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.