be linked to Baal from Asia, which means “god.” In modern Irish, Beltane means May. In his honor, on the eve of May first, the ancient Celts set two large fires. . . .

“On Beltane, Witches celebrate the great fruitfulness of the Earth. In our rite we light a Beltane fire symbolically in a cauldron, using the sacred woods just as our ancestors did . . . In ritual we celebrate the union between the Great Mother and her young Horned God. Their coupling brings fresh new life on Earth, which we each experience in the exuberance of Spring.

“Beltane is the season to “go a-maying.” May, the fifth month in numerology, is a month of sensuality and sexual revitalization . . . On this day, couples may decide to live together for a year and a day to see if they can find a rich and loving life. After a year and a day they may decide to part company. This concept of “marriage” is an acceptable idea to the Craft” (Cabot and Mills, Celebrate the Earth, 141-142).

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Joyce and River Higginbotham, two practicing pagans, wrote an interesting book titled Paganism: An Introduction to Earth-Centered Religions. Inside, they discussed the various pagan Sabbats. This is what they noted about Beltane:

“Beltane (pronounced BELL-tain or bay-ALL-tin), also known as May Day, occurs on May 1, halfway between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. This is an exuberant holiday that celebrates sexuality, fertility, and the unfolding of spring. It is a time when the divine male and female energies come together in a union whose fruits are ourselves, our crops, and livestock. The month of May was set aside to honor this “divine marriage.” . . . .

“A well-known Beltane celebration is the Maypole dance. A pole, traditionally cut from a fir tree by young men, is topped with red and white streamers and a crown of flowers and placed into the ground. The pole, of course, is a phallic symbol, which represents the male aspects of divinity, and the streamers represent male fertility. The streamers are taken by two circles of dancers, one circle of which dances clockwise (or deosil) to represent the forces of life. The other circle dances counterclockwise (or widdershins) to represent the forces of death. Typically, one circle consists of young men and the other young women. As the dancers weave the streams in and out, they weave together the forces of life and death.

“Other celebrations of Beltane include wearing wreaths or crowns of flowers, the crowning of a May Queen, and the lighting of bonfires” (Joyce and River Higgenbotham, Paganism, 21).

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The classic depiction of Witches flying to meet Satan on Walpurgisnacht

These two sets of self-proclaimed pagan authors tell a similar tale. May 1st, Beltane, is an ancient pagan holiday designed to commemorate the god Bel, or, as is usually said, to commemorate the union of the divine male and female energies/deities. On the male side, the Horned God is venerated and, on the female side, Mother Earth, also called Gaia by other earth-worship cults, is worshiped.

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Beltane’s Horned God and the Goddess

In more practical terms, Beltane is the day chosen to mark the return of spring after its long winter hiatus. It was a time when the crop would be planted and the earth bloom into life. When you recall the pastoral, agricultural nature of ancient European societies, particularly the Celts, it makes sense why May Day would be a most sacred day.

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The Maypole

This pagan holiday was celebrated in many ways. Sexual excess and immorality is a hallmark of Beltane, as the authors cited admit. Even the Maypole, to many pagans, represents the phallus. Ancient pagans worshiped the phallus, erected obelisks in representation of the phallus, and make it an integral part of their worship. From the Jewish Kabbalah to Egyptian occultism to Hinduism to European paganism, the phallus is a pagan religious symbol. Combined with the female counterpart (often symbolized by the wreath straddling the Maypole), this union represented the epitome of life, fertility, and spirituality to pagans.

There is also a more obscure tradition wherein Maypoles are seen as conduits from the spirit world to the earth. Through these poles, spirits – more correctly, demons – could be released into the world. The dancers themselves are sometimes seen as the conduits for these spirit entities. The takeaway is that Beltane was and is one of the holiest of all the pagan holy days, a time to worship the pagan deities.

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Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan

May Day is also a significant date to professed Satanists. For instance, the Church of Satan was founded in San Francisco on Walpurgisnacht 1966 by the Jew Anton LaVey. Walpurgisnacht is an occult festival which begins on the night of April 30 and ends May 1. Of this night, lover of Anton LaVey and a high priestess in his church, said:

“So each of us has his or her assigned roles, shifting kaleidoscopically, as we progress through our lives . . . listen well to those demons within and never falter. It’s all part of the Devil’s game. On this night of wickedness and remembrance, may you continue to conjure forth as much satisfaction and indulgence in your role as I do in mine.”

In short, May Day’s origin is in the worship of the pagan god Bel. It has been a favorite holy day for Witches, pagans, and Satanists alike. It is a day of perversion and Satanic rituals, and a time of invoking dark forces from the netherworld. While most people innocently hand out flowers or dance around Maypoles, the high adepts of modern Satanism know the real meaning of this all-important pagan Sabbat.

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Walpurgis Night celebration

The Illuminati:

Another organization that understood the significance of May Day was the Illuminati. As noted, May 1, 1776 was the founding date of the Order of Illuminati. Established by the Jewish ex-Jesuit Adam Weishaupt in Bavaria, the Illuminati’s goal was to subjugate the world under its iron grip and to institute a global occult theocracy. May Day 1776 was, therefore, a Satanic declaration of war against mankind.

While a professor of canon law at Ingolstadt University, Weishaupt studied heavily in occultism. He “interrogated the Cabala” and all branches of pagan thought (John Robison, Proofs of a Conspiracy, 80). There seems little doubt that he became a committed convert of these evil philosophies. He founded the Illuminati in part to spread these “doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1).

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Baphomet statue, Detroit

Author J.R. Ledkins described the Illuminati’s goals in these words:

“The latter day manifestation of the secret combination, the whore of all the earth, the beast, the church of the devil, or whatever name is used, is in fact the Illuminati. . . .

“The objective of the Illuminati is to establish a one world government with Lucifer as its prince. Members of the Illuminati have literally sworn an oath to dethrone the Christ and to replace Christianity with pure Satanism. . . .

“The leaders of the Illuminati . . . are a small but very powerful group of international bankers. They have induced others into their order to include educationalists, economists, etc. These men have accepted the Luciferian doctrine of Adam Weishaupt” (Ledkins, Wherefore the Lord Commandeth You, 15, 41).

While there have been many groups that have sought to conquer the world or to spread Satanic doctrines, the Illuminati had a well-devised plan and organizational structure to accomplish this end. One of the leading experts on the Illuminati is Henry Makow. In his book, Illuminati: The Cult that Hijacked the World, Makow wrote:

“Deception is Satan’s way. The Illuminati literally are his servants. . . .

“The New World Order is an attempt to overthrow God and replace Him with Satan. It says black is white, evil is good. It creates a bogus reality designed to serve the few and enslave the many” (Makow, Illuminati, 17, 23).

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Today, the vast majority of so-called “experts” acknowledges the existence of the Illuminati, but claims that it was purged out of existence in the 1780s by the Bavarian government. In truth, the Illuminati – by the time the purges began – had thousands of agents spread throughout Europe and the United States operating under a myriad of disguises. As Henry Makow said, the Devil’s modus operandi is deception. His followers use deception and concealment at every turn and do most of their work through front movements.

In his worthy book The New World Order, author A. Ralph Epperson observed:

“[T]his conspiracy has, in the main, acted under the cover of concealment. They do not announce their plans before they occur. And they certainly do not announce their involvement after the planned event has occurred.

“Professor Adam Weishaupt boastfully stated that his organization would remain concealed from the eyes of the public. He wrote:

““The great strength of our Order lies in its concealment; let it never appear in any place in its own name, but always covered by another name, and another occupation.”

“He even told the world, in his writings, where he would conceal the Order:

““None is fitter than the three lower degrees of Free Masonry; the public is accustomed to it, expects little from it, and therefore takes little notice of it.”” (Epperson, The New World Order, 105-106).

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An early witness of the spread of this Satanic secret society is none other than George Washington. In an October 24, 1798 letter to G.W. Snyder, the Father of Our Country, wrote:

“It was not my intention to doubt that, the Doctrines of the Iluminati, and principles of Jacobinism had not spread in the United States. On the contrary, no one is more fully satisfied of this fact than I am.

“The idea I meant to convey, was, that I did not believe that the Lodges of Free Masons in this Country had, as Societies, endeavoured to propagate the diabolical tenets of the first, or the pernicious principles of the latter (if they are susceptible of seperation). That Individuals of them may have done it, and that the founder, or instrument employed to found, the Democratic Societies in the United States, may have had these objects—and actually had a seperation of the People from their Government in view, is too evident to be questioned.”

Indeed, it is “too evident to be questioned” that the Illuminati has propagated its doctrines in the United States and that it has done so partially under the guise of Freemasonry. This was clear to General Washington, and it ought to be even clearer to those of us with valuable historical hindsight. If anyone ever calls you a “conspiracy theorist” for believing that the Illuminati not only did not die in the Bavarian purges, but that it spread to the United States and is attempting to destroy our government, know that you are in good company.

Yes, the Order of Illuminati – a Satanic conspiracy bent on world domination through surrogate groups – was founded on May Day 1776. The fact that the pagan holy day Beltane was chosen by Weishaupt as the day in which to launch his conspiracy is no accident. It is fitting that the Illuminati, the Church of Satan, Witches, and pagans of all stripes all share a common holiday.

Communism:

When I lived in Russia as a missionary from 2006-2008, I saw parades, festivities, banners, and flags commemorating the all-important communist event known as May Day, or International Workers’ Day. This date is the time when the “workers of the world unite,” to steal a phrase from Karl Marx’s dreadful Communist Manifesto. International Workers’ Day was first celebrated on May 1, 1889. It was in commemoration of four workers who died in a riot in Chicago on May 4, 1886. And perhaps it is worthy of note that Karl Marx’s birthday is May 5.

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The Haymarket Riot, as it is known, was fomented by a group of disaffected workers. As most communist rallies do, violence soon reared its ugly head. When a rioter threw a bomb at police, police opened fire, killing four protesters. Seven policemen were also killed in the melee. Seven rioters were subsequently tried and executed for their involvement. This all-around tragic affair was used as a rallying point for the “labor” movement – a movement initiated by communists – across the globe.

Today, the violence associated with International Workers’ Day continues. On this very day in 2018 communists and their allies broke windows, threw firebombs, vandalized property, and caused chaos from Paris, France to Portland, Oregon. In London, protesters marched with portraits of Stalin. Everywhere May Day is celebrated by the “workers of the world,” communism and its symbols are sure to be found lurking nearby.

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It is not a coincidence that the communists chose May 1 as their holy day. It is a little-discussed truth that communism was spawned by the Order of Illuminati. Many early communists called themselves Spartacists, conjuring the image of Adam Weishaupt whose secret code name within the Illuminati was Spartacus.

The conspiracy that eventually morphed into communism was an amalgam of the Order of Illuminati, certain sects of Freemasonry, and various Jewish revolutionary groups. Together, this cabal professed a communistic dogma – an ideology that has remarkable continuity throughout the ages among Satanic secret societies. May Day being their holy day, it is no surprise that communists would commemorate this day.

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The caption reads: Long live the Socialist Revolution!

President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., a brilliant constitutionalist, a man who held many high-level positions within the U.S. government, and a respected religious leader, said this about communism in 1959:

“[W]e have the man [Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev] described by President McKay and commented upon so well, who in effect is the directing head of this whole great body of paganism in their ideology and in their non-belief in God. I think this is the first time in all history when God’s people have been faced with an organized paganism more or less guided and directed by one who denies God and says he is unconvertible from his atheism. . . .

“We get the impression that he has in mind that his Marxian ideology, and his atheism, shall gain control somehow and make of all of us the followers of his doctrines. . . .

“Now, let us have no illusions about this, brethren and sisters. The plan is really one of exterminating God and Christianity. . . .

“We do not have now a united front to this united paganism. We are still torn and divided among many sects. But the problem we face, if the plans of the Marxian paganism are carried out, is our extermination. . . .

“I cannot bring too strongly that here in the last days, paganism is under one head, and that head is guided by Satan himself” (President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Conference Report, October, 1959, 45-46).

Communism, though it officially professes atheism, is pure Satanism. It is “organized paganism.” This “Marxian paganism” has as its chief goal the “exterminating God and Christianity” and bringing the world under its totalitarian control.

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A Satanic ritual depicted in the movie Eyes Wide Shut

It is a fallacy of history to claim that the communist leaders were atheists. As I documented in my book A Century of Red, and again in my upcoming, about-to-be-released book Red Gadiantons: What the Prophets Have Taught about the Communist Secret Combination that Threatens Mankind, Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, Joseph Stalin, and other major Bolshevik kingpins were Satanists. In his phenomenal book Marx & Satan, Richard Wurmbrand also documented evidence for the Satanic connection between communism and the Father of Lies. In perhaps the most important statement of his book, he wrote:

“It is essential at this point to state emphatically that Marx and his comrades, while anti-God, were not atheists, as present-day Marxists claim to be. That is, while they openly denounced and reviled God, they hated a God in whom they believed. They challenged not His existence, but His supremacy” (Wurmbrand, Marx & Satan, 29).

Like their Illuminati forefathers, communists are the modern high priests of Lucifer’s counterfeit religion. They are the false prophets of the world’s paganism – a paganism that is relatively united under their control. Like the Illuminati, communism operates through fronts such as the feminist, LGBT, environmental, Civil Rights, and “Islamic” terrorist movements. Again, I document these fronts in some detail in my two books A Century of Red and the upcoming Red Gadiantons.

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At the end of the day, I don’t care if a person celebrates May Day. However, I want everyone to be aware of May Day’s origins. To recap what we have covered, the ancient origin of this celebration is in the Beltane festivities. Beltane is the holiest day of the year for many pagans, a time when the male and female gods unite and the light half of the year begins with its rush of fertility and harvest. It is a day when the veil thins and the unseen world is near. Yes, Satanists, Witches, and pagans of all types venerate this momentous Sabbat. May Day was also when the Illuminati conspirators founded their movement and declared unrelenting war against the throne of Christ. And, finally, it is a day that modern communists – heirs of the Illuminati tradition – have chosen to galvanize the working class in their Satanic assault on God and all that is good in society.

If these pagans gets their way, Christianity will be repressed, our Freedom will vanish like dew before the sun, and a Luciferian theocracy will be imposed by a global government governed by Marxian pagans. These gangsters use every opportunity to promote their wicked cause. May Day, while seemingly innocent with its bright flowers and colorful Maypole, is really an unholy Sabbat in the occult tradition. By all means, celebrate it with your family and friends, hand out flowers to neighbors, and enjoy your vacation if you live in a country that officially commemorates May Day. But know and never forget the pagan origins of Beltane, or May Day, and the violent beginnings of International Workers’ Day, the holiest day on the communist calendar. Happy May Day.

Zack Strong

May 1, 2018.

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Lord of Misrule

Christians often boycott and denounce Halloween as a pagan holiday because of its Celtic roots. They despise Halloween’s rowdiness, its excesses, its darkness, and its supposedly unChristian character. They latch onto internet fear-mongering, unsubstantiated rumors, and Roman propaganda, and repeat them as if they are the true facts about the autumn harvest festival known as Samhain (i.e. Halloween). However, those same Christians generally celebrate Christmas, merrily decking their halls with boughs of holly, singing Christmas carols, and kissing each other under the mistletoe. What these Christians do not understand is that Christmas is every bit as pagan as Halloween – if not more so.

I write this article for two reasons: 1) To point out and discourage the holiday hypocrisy I see in the Christian community; and 2) to give a brief overview of the true history of Christmas.

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Though it is unpopular to say, the fact is that Christmas is a thoroughly pagan holiday. Nearly every Christmas tradition we cherish has its roots in paganism. Some of these traditions come from Yule, the Germanic/Nordic holiday, whereas others find their genesis in pagan Rome and beyond. The reason we sing “Troll the ancient Yule-tide carol” in “Deck the Halls” is because of the Yule traditions that were repackaged as Christian ones.

In the beginning, and for millennia thereafter, Christmas was a rowdy, drunken festival celebrated by pagans in many lands. It was closer in ambiance to modern Carnival, Mardi Gras, or Oktoberfest than to our modern American Christmas. Early Christmases were not times to commemorate the birth of Christ or gather for worship services. Indeed, the Catholic Church condemned Christmas because of its pagan roots. Ironically, it was the Catholic Church which selected December 25th – a widespread pagan feast day – to commemorate the Savior’s birth (in reality, the Lord was born during the spring. And, contrary to popular myth, the wise men were not magi, but righteous men of God. We get our word magician from the Persian word “magus,” which is the singular of magi. Calling the wise men magicians is not only insulting, but it contradicts the scriptures which plainly condemn sorcery in all its forms).

At Christmas time, the social order was flipped upside down. If you remember the Feast of Fools as depicted in the film The Hunchback of Notre Dame, you have an idea of what Christmas used to be like. Indeed, the Feast of Fools was a part of the winter celebratory tradition. During these drunken festivities, aristocrats were expected to wait on the poor and open their doors to them. Groups of peasants – more akin to mobs than anything – would roam from door to door, knocking and demanding food and other items. If the home owners did not open their doors, the mobs often broke them down and treated themselves to whatever they wanted. Not surprisingly, excessive amounts of alcohol were consumed on Christmas, and it was common to see people cross-dressing or to hear of wild orgies. The presiding figure of these feasts was called the “Lord of Misrule.” Among holidays, Christmas itself might be called the “Lord of Misrule.”

Whereas Celtic Samhain served important legal and social functions – such as the settling of debts, the execution of criminals, the slaughtering or purchasing of livestock, and the renting of land – Christmas was a purely indulgent event. The religious connotations of Christmas, like those of Samhain, involved paganism. From the burning of the Yule log to the singing of vulgar carols to the hanging of the mistletoe to the chopping down of evergreens, Christmas traditions relied on pagan spirituality and superstition.

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Author Ace Collins has written:

“Only in relatively recent times, the past two hundred years, has Christmas been celebrated by most Christians. Up until the 1800s, the day recognized as Christ’s birthday was largely a pagan celebration. Those who bemoan the lack of religious zeal in modern Christmases would have been appalled at the way people in early America celebrated the day. For a majority of people who embraced Christmas throughout history, Christ wasn’t a part of the day at all. In most of the world, especially in England and America, Christmas was not a time of worship, prayer, and reflection: rather, it was a day set aside to sing bawdy songs, drink rum, and riot in the streets.

“For centuries, Christmas was anything but a holy day. It was most often a sinful parade of excess, a day set aside for ignoring laws and even terrorizing citizens. Mummers, the British carolers of the day, were musicians and actors who roamed the streets, presenting plays and singing songs. Mirroring the boisterous nature of the English Christmas, these songs rarely acknowledged the Christian aspects of the holiday. Those who attended church did so in wild costumes, the messages of many priests were anything but scriptural, and gambling was common during the services. After church the poor often stormed the homes of the elite in moblike fashion, pounding on doors and windows, demanding the finest food and drink. If the hosts did not respond, the guests broke into the homes and took what they wanted. This combination “holiday” of Mardi Gras and Halloween was nothing like today’s Christmas. The drunken celebrations hearkened back to the time when Romans and Greeks marked the winter solstice and a weeklong festival of self-indulgence. As nothing about these celebrations was staid or reverent, many devoted Christians loathed the holiday and considered it an instrument of sin and evil” (Ace Collins, Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas, 9-11).

Two Wiccans, Laurie Cabot and Jean Mills, have written:

“Yule, with all of its pagan customs of lighting trees and displaying holly, ivy, and pine boughs in the home, shares an intimate relationship not only with Christmas but with the entire Season of Light – Chanukah, Kwanzaa, La Posadas, and St. Lucia’s Day, among others. Society often overlooks the overwhelming contribution by Witches to this time of year. Christians bring trees into their homes, light candles, and give each other gifts, never really knowing why they follow such accepted social behavior. The symbolic, spiritual, cultural, religious, and ecological meaning behind our modern holiday activities is directly linked to our ancient pagan origins . . . Yule is the Celtic bonfires of old driven indoors by the cold weather.

“The connection between Yule and today’s modern holiday practices is so strong that these ancient traditions work well with holiday habits we are accustomed to. Father Winter is an ancient pagan figure whom many will recognize. He dons fur-trimmed red robes, has a white beard, and gives gifts to children. In olden times he gave fruit and plants and magical herbs . . . Witches burn an oak Yule log, charging another in our Magic Circle, which will be kept in a sacred space until the next Winter. . . .

“No matter how we choose to celebrate, the pagan spirit enhances and enriches the Yuletide season” (Laurie Cabot and Jean Mills, Celebrate the Earth: A Year of Holidays in the Pagan Tradition, 76-77).

Along the same lines as Collins, historian Stephen Nissenbaum has observed:

“In New England, for the first two centuries of white settlement most people did not celebrate Christmas. In fact, the holiday was systematically suppressed by Puritans during the colonial period and largely ignored by their descendants. It was actually illegal to celebrate Christmas in Massachusetts between 1659 and 1681 (the fine was five shillings). Only in the middle of the nineteenth century did Christmas gain legal recognition as an official public holiday in New England” (Stephen Nissenbaum, The Battle for Christmas, 3).

Nissenbaum gives us more of the historical background of this rowdy holiday:

“It was only in the fourth century that the Church officially decided to observe Christmas on December 25. And this date was chosen not for religious reasons but simply because it happened to mark the approximate arrival of the winter solstice, an event that was celebrated long before the advent of Christianity. The Puritans were correct when they pointed out – and they pointed it out often – that Christmas was nothing but a pagan festival with a Christian veneer. The Reverend Increase Mather of Boston, for example, accurately observed in 1687 that the early Christians who first observed the Nativity on December 25 did not do so “thinking that Christ was born in that Month, but because the Heathens Saturnalia was at that time kept in Rome, and they were willing to have those Pagan Holidays metamorphosed into Christian [ones]”” (Nissenbaum, The Battle for Christmas, 4).

He further explained:

“In early modern Europe, roughly the years between 1500 and 1800, the Christmas season was a time to let off steam – and to gorge. . . .

“Excess took many forms. Reveling could easily become rowdiness; lubricated by alcohol, making merry could edge into making trouble. Christmas was a season of “misrule,” a time when ordinary behavioral restraints could be violated with impunity. It was part of what one historian called “the world of carnival.” (The term carnival is rooted in the Latin words carne and vale – “farewell to flesh.” And “flesh” refers here not only to meat but also to sex – carnal as well as carnivorous.) Christmas “misrule” meant that not only hunger but also anger and lust could be expressed in public” (Nissenbaum, The Battle for Christmas, 5-6).

And again we learn:

“Christmas was an occasion when the social hierarchy itself was symbolically turned upside down, in a gesture that inverted designated roles of gender, age, and class. During the Christmas season those near the bottom of the social order acted high and mighty. Men might dress like women, and women might dress (and act) like men. Young people might imitate and mock their elders (for example, a boy might be chosen “bishop” and take on for a brief time some of the authority of a real bishop). A peasant or an apprentice might become “Lord of Misrule” and mimic the authority of a real “gentleman.”. . . .

“The poor – most often bands of boys and young men – claimed the right to march into the houses of the well-to-do, enter their halls, and receive gifts of food, drink, and sometimes money as well. And the rich had to let them in – essentially, to hold “open house.” Christmas was a time when peasants, servants, and apprentices exercised the right to demand that their wealthier neighbors and patrons treat them as if they were wealthy and powerful” (Nissenbaum, The Battle for Christmas, 8-9).

Finally, Nissenbaum explained:

“From the beginning, the Church’s hold over Christmas was (and remains still) rather tenuous. There were always people for whom Christmas was a time of pious devotion rather than carnival, but such people were always in the minority. It may not be going too far to say that Christmas has always been an extremely difficult holiday to Christianize. Little wonder that the Puritans were willing to save themselves the trouble” (Nissenbaum, The Battle for Christmas, 8).

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While most Christmas celebrants do not behave in such ways today, even the most pious Christmas revelers celebrate ghosts whether they realize it or not. The most cherished winter tale, A Christmas Carol by Dickens, is a classic ghost story. A lost tradition in modern American Christmas celebrations is the telling of ghost stories. English writer Jerome K. Jerome once noted:

“There must be something ghostly in the air of Christmas — something about the close, muggy atmosphere that draws up the ghosts, like the dampness of the summer rains brings out the frogs and snails . . . For ghost stories to be told on any other evening than the evening of the twenty-fourth of December would be impossible in English society as at present regulated.”

These quotations paint a true picture of the holiday so beloved by modern Christians – Christians who often go out of their way to hypocritically denounce Halloween for its pagan roots. Christmas has nearly always been a pagan event – a time for rowdy revelers, pugnacious pagans, and mischievous merrymakers to upend the social order, break the commandments, and toss out self-restraint. From the topsy-turvy Feast of Fools to Saturnalia orgies to Yule sun-worship, Christmas is a blending of pagan traditions with a Christian name crudely painted over the top.

In short, Christmas was not originally about the birth of the Son of God – it was a commemoration of the sun god. Christmas was not created by Christians, but by pagans. Christmas was not a religious day of reverence and peace – it was a rude and raucous feast day tainted with cross-dressing, overindulgence, drunkenness, and rampant immorality.

I love Christmas as it has been reinvented by modern Christians. It is the greatest time of the year – with Halloween coming in as a very close second. It is a time for family, community togetherness, and for giving service. It is a time to reflect on the Savior and what the legacy of His singular life means for each of us. I love the popular sayings, “Wise men still seek Him” and “Christ is the reason for the season.” But notwithstanding my personal Christ-centered family traditions, I recognize the true history of this ancient pagan holiday.

At this time of year, I encourage my fellow Christians to do three things: 1) Learn the real history of Christmas; 2) avoid holiday hypocrisy in condemning Samhain but not Christmas; and 3) turn their hearts to the Light of the World, the Savior Jesus Christ. We don’t need to ban Christmas like the Puritans did, but we also do not need to indulge in its excesses like pagans do. We don’t need to abandon the tradition of putting a tree in our homes because the Vikings used to do it and because Witches endorse it, but we should be aware of the origin of this and other traditions. Please, by all means, have fun; but also have the facts.

If I have encouraged the reader to think more deeply about the origins of the holidays he celebrates, and to be more studious in understanding the origins of his most cherished traditions, I consider this article mission accomplished. Have a wonderful and merry Christmas!

Zack Strong

December 23, 2017.

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