CELEBRATING PAGAN FEASTS

We call ourselves a Christian nation but isn’t it funny

that most of our holidays are based on ancient pagan

Feast days? Ever wonder how that all came about?

Actually, it’s simple!

In the early days of Christianity, leaders knew

It was necessary to choose feast days that

Coincided with pagan celebrations, in order to win

Converts. And so, we have the Spring Equinox,

Sometimes known as the Festival of the Trees,

But better known as the Feast of Eostara (The

German fertility goddess) and the Babylonian

Goddess Ishtar – or “EASTER” (isn’t it something

To discover the origin of words (word origins have

Always fascinated me) and to learn that the Christian

Celebration of Easter can be traced back to the

German fertility goddess Eostara?)

This is a time of perfect balance between light

And darkness , brings the first day of spring and

A time of fertility, a celebration of life returning

To earth. Bunnies, eggs and children are sacred to

This feast. Among some Paleopagan cultures in

Europe, the Spring equinox was the date of the

New Year and some Druids refer to this holiday

As “The New Year for Trees”

The Summer Solstice occurs around June 21 and is

Also known as St John’s Day and Midsummer, and

This is a feast celebrating the glory of summer and the

Peak of the Sun god’s power; this day originally

The first harvest of the year’s crops.

The Fall Equinox, often called Michaelas, is the last

Pagan holiday of the year and this is a thanksgiving

Feast and signals the beginning of the “hunting season”

In many parts of Europe and North America; it is

Dedicated to the Hunting and Fishing deities and the

Deities of plenty; it is also known as the second

Harvest Festival, Fest of Avalon and Cornucopia.

The Winter Solstice, also called Yule, Christmas,

Midwinter and Saturnalia, occurs around

Christmas, December 21—it is a day sacred to the

Sun, thunder and fire deities; Large fires were build

Outdoors and yule logs lit indoors in order to rekindle

The dying sun and help it return. Burnt logs and ashes

From the fires were kept as a charm against lightning

And house fires. AND (this last custom knocked my socks

Off) it was also a custom in paleopagan Europe to decorate

live evergreen trees in honor of the gods but cutting down

a tree to bring it indoors was considered a blasphemous

Desecration of the original concept.

I had to agree. Maybe I’m really a pagan at heart.

Sandra Lee Smith

Originally composed October 22, 2009

Updated July 13, 2018

Sandy’s note on the above: I wonder if this is why—although I love Christmas trees—I haven’t had a live tree inside my house in decades. I only have artificial trees. Cutting down live trees has always knocked my sensibilities sideways.

 

 

 

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