Twelve Christmas Traditions With Pagan Origins

Expat Mamasita

There are lots of Pagan customs in Christianity because early Christians adapted their Pagan customs to fit their new Christian beliefs, hiding their original meanings and giving them new ones.

We can thank the Romans and Celts for most of our modern day Christmas traditions.

The festival of Saturnalia, an ancient pagan holiday which honored the Roman God Saturn, took place every year between the 17th and 24th December. This was basically a week of eating, drinking and giving presents during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter solstice.

Likewise, the Celts celebrated the fact that the winter solstice had arrived and rejoiced at the fact that the nights were once more getting lighter and spring was only just around the corner.

The early Christian church tried very hard to ban Pagan customs and encourage its converts to follow Christ, but the people were not to be convinced. Winter was a dark and depressing time, and they were keen to keep their winter solstice festivities. Eventually the church realized that they were not going to able to ban all festivities, so they provided their followers with an alternative option, a festival which honored the birth of Jesus Christ and eventually gave us the Pagan Christmas traditions that we celebrate today.

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