Where did the custom of celebrating birthdays originate? Does it make any difference whether you celebrate your birthday with pomp and ceremony and the traditional customs associated with a birthday party? Did the early followers of Jesus celebrate their birthdays? Did Jesus himself celebrate his own birthday and did he instruct his followers to observe and celebrate his birthday? Should “born again” believers celebrate their birthdays which commemorate the birth of their OLD SELF which has long been dead and buried in baptism? If Christians are so keen to celebrate birthdays why don’t they celebrate their NEW BIRTHDAY - the day they were baptised and rose to a new life? Why keep on observing a date on which their old self was born and which has no relevance to a new life at all? Christians keep on singing a song entitled “I’m A New Creation” which contains the following lyrics:
I’m a NEW CREATION, I’m a BRAND NEW man; OLD THINGS have PASSED AWAY, I’ve been BORN AGAIN.
My Christian friend, if you have truly been born again and if you are now really a NEW CREATURE and a BRAND NEW MAN [or woman], why then do you want to resurrect your old and crucified self and celebrate the birthday in honour of your OLD SELF? In this article we will take a close look at the customs and origin of the birthday celebration and we will consult some important works and scholarly experts in order to find out where did the birthday celebrations originate and just why are some old customs still associated with the modern day birthday celebrations. I urge the reader to read this article very carefully and thoughtfully - and most importantly, with an open mind. You may read the Bible from cover to cover and you will not find even a slightest hint that believers should observe and celebrate their birthdays. There are only two unanimously accepted references in the Bible concerning the birthday celebrations. One refers to the birthday of Pharaoh [Genesis 40:20] and the other to the birthday of King Herod [Mark 6:21].
Both parties were celebrated with eating, drinking, and dancing. In Hosea 7:5 a reference is made to the “day of our king” believed by most commentators to be the king’s birthday. Here we also find that drunkenness is associated with birthday parties. Jesus pronounced blessing on those who are destitute but a woe on those who feast with laughter. He also declared that those who feast and drink with revelries are dressed in fine clothes and rest on fine couches. He sternly warned his disciples not to be like them or do what they do. Jesus never celebrated his birthday nor did the Twelve do so. They obeyed the command of God which explicitly forbade them to follow the customs and practices of the pagans and especially those of Egypt and Canaan. You simply cannot take the pagan custom or ritual and “Christianise” it. God does not want this kind of worship. Moses explicitly states this in Deuteronomy 12:30-31:
“After the LORD destroys those nations, make sure that you don’t follow their religious practices, because that would be fatal. Don’t try to find out how they worship their gods, so that you can worship in the same way. Do not worship the LORD your God in the way they worship their gods, for in the worship of their gods they do all the disgusting things that the LORD hates.”
God simply does not want to be worshipped with customs and rituals of the pagan world. In fact, God specifically forbids the Israelites to observe any of the customs of Egypt and Canaan:
“Do not follow the customs of the PEOPLE OF EGYPT, where you once lived, or of the PEOPLE in the LAND OF CANAAN, where I am now taking you. Obey my laws and do what I command…Follow the customs and the laws THAT I GIVE YOU; you will save your soul by doing so” [Leviticus 18:3-5].
Most authoritative sources agree that the custom of celebrating birthdays originated in Egypt. It was also a prominent observance in the land of Canaan and virtually all other pagan lands. Since God prohibits us to observe the customs of Egypt and Canaan this most certainly includes the observance of birthdays. The early Christian Church unanimously rejected the birthday celebrations as a pagan custom and would not participate in them. The Jews likewise rejected the birthday celebrations and maintained that the custom of celebrating birthdays was an idolatrous practice. The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary on p. 173, art. Birthday, points out:
“…Jews regarded the celebration of birthdays as a part of IDOLATROUS WORSHIP.”
The early Church Fathers and Christians of the first four centuries expressly condemned birthday celebrations and rejected them along with other pagan customs. This fact is acknowledged by virtually all religious historians and religious encyclopedias. The German Periodical Schwabische Zeitung [magazine supplement Zeit und Welt] of April 3/4 1981, on page 4, commenting on birthday celebrations explicitly states:
"Down to the FOURTH CENTURY Christianity rejected the birthday celebration as a PAGAN CUSTOM.”
A great scholar and professor of medieval history at the University of Regensburg, made the following remark in the German newspaper Suddeutschen Zeitung:
"Great prominence was given the BIRTHDAY PARTIES held for the emperor, replete with parades, public banquets, circus plays, and the hunting of animals: SPECTACLES [including the birthday celebrations] DISGUSTING TO THE EARLY CHRISTIANS.”
Origen, who was born in 185 c.e., was one of the most outstanding and learned Church Fathers. He condemned birthday celebrations and claimed that only sinners resorted to such celebrations:
“Of all the holy people in the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners who make great rejoicings over the day on which they were born into this world below” [The Catholic Encyclopedia, New York, 1911, Vol. X, p. 709 - quoting Origen].
Christians of the first few centuries disagreed on many issues. But all unanimously taught that birthday observance was a pagan custom which should be condemned and rejected by all those who claim Jesus as their Messiah. Great historian William S. Walsh in his book Curiosities of Popular Customs writes:
"The celebration of the anniversary of an individual’s birth, though customary among the ancients, WAS ORIGINALLY FROWNED UPON BY THE CHRISTIANS.”
The Encyclopedia of Days says:
"The annual celebration of a person’s birth probably originated in Egypt, where the birthdays of rulers and gods were celebrated with feasts. The EARLY CHRISTIANS DID NOT CELEBRATE BIRTHDAYS AT ALL.”
A great scholar Augustus Neander, in his book The History of the Christian Religion and Church, During the Three First Centuries, on p. 190, writes:
“The notion of a birthday festival was far from the ideas of the Christians of this period in general.”
Dr. John C. McCollister in his book The Christian Book of Why clearly points out that the early Christians neither celebrated their own birthdays nor the birthday of Jesus because they believed that such observances were of pagan origin:
“Christians of the first century did not celebrate the festival honoring the birth of Jesus - for the same reason they honored no other birthday anniversary. It was the feeling AT THAT TIME BY ALL CHRISTIANS THAT THE CELEBRATION OF ALL BIRTHDAYS WAS A CUSTOM OF THE PAGANS.”
As long as the Roman Empire was ruled by pagan Roman emperors, the pagans observed their birthdays. After Constantine Christianised the Roman empire and the Roman empire was ruled by Christian emperors birthday celebrations were neglected but continued until emperor Theodosius in 392 c.e. banned the practice altogether. This imperial ban of the birthday celebration by the Christian emperor irrefutably proves that the custom of celebrating birthdays was outrightly rejected by the Church. Instead of observing the day of their birth - as was formerly done by the pagans - the early believers and followers of Jesus actually observed and celebrated the day of believer’s DEATH.
Jesus himself never disputed Satan’s claim that all the things in this world were given to Satan and that he could give it to whomsoever he wills. Jesus also claimed that his kingdom was not of THIS WORLD. He also repeatedly insisted that he himself is not of this world and that all his true followers are likewise not of this world. The Messiah told his disciples that he had called them OUT OF THIS WORLD and that they were no more a part of this world than he himself is. Apostle John urges all true believers not to love the world and the things in the world and not to be conformed to the principles of this world - since this world and its principles are patterned after the will of Satan. Those who celebrate the day on which they were born into this world of Satan identify with the world and its wicked customs.
Virtually all religions have the most important day which they celebrate. In Judaism “Day of Atonement” is the most solemn festival while in Christianity “Easter.” The Satanists [Satan worshippers] also have the most significant day they observe with pomp and ceremony. That day is the day on which they were born into this world. Yes, for the Satanist, BIRTHDAY is the most solemn festival of them all. The Satanic Bible [Anton Szandor LaVey, (Air) Book of Lucifer – The Enlightenment, Avon Books, 1969, Ch XI, Religious Holidays, p. 96] has the following to say about birthdays:
“The highest of all holidays in the Satanic religion is the date of one’s own birthday. This is in direct contradiction to the holy days of other religions…”
For the Satanist, BIRTHDAY is the ULTIMATE festival which should be celebrated with great pomp and ceremony. The Satanists adore their birthdays because on that day they were born into this world which is ruled and swayed by Satan. The Satanists call this world of Satan into which they are born “world of worlds.” The righteous on the other hand often cursed the day of their birth. The early Christians for example never observed nor did they ever celebrate the day on which they were born into this world but on the contrary they observed and celebrated the day on which the true believer DIED. Jesus himself never observed his own birthday but he most certainly celebrated the day on which he was TO DIE. The Messiah did not only himself celebrate this day but he also gathered his disciples to observe it with him.
Moreover, Jesus did not command his disciples to commemorate and celebrate his BIRTHDAY into this world, but rather HIS DEPARTURE FROM THIS WORLD on the DAY OF HIS DEATH. Until the “end of time” true believers are commanded to celebrate and commemorate the DEATH of Jesus and not his birthday. The early believers understood this very well. Authoritative sources tell us that it was the common practice in the early centuries to celebrate not the birthdays but rather the DAY OF DEATH. The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary on p. 173, Art. Birthday, says:
“In the early church the term ‘birthdays’ was applied to the festivals of MARTYRS, the DAYS on which they SUFFERED DEATH in this world and were born to the glory and life of heaven.” Funk and Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend, on p. 144, says: “In Christian communities the birthdays of martyrs are their death days, when they are born into eternal life.”
The Encyclopedia Americana, 1944 edition, says:
“…the Christian usage in general was to celebrate the DEATH of remarkable persons rather than BIRTH.”
There is a scripture which directly supports this early Christian practice. The author of Ecclesiastes 7:1b explicitly states:
“…the day you DIE is better than the day you are BORN.”
When we are born we are born into this world of sorrow, pain and misery. We are born into the WORLD which at present still belongs to Satan “the god of this world.” But when we die we are released from the miseries of this world and we enter the blessed rest. In Revelation a blessing is not pronounced on those who are born and live in this world but rather on those who die and depart from this world. The actual “woe” is pronounced on all the living and those who are born into this world. Birthday celebrations and even some of the modern customs associated with its festivity are directly linked with ancient paganism and idolatry.
Why do you think the Egyptians first introduced the custom of observing a birthday with special rites and ceremonies? Why did the rest of the pagan world adopt this custom until it became the universal practice? The ancient pagan world was steeped in idolatry and they had a god for just about anything that takes place in the universe. They worshipped and greatly feared these gods. For that very reason they sacrificed innocent animals to appease their anger and wrath and in order to obtain their favours. The ancient pagan world sacrificed even their own children to their gods in order to obtain special favours and blessings from them. The Jews and Israelites were also guilty of idolatry and of sacrificing innocent animals and children to both pagan gods and to Yahweh. Since the ancient pagan man feared his gods and since they believed that evil spirits were especially present around a person on his BIRTHDAY - special rites and customs were introduced to appease and ward off these evil spirits. In the German periodical Schwabische Zeitung we find this explicit admission:
“The various customs with which people today celebrate their birthdays have a long history. Their origins lie in the realm of MAGIC and RELIGION. The customs of offering congratulations, presenting gifts and celebrating - complete with lighted candles - IN ANCIENT TIMES WERE MEANT TO PROTECT THE BIRTHDAY CELEBRANT FROM THE DEMONS and to insure his security for the coming year.”
In The World Book - Childcraft International we read the following concerning ‘birthday’:
“For thousands of years people all over the world have thought of a birthday as a very special day. LONG AGO, PEOPLE BELIEVED THAT ON A BIRTHDAY A PERSON COULD BE HELPED BY GOOD SPIRITS, OR HURT BY EVIL SPIRITS. So, when a person HAD A BIRTHDAY, friends and relatives gathered to protect him or her. AND THAT’S HOW BIRTHDAY PARTIES BEGAN.”
Certain customs were introduced to appease and ward off evil spirits while other rites were inaugurated in honour of the protecting spirit called Genni or Genius. The World Book - Childcraft International further says:
“The idea of putting candles on birthday cakes goes back to ancient Greece. The Greeks worshipped many gods and goddesses. Among them was one called Artemis. Artemis was the goddess of the moon. The Greeks celebrated her birthday …by bringing special cakes to her temple…the cakes were decorated with lighted candles…More and more, though, people the world over attach a CERTAIN MAGIC TO THEIR ACTUAL DATE OF BIRTH…We may wear a ring with our birthstone in it for good luck. And when we blow out the candles on our birthday cake, we are careful to keep what we wished a secret. If we tell, of course, our wish won’t come true. In other words, WE FOLLOW MANY OF THE OLD BIRTHDAY BELIEFS. We pay attention to the meanings of OLD-TIME BIRTH SYMBOLS. And WE CARRY ON THE OLD CELEBRATIONS. We don’t necessarily take them seriously. We do these things mainly for fun. But it is also possible that there IS SOMETHING DEEP INSIDE US THAT WANTS TO BELIEVE.”
In the Bible we are told to abstain from anything that even has the “appearance of evil.” Why would born again parents who are enlightened and filled with God’s Spirit introduce their children to pagan customs which He actually abhors? God commands us not to learn and thus not to participate in the customs and rites of the HEATHEN since they are FUTILE:
“Learn not the WAY OF THE HEATHEN, and be not dismayed at the signs of the heaven [horoscope]; for the HEATHEN are dismayed at them. For the CUSTOMS OF THE PEOPLE ARE VAIN” [Jeremiah 10:1-3].
The word “vain” is derived from the Latin “vanus” and simply means “empty.” The customs of the heathen are worthless and empty and God does not want his children to follow and observe things which are worthless. God also commands his people to be careful and not serve him in a manner or with the customs and rites that the heathens served their gods [Deuteronomy 12:30-31]. It was a pagan belief that at birth each child was assigned a protective spirit or demon called Genii or Genius who was always present with the child. The New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, translated by Richard Aldington and Delano Ames, p. 217, gives us the following pertinent information concerning this ancient demon-spirit of the pagans:
“Genius. The Genius was by definition the creative force which engendered the individual; it watched over his development and remained with him until the hour of his destruction. It presided over his marriage and over nuptial bed, for this reason being entitled GENITALIS. It appeared at the birth of the being whose function it was to protect. It formed the infant’s personality. The power of the child’s Genius depended on luck. If it was a boy its tutelary spirit was a Genius; if a girl it would be Juno. The Genius and Juno did not accomplish their protective mission unassisted. They had many auxiliaries. Nundina presided over the infant’s purification. Vaticanus made it utter its first cry. Educa and Potina taught it to eat and drink. Cuba kept it quiet in its cradle. Ossipago and Carna saw to the development of its bones and flesh. Abeona and Adeona taught it to walk. Sentinus saw to the awakening of the infant’s intellectual faculties, and such like.”
On the anniversary of the birth of their child, the pagan parents organised a party and festivities in order to celebrate the birthday of their child in honour of their family god Genius who ever watched over the well being of their child. Paul Veyne and Arthur Goldhammer in their book A History of Private Life, - from Pagan Rome to Byzantium, on pp. 195-197, tell us the following:
“Once a year THE BIRTHDAY of the paterfamilias was celebrated with genuine fervor. On that day the family feasted in honor of its PROTECTIVE DEITY, or GENIUS.”
In Life and Leisure In Ancient Rome, by Baldson, on pp. 121-122, we read:
“The birthday of a member of the family, an excuse for festivity, had greater religious significance in Rome than it is apt to have in the modern world. In the house a turf altar was erected, gaily decked with flowers, and on it offerings of food and wine were made, to the GENIUS…There was a birthday party, a dinner to which guests, relatives and friends, were invited and brought presents - or, if they could not come, sent them.”
The Funk and Wagnalls Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend, Vol. 1, on p. 144, candidly admits:
“Certain primitive societies [pagans] view birthdays AS DANGER PERIODS when one is SUSCEPTIBLE TO ATTACK BY EVIL SPIRITS. Hence, parties and good wishes of friends, bring gifts TO APPEASE THE EVIL SPIRITS, and OFFERING SACRIFICES TO THEIR PROTECTIVE SPIRITS are all PART OF THE BIRTH CELEBRATION.”
Encyclopedia Britannica, [Mycropedia], Vol. 5, on p. 181, confirms the fact that ancient pagans worshipped Genius especially on their birthday:
“This individual GENIUS was worshipped by each individual, ESPECIALLY ON HIS BIRTHDAY.”
Barbara Rinkoff in her book Birthday Practices Around The World, on pp. 3-9, tells us the following regarding the birthday customs:
"BIRTHDAY parties began many, many years ago, in Europe. People believed in good and evil-spirits in those days. Sometimes they called them good and evil fairies. They thought that the spirits gathered especially around a person who was celebrating his birthday. Everyone was afraid of these spirits and that they would cause harm to the birthday celebrant, and so he was surrounded by friends and relatives whose good wishes, and very presences, would protect him against the unknown dangers that the birthday held...Giving gifts, along with good wishes, brought even greater protection. Eating together provided a further safeguard and helped to bring the blessings of the good spirits, godmothers, and wealthy relatives. So, the birthday gathering or party, along with its gifts and greetings, was originally intended to make a person safe from evil and to insure a good year to come. In very early days, only kings or prominent men were thought important enough to celebrate their birthdays. But as time went on, the common people began to celebrate theirs, and eventually children’s birthdays began to be celebrated most of all. Even the smallest child knows that birthday candles are to wish on. But why? The reason goes back to early Greeks and Romans who thought that tapers or candles had magical qualities.
They would offer prayers and make wishes to be carried up to the gods by the flames of candles. The gods would then send down their blessings and perhaps answer the prayers. The Germans were also the first to use lighted candles on birthday cakes. The birthday celebrant made a secret wish on the flame, just as most American children do today, and this wish might be granted IF all the candles were blown out of ONE puff. It became the custom to have one candle for each year of life and in some countries another candle ‘to grow on’ has been added. Giving birthday spanks is meant to insure good luck for the coming year. This custom has come down to us from very long ago and is still well known in many countries. It takes various forms [these are whacks, smacks, spanks, pinches, pricks, bumps], but all are given for good luck...Many superstitions are connected with the birthday. Astrologers, numerologists and geomancers still use the date, hour, and place of birth as clues to good or bad fortune and they are firm believers in lucky and unlucky days. Each month, too, has its own birth stone, and many people believe that if this stone is worn by the person who was born in that month it will bring good luck...Birthday customs vary somewhat from one region to another within the same country.
They are affected by religious differences, rural and urban differences, and economic status. But if you were invited, today, to a birthday party given in any of the countries I have written about in this book, you might expect to find children and their families celebrating very much as I have described.”
Neither God’s true Prophets, nor Jesus, the Twelve, or the early believers ever observed and celebrated either their or their children’s birthdays. The custom of observing birthdays originated in Egypt and was adopted by virtually all pagan world and those who were steeped in idolatry. There is another way to convincingly prove that the early believers did not observe their birthdays. There is overwhelming evidence that even the BIRTHDAY OF YAHSHUA was never observed by the Christian Church UNTIL THE 4th CENTURY. If the Christian Church did not observe Jesus’s birthday - who is surely the most important of all humans ever born - much less would they have observed their own birthdays or the birthdays of their children.
But most Christians today observe Christmas which is supposedly the birthday of Jesus. And they observe it and celebrate it with customs which originated in ancient pagan world. Christmas is a time of merrymaking and celebration. A time of giving and receiving gifts from relatives and friends. During Christmas season streets are decorated by the local councils and almost every house decorates and displays its own Christmas Tree. On Christmas Day - December 25th - church services are held which are followed by traditional family lunch.Dr. Herbert Lokyer in his book All the Holy Days and Holidays on page 17, writes:
“Life without Christmas is, indeed, a life unthinkable...what would the world be like without the traditional Christmas trees, presents, cards and greetings, and all that is associated with the happy and welcome occasion we call Christmas? Has it ever impressed you that only free peoples of the earth are those who, in their own national way, celebrate Christmas.”
Christians usually read only books which agree with their doctrines. They are instructed from childhood not to read material which may destroy their faith and Christian way of life. When a Christian who holds a doctorate in theology makes remarks like this, what can be expected from those who know next to nothing on the subject? Few people ever stop and think of the Christmas rites they have inherited from childhood. Even fewer come to realise that these rites are actually condemned in their own Bibles. But what about you? Do you know when and why December 25th was introduced as the Nativity Day of Jesus? Are you aware what the Christmas Tree really exemplifies? Do you know why people kiss under a mistletoe, eat a goose, a boar’s head and mince pies at Christmas? Do you know who Santa Claus really is? None of these pagan rites were observed or celebrated by the early true believers and Christmas was unknown in Christianity until it was implemented in the fourth century by the Roman Catholic Church. The Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 2, [1943-1973] states:
“CHRISTMAS: In the Roman world, the Saturnalia was a time of merrymaking and exchanging of gifts. December 25th was also regarded as the BIRTHDATE of the Iranian Mystery god, MITHRA, the Sun of Righteousness. On the Roman New Year houses were decorated with greenery and lights and gifts were given to children. To these observances were added the German and Celtic YULE rites...Food and good fellowship, YULE Log and YULE cakes, greenery and fir trees, gifts and greetings all commemorated different aspects of this festive season. Fires and lights, symbols of warmth and lasting life have always been associated with the winter festival, both pagan and Christian.”
The Encyclopedia Americana, 1944 edition, says:
"CHRISTMAS...It was, according to many authorities, not celebrated in the first centuries of the Christian church, as the Christian usage in general was to celebrate the death of remarkable persons rather than birth...A feast was established in memory of this event [nativity of Yahshua] in the fourth century. In the fifth century the Western Church ordered it to be celebrated on the day of the old Roman feast of the BIRTH OF SOL [Sun/Teitan]...”
The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, on p. 47, says of Christmas:
“There is no historical evidence that our Lord’s birthday was celebrated during the apostolic or early post apostolic times.”
In the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 edition, under the heading Christmas, we are told:
“Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church...the first evidence of the feast is from Egypt...Pagan customs centring around the January calends gravitated to Christmas.”
The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, p. 48, states:
“The pagan Saturnalia and Brumalia were too deeply entrenched in popular custom to be set aside by Christian influence. And so, the church established the birthday of the Savior to coincide with the heathen feast day.”
The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, p. 223, states:
“December 25 was the date of the Roman pagan festival inaugurated in 274 as the birthday of the unconquered sun which at the winter solstice begins again to show an increase in light. Sometime before 336 the Church in Rome, unable to stamp out this pagan festival, spiritualized it as the Feast of nativity of the Sun of Righteousness.”
Strange Stories Amazing Facts, by the Reader’s Digest Association, pp. 283-284, gives us this information:
"Christmas and Easter, although the greatest festivals in the Christian calendar, are celebrated with customs that originated in superstition and heathen rites hundreds of years before Christ was born. Even the dates owe more to pagan practices than to the birth and resurrection of Jesus. It was not until the fourth century that December 25 was fixed arbitrarily as the anniversary of the Nativity-because the pagan festivals from which so many Christmas customs spring were held around that time…DECEMBER 25 was not called CHRISTMAS until the ninth century. Until then it had been the Midwinter Feast, a combination of the Norse Yule Festival and the Roman Saturnalia, both of which took place in late December.”
William Sansom in his work A Book of Christmas, on pages 28-39, states:
“In Roman times a pre-Christian message of ‘peace and god’s will’ to all men accompanied the Saturnalia! The Saturnalia was within the solstice and Saturnalia-Kalendae period starting December 17 and going through January 1st. The Roman Saturnalia is recorded in writing and was the function of a highly civilized people. The first period of feasting was generally for seven days. The god celebrated was Saturn...farmer of a former gold age and eater of his own children. The giving of presents...particularly candles and dolls called siggilaria also derives from the insistent origin of human sacrifice at this time of year! Directly following the Saturnalia was the KALENDAE...more mathematically concerned with the date of the New Roman Year...and the celebration of the god, Janus...One may think of Saturnalia as Roman in Rome...but the truth is: The Roman Empire was a WORLD RULING EMPIRE at that time.
The CUSTOMS OF ROME were spread to all KNOWN WORLD! Britons and Celts, Indians and Egyptians were all called part of the Roman Empire at one time. These nations brought their OWN SUN WORSHIPPING CULTS to join into the Saturnalia Celebrations! It was an Empire-wide celebration. All the people in this Empire, save only few...gathered in their homes to drink wine...to dance and sing...to LIGHT THEIR CANDLES and EXCHANGE PRESENTS...giving their children the little clay dolls that represented their former sacrifices. The Strenae...honoring the goddess Strenia...were given for ‘good luck’! The Feast of Fools and the Lord of Misrule derived directly from the Saturnalia. Many other customs have become engrafted into the ancient celebration occurring at this time of year. Mummers and Wild Men roam the British Isles and Europe. The Mary Lloyd ritual in Wales is reviving. The EVERGREEN TREE is an ANCIENT CUSTOM incorporated. The Vikings gave their Yule...the Druids donated their magic mistletoe...the Father Christmas in Briton and the Santa Klaus of German origin were all donated and incorporated into the holidays known worldwide as CHRISTMAS and NEW YEAR!”
It wasn’t until the middle of the fourth century c.e. that the birthday of Jesus was officially celebrated and was actually set on the very day on which the pagans celebrated the birthday of their pagan Messiah. George W. Douglas in his book The American Book of Days, on p. 658, states regarding Christmas:
“The day was not one of the early feasts of the Christian church. In fact the observance of birthdays was condemned as a HEATHEN custom REPUGNANT to Christians.”
What does the Christmas Tree has to do with the birth of Jesus? The Messiah never told his followers to destroy the life of a living tree so that they could decorate it in honour of his birthday. Jesus explicitly commanded his followers to celebrate and observe the day of his DEATH and not his birthday. But as soon as we turn to the ancient pagan world we immediately discover just what the Christmas Tree really exemplifies. From the days of antiquity the green trees were objects of adoration and worship. The libraries of the world contain more literature on the tree worship than any other heathen rite. For millennia the green trees were associated with idolatry and the gods. In the Bible itself we find the term “green tree” written down thirteen times. In every case it is connected with idolatry and godworship! The Jews and the Israelites themselves adopted the abominable rite of worshipping the gods under the green trees. In 1 Kings 14:23 [KJV] we read:
“For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree.”
The pagans of antiquity used evergreen trees, their boughs and other evergreen plants to decorate their homes during the birthday celebration of their god.Collier’s Encyclopedia, Vol. 6, on page 404, states:
“Some authorities consider the Christmas tree a survival of pagan tree worship and trace it to ancient Rome and Egypt...The use of evergreens to decorate homes at Christmas time has an unmistakable pre-Christian origin. During the celebration of the Roman Saturnalis, laurel and other greens and flowers were used extensively for processions and house decoration. In Northern Europe, evergreens, because they did not die in the winter time, became symbolic of eternal life and were almost objects of worship. Mistletoe was sacred among the British Druids and was believed to have many miraculous powers. Among Romans it was a symbol of peace and it was said that when enemies met under it, they discarded their arms and declared a truce. From this comes our custom of kissing under the mistletoe. Holly has always been a popular Christmas decoration and was also endowed with unusual powers.”
In Jeremiah 10:2-4, we read:
“This is what Yahweh says, learn not to live like pagans, dismayed at portents in the sky; pagans are dismayed at them, but their rites are futile. They cut a tree out of the forrest, trimmed by a woodman’s axe. They DECK IT WITH SILVER AND GOLD; then they prop it with nails and hammer, to keep it from falling.”
Here we find an epithet of the Christmas Tree some 600 years before the birth of Jesus. The Christmas Tree is an abomination - the very sign set up by the pagans in remembrance of Nimrod’s rebirth. When Nimrod died in his relatively young age, his mother-wife Semiramis invented the doctrine of the resurrection of Nimrod. She claimed a full grown evergreen tree sprang up overnight from a dead stump, claiming Nimrod would visit the evergreen tree on each anniversary of his birth - December 25th - and bestow gifts upon mankind.
The dead stump represents the death of Nimrod. The tender palm tree symbolises the resurrection and rebirth of Nimrod. By the power of the serpent AESCULAPIUS Nimrod was reborn as the Babylonian Messiah who became known by the name of TAMMUZ.The Collier’s Encyclopedia, Vol. 15, p. 749, under Tammuz states:
“Tammuz, the Sumero-Akkadian god of vegetation...The cult of Tammuz...and the Greek equivalent Adonis, was widespread throughout the Mediterranean world. According to still extant mythology, Tammuz died, descended to the lower world, was resurrected and ascended again to earth and then to heaven. During his absence the earth was sterile.”
The pagans [predominantly women] lamented for Tammuz each year awaiting his rebirth on December 25th. This abominable rite is even recorded in the Bible. In Ezekiel 8:14 we are told:
“Then he brought me to the entrance to the north gate of the House of Yahweh, and I saw women sitting there, lamenting for Tammuz.”
Tammuz was known among the Romans by his name Bacchus - Lamented One.In Mythology of All Religions, Vol. 5, p. 52, we read:
“At this festival [winter solstice] a great fire was lighted and having lost his old age in fire he obtains in exchange his youth. There was in consequence a feast on the second of this month throughout Syria called, Dies Natalis Solis Invicti...NATAL DAY OF THE UNCONQUERABLE SUN. This legend of the death and burial of the SUN GOD of Tyre is undoubtedly based upon the legend of the tomb of Bel-Marduk [Nimrod] at Babylon. As Marduk rose from his tomb at the New Year’s Festival...so also the Tyrians believed their SUN GOD to come forth from his tomb, symbol of his annual sleep of death in the lower world.”
Thus the Christmas Tree represents the evergreen tree which by the power of the serpent AESCULAPIUS [Belial] sprang up over night as a symbol of the reborn Nimrod - now the pagan Babylonian Messiah ready to bestow gifts and blessings upon his worshippers. This evergreen tree was also called the branch, and Tammuz himself was pictured with it in his hand. The earliest origin of the Christmas Tree in a Christian sense comes from the Christian legend of St. Boniface [Bonifacius]. He is said to have destroyed the great oak of Jupiter at Geismar in Hesse, Germany. Using its wood he is said to have built a chapel to St. Peter. The legend says that Boniface [who was actually an early English missionary named Winfrid], while touring the northern Germany, came across a group of pagan worshippers who were preparing to sacrifice Prince Asulf to their god Thor at their sacred oak. According to the legend, Winfrid stoped the sacrifice and cut down the oak tree.
As the tree fell, another tender fir tree instantly sprang up! Winfrid told the pagan worshippers of Thor that the tender evergreen fir tree was the tree of life - exemplifying CHRIST! These pagan worshippers had no problem at all to embrace this “new myth” regarding a ‘new’ god - Christ, since it was identical replica of the ancient myth concerning the cutting down of a huge oak exemplifying the death of Nimrod, and the idea that a young tree sprang out of the ancient log overnight - representing Tammuz, the resurrected and reborn Nimrod. Since the pagans ‘converting’ to Christianity were tree worshippers, it was only expected that they would continue to use evergreen trees, their boughs and other evergreen plants - such as holly tree, ivy and the like - in their ‘new’ Christian festivals! Your own Bible condemns the stone pillars, Asherah poles, and green trees used in PAGAN WORSHIP of the GODS and GODDESSES.
Your own Bible also condemns the practice of cutting a tree from the forest for the purpose of decking it with silver and gold in religious worship. God also commands you not to learn and practice this HEATHEN rite! Christmas could not be Christmas without Santa Klaus or the Father Christmas. What would Christian children do without this jolly old gent who goes about shouting Ho! Ho! Ho! - bestowing gifts on children and granting their wishes? The jolly old gent is actually known by different names. In America he is known as Santa Claus - commonly thought to be a corruption of Dutch Saint Nicholas or Nikolaus, corrupted to Sinter Klaas and eventually to Santa Claus. In France he is known as Pope Noel, while in some other European countries as Grandfather Frost and Father Christmas.
In Italy this figure is of feminine character known as Befana while in Russia she used to be called Babouschka. In Germany this figure is actually Jesus himself who is known as Kriskindl [Germanic for Christ Child] corrupted into English as Kriss Kringle. In Denmark he is known as the Yule Man. Santa Claus of America differs somewhat in his appearance from the original St. Nicholas or St. Nick. Collier’s Encyclopedia, Vol. 20, on page 412, gives us this information:
“In Holland St. Nicholas appeared, as he still does today in the colorful reglia of a medieval bishop, including the red mitre upon his head and the long cope draped from his shoulders.”
On pages 413-414, we are further told:
“During the early development of the church in Western Europe many seasonal and national practices of the people were absorbed in festivities of the Christmas season. In addition to the Roman Saturnalia there were other ancient and coincident festivals of the midwinter season. Noteworthy are the Mitraic Feast of Egypt...the Yuletide feast of the winter solstice among the Norse, Briton, and Saxon peoples. Ceremonies, decorations, gift giving, supernatural influences, and symbolic values, are all part of this development and help to explain the evolution of Santa Claus. Ancient sun worshippers, especially in northern countries, held feasts during the critical, short days of the winter solstice. Their bonfires symbolically aided the sun god in his regeneration as he returned from his winter home...The association of Santa Claus with snow, REINDEER, and the North Pole suggests Scandinavian or Norse traditions of the YULETIDE season. His ‘eight tiny reindeer’, in Moore’s poem, ‘A Visit from St. Nicholas’, fly ‘up to the house top’ with their ‘miniature sleigh’. In Norway, the probable origin of this lore, St. Nicholas was assisted by Kriss Kringle, whose reindeer and sleigh could glide miraculously over the house tops in a manner suggestive of Odin’s white horse Sleipnir, of ancient Norse legend, who had eight feet and was the fastest horse in the world.”