collapse

* "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" Problem Logging In?

If you get an "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" error when you try to log in, you need to be sure you are accessing the board with a url that starts with "https://ecauldron.com".  If it starts with https://www.ecauldron.com" (or "http://www.ecauldron.com") you will get this error because "www.ecauldron.com" is not technically the same website as "ecauldron.com". Moving to the more secure "https" means it is more picky about such things.

Author Topic: Pondering: Christian holidays as cultural holidays  (Read 8302 times)

Juni

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 1683
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
    • http://thelittleseawitch.net
Re: Pondering: Christian holidays as cultural holidays
« Reply #60 on: August 26, 2013, 03:13:54 pm »
Quote from: Elizabeth G.;120080
According to Raymond Buckland "Wicca for Life:  The Way of the Craft from Birth to Summerland",  the Christians DID deliberately place their holy days on or near pagan holy days, and incorporate pagan symbology, to make their religion more attractive to pagans.  He specifically cites Yule/Christmas, Oestara/Easter, and Samhain/Halloween.  Is this inaccurate?

 
Koi did a much better version of this, but I don't have the link handy at the moment. So you get my significantly condensed version! (Sorry.)

There is no evidence that the date of Christmas was chosen to deliberately coincide with any pagan holidays. While there is no evidence of Jesus being born in December, the 25th does line up very neatly with his proposed date of conception, making his perfect gestational period yet another perfect thing about him. It's not until the 600s, under Pope Gregory the Great, that we have any evidence of deliberate supplantation of pagan practice, and Christmas was already being celebrated in December at that point.

The date of Easter is based on the date of Pesach/Passover, which is a Jewish holiday. The name Easter may have connection with Oestara, but not the date itself.

Halloween is a secular holiday, derived from the Christian holiday of All Hallow's Eve, which is the night before All Hallow's Day/All Saints Day. The holiday was originally in May but was moved to November 1 by Pope Gregory IV, but there is no consensus as to his reasoning.

It is very important to note that life, and therefore religion, does not exist in a vacuum nor in tidy little boxes. The traditions of a community hold fast, and as many conversations on this very forum demonstrate, people are inclined to reinterpret or apply additional meaning to symbols and ideas that they have long held in the face of change. Just because a group adds a new gloss to something important to them doesn't make it institutionally sanctioned or deliberately malicious.
Join the Emboatening Crew over on Kiva! Emboatening the boatless since Opet 2013!

The Little Sea Witch - personal/catch-all blog
MistSeeking - religious blog

Elizabeth G.

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Aug 2013
  • Posts: 29
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Pondering: Christian holidays as cultural holidays
« Reply #61 on: August 26, 2013, 03:30:33 pm »
Quote from: Juni;120085
Koi did a much better version of this, but I don't have the link handy at the moment. So you get my significantly condensed version! (Sorry.)

There is no evidence that the date of Christmas was chosen to deliberately coincide with any pagan holidays. While there is no evidence of Jesus being born in December, the 25th does line up very neatly with his proposed date of conception, making his perfect gestational period yet another perfect thing about him. It's not until the 600s, under Pope Gregory the Great, that we have any evidence of deliberate supplantation of pagan practice, and Christmas was already being celebrated in December at that point.

The date of Easter is based on the date of Pesach/Passover, which is a Jewish holiday. The name Easter may have connection with Oestara, but not the date itself.

Halloween is a secular holiday, derived from the Christian holiday of All Hallow's Eve, which is the night before All Hallow's Day/All Saints Day. The holiday was originally in May but was moved to November 1 by Pope Gregory IV, but there is no consensus as to his reasoning.

It is very important to note that life, and therefore religion, does not exist in a vacuum nor in tidy little boxes. The traditions of a community hold fast, and as many conversations on this very forum demonstrate, people are inclined to reinterpret or apply additional meaning to symbols and ideas that they have long held in the face of change. Just because a group adds a new gloss to something important to them doesn't make it institutionally sanctioned or deliberately malicious.

 
Ok, thank you!  I suppose it makes at least as much sense that pagans or former pagans incorporated their symbology into Christian holidays, as that Christians did it.  If I understand  your final paragraph correctly.

Jenett

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Posts: 3228
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 754
    • View Profile
    • Seeking: First steps on a path
  • Religion: Initiatory religious witchcraft
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her
Re: Pondering: Christian holidays as cultural holidays
« Reply #62 on: August 26, 2013, 04:02:33 pm »
Quote from: Juni;120085
Koi did a much better version of this, but I don't have the link handy at the moment. So you get my significantly condensed version! (Sorry.)


Conveniently, last time this came up, I did the uncondensed version, including link to Koi's original, and a bunch additional data.

It's on my website over here: http://gleewood.org/seeking/broader-questions/holidays-history-and-calendars/

It's also in a slightly less edited form in the most recent thread on this on the forum (the link is to a few posts before that, which has some additional info of possible interest - the whole thread has useful tidbits.)
Seek Knowledge, Find Wisdom: Research help on esoteric and eclectic topics (consulting and other services)

Seeking: first steps on a Pagan path (advice for seekers and people new to Paganism)

Juni

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 1683
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
    • http://thelittleseawitch.net
Re: Pondering: Christian holidays as cultural holidays
« Reply #63 on: August 26, 2013, 04:16:13 pm »
Quote from: Elizabeth G.;120098
Ok, thank you!  I suppose it makes at least as much sense that pagans or former pagans incorporated their symbology into Christian holidays, as that Christians did it.  If I understand  your final paragraph correctly.

 
I would just like to note that my post is massively simplified on the detail end, and there are much better explanations out there but I don't have the links or the spoons to go link digging. But yes, you did understand it correctly.

This is a thing I see a lot in Wicca/wiccish 101 books; this idea that similarities are stolen! and maliciously so. Like there was some group of cackling Christians, rubbing their hands together Mr. Burns-style, gleefully stamping out paganism and then stealing and co-opting whatever wouldn't crush under their feet. (It also seems to come with a free membership to the Persecution Club.)

Snark aside, this very black and white idea ignores two very important things. One, as I mentioned, is the natural course of cultural exchange. Yes, in some cases it was expedited, perhaps by the overzealous or the malicious. But it's mostly because people adapt to change, and think critically, and apply their extant knowledge base in a new and useful way.

The other thing it ignores is that these symbols, these days on a calendar, are utterly arbitrary on their own. Yes, someone can get bent out of shape about Christians "stealing" a practice or a holy day date. It doesn't make the practice or date less holy for the Christians. The original form of something is not the only valid one; if it were, we'd all be screwed, because words are nothing more than sounds and marks on a page representing something else, and those words have changed over and over and over through the course of human history.

We adapt, we borrow, we expand, we grow. To think that this is valid, acceptable, desirable in every aspect of our lives except our religions is just... incomprehensible to me, really.
Join the Emboatening Crew over on Kiva! Emboatening the boatless since Opet 2013!

The Little Sea Witch - personal/catch-all blog
MistSeeking - religious blog

Juni

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 1683
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
    • http://thelittleseawitch.net
Re: Pondering: Christian holidays as cultural holidays
« Reply #64 on: August 26, 2013, 04:17:01 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;120107
Conveniently, last time this came up, I did the uncondensed version, including link to Koi's original, and a bunch additional data.

It's on my website over here: http://gleewood.org/seeking/broader-questions/holidays-history-and-calendars/

It's also in a slightly less edited form in the most recent thread on this on the forum (the link is to a few posts before that, which has some additional info of possible interest - the whole thread has useful tidbits.)

 
:flails: Thank you, Jenett!
Join the Emboatening Crew over on Kiva! Emboatening the boatless since Opet 2013!

The Little Sea Witch - personal/catch-all blog
MistSeeking - religious blog

Darkhawk

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 4916
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 821
    • View Profile
    • Suns in her Branches
  • Religion: An American Werewolf in the Akhet; Kemetic; Feri; Imaginary Baltic Heathen; Discordian; CoX; Etc.
  • Preferred Pronouns: any of he, she, they
Re: Pondering: Christian holidays as cultural holidays
« Reply #65 on: August 26, 2013, 05:31:14 pm »
Quote from: Juni;120085
The date of Easter is based on the date of Pesach/Passover, which is a Jewish holiday. The name Easter may have connection with Oestara, but not the date itself.

 
And 'Easter' in basically almost every language OTHER THAN ENGLISH has a name referring to Passover, which means it is harder for pagans to be ignorant about the whole actual relevance of Judaism to Christianity in other languages. ;)
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Melamphoros

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 2744
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Pondering: Christian holidays as cultural holidays
« Reply #66 on: August 26, 2013, 05:43:19 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;120118
And 'Easter' in basically almost every language OTHER THAN ENGLISH has a name referring to Passover, which means it is harder for pagans to be ignorant about the whole actual relevance of Judaism to Christianity in other languages. ;)

 
But many of those languages are based in Latin...which had capital letters that doubled as tools of oppression.



Jesus saves, Allah forgives, Cthulhu thinks you will make a great sandwich.
My Spiritual Blog

Elizabeth G.

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Aug 2013
  • Posts: 29
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Pondering: Christian holidays as cultural holidays
« Reply #67 on: August 26, 2013, 08:08:24 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;120107
Conveniently, last time this came up, I did the uncondensed version, including link to Koi's original, and a bunch additional data.

It's on my website over here: http://gleewood.org/seeking/broader-questions/holidays-history-and-calendars/

It's also in a slightly less edited form in the most recent thread on this on the forum (the link is to a few posts before that, which has some additional info of possible interest - the whole thread has useful tidbits.)


Great article!  Downloading it for future reference.  I admit I gave up reading the thread after it devolved into repetitive argument.

I am impressed and awed by the overall scholarship of members of this board.  Y'all make me feel dumb . . . which is fine, because I won't stay dumb!

MadZealot

  • Adept Member
  • ********
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Location: So Cal
  • Posts: 2462
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 167
  • Eye yam tu papi.
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Bitter Clinger. Sith Lord.
Re: Pondering: Christian holidays as cultural holidays
« Reply #68 on: August 26, 2013, 08:29:44 pm »
Quote from: Melamphoros;120120
But many of those languages are based in Latin...which had capital letters that doubled as tools of oppression.

 
Because the whole alphabet looks like dicks leaning up against one another.
Spider Man 3 never happened. And Epstein didn't kill himself.

veggiewolf

  • Adept Member
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 3105
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
Pondering: Christian holidays as cultural holidays
« Reply #69 on: August 26, 2013, 09:23:15 pm »
Quote from: Juni;120110
I would just like to note that my post is massively simplified on the detail end, and there are much better explanations out there but I don't have the links or the spoons to go link digging...

But it is "Excellent" nonetheless.
Fluid Morality - my spiritual blog
Eating Monsters - my mental health blog

"Religion does not define a deity- it defines the human approach and interpretation of deity." - Juni
"I hate magical thinking in my magic." - Darkhawk
"...a baseball club; a soccer unkindness; a hockey murder; a football team..." - Cecil, Welcome to Night Vale

anonymus

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jul 2013
  • Posts: 115
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Pondering: Christian holidays as cultural holidays
« Reply #70 on: July 23, 2015, 09:06:37 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;73258



 
Similar situation here where I just celebrate Christmas as cultural holiday although I kinda like to lump it in with solstice/yule and new years as one big winter festival week.

Louisvillian

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: May 2013
  • Posts: 392
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 51
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Syncretic religio romana/Hellenised Romano-British religion
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Re: Pondering: Christian holidays as cultural holidays
« Reply #71 on: July 23, 2015, 10:19:23 pm »
Quote from: Juni;120085
Halloween is a secular holiday, derived from the Christian holiday of All Hallow's Eve, which is the night before All Hallow's Day/All Saints Day. The holiday was originally in May but was moved to November 1 by Pope Gregory IV, but there is no consensus as to his reasoning.

Interestingly, and I cannot recall where exactly I originally found it, I've heard a hypothesis that the day-of-the-dead aspects we ascribe to All Hallow's Eve and its associated holidays, i.e. modern Samhain, are mostly original to Christianity and aren't necessarily a continuation of ancient Samhain.

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
37 Replies
9141 Views
Last post February 05, 2012, 03:38:17 pm
by Micheál
15 Replies
1936 Views
Last post January 15, 2013, 04:41:53 pm
by troll maiden
180 Replies
9787 Views
Last post March 16, 2013, 07:21:57 pm
by sailor
3 Replies
893 Views
Last post July 16, 2013, 09:04:10 pm
by Materialist
5 Replies
2004 Views
Last post November 28, 2016, 01:36:09 am
by Cabal

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 52
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 1
  • Dot Users Online:

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* Shop & Support TC

The links below are affiliate links. When you click on one of these links you will go to the listed shopping site with The Cauldron's affiliate code. Any purchases you make during your visit will earn TC a tiny percentage of your purchase price at no extra cost to you.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Host:
Sunflower

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Darkhawk

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Senior Staff:
Aisling, Jenett, Sefiru

Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, EclecticWheel, HarpingHawke, Kylara, PerditaPickle, rocquelaire

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, LyricFox, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Site Administrator:
Randall