Sunday, December 20, 2009


Since it's this time of year I thought I would take the time to write something relevant to the season. Lets talk about the pagan origin of Christmas.
December 25 was the day the Romans celebrated the rebirth of Sol Invictus, the Sun God, and also the day which the winter solstice was celebrated.
Christmas trees are an exceptional example of pagan tradition, so exceptional that they even get a mention in the old testament.
Jeremiah 10:2-5
2 This is what the LORD says:
       "Do not learn the ways of the nations
       or be terrified by signs in the sky,
       though the nations are terrified by them.

 3 For the customs of the peoples are worthless;
       they cut a tree out of the forest,
       and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.

 4 They adorn it with silver and gold;
       they fasten it with hammer and nails
       so it will not totter.

 5 Like a scarecrow in a melon patch,
       their idols cannot speak;
       they must be carried
       because they cannot walk.
       Do not fear them;
       they can do no harm
       nor can they do any good."

The concept of Santa comes from Scandinavian paganism, Odin the god of thunder travels the skies during the winter solstice deciding who would die and who would live. The other part comes from some traditional stories of St. Nicholas where the person who would go down the chimneys was not St. Nick himself, but rather a demon he had enslaved. It is no coincidence that Santa is an anagram of Satan. This merging of Pagan imagery and tradition and christian folklore is where we get our modern day perception of what the devil looks like. Odin would often wear a helmet with horns and wield a trident.

The Yule log, was burned during the winter solstice, which was sometimes referred to by the germanic people as Yule. The yule log was a phallic shaped log burned (along with people sometimes) in worship of the scandinavian god of fertility, Yule. I don't know anyone who actually burns a yule log at christmas but the tradition is kept alive with our "Yuletide" songs and so on. This ritual was part of a 12 day process where people, yule logs and other junk were burned, and finished on december 25th. Does this ring any bells? The 12 days of christmas perhaps?

Decking the halls with holly was a pagan tradition to ward off evil spirits. The wiccans tied holly in wreaths and wore them on their heads, and was said to amplify the power of the holly.

Mistletoe was used by druids and wiccans in their spells to open a woman up to be exploited sexually.

So, if you're not a Christian and feel overwhelmed by the Christmas spirit because of it's overtly Christian overtones, fear no more, we can celebrate virtually every element of Christmas without thinking about Christianity, because the Christians stole them off the pagans in the first place.


  1. KJ - for writing this ur freakin awesome. :D

  2. "....people, yule logs and other junk were burned..."

    I like the implication of people being junk :D
    Nice post.

  3. The pagans of northern Europe celebrated the their own winter solstice, known as Yule. Yule was symbolic of the pagan Sun God, Mithras, being born, and was observed on the shortest day of the year. As the Sun God grew and matured, the days became longer and warmer. It was customary to light a candle to encourage Mithras, and the sun, to reappear next year. -

    Quite some interesting information out there about this subject. I just wonder how many Christians know they use pagan rituals for Christmas and their reaction.

  4. Thanks for that David, I hadn't looked too much into the Yule thing or the Mithras connection either.


    Christmas is about God!!!1!1!!!

    You know... he was born... on christmas day?


    How unusual of Christianity to pick and choose bits of other religions to use for its own customs, and then to twist the meanings to sound vaguely likely.

    No wait... how usual.

    How else do you convert those pagans then by having similar traditions, on the same days, but with different reasons?! Pretty clever really...

  6. Love the reference from Jeremiah 10:2-5, I don't know how I've missed that all these years!!

    Remember that the early Christian Church did not celebrate Christmas (literally Christ's Mass) on December 25 at all, and even today many Christians celebrate Christmas on January 6 or 7 (in many of the Orthodox faiths and also I believe (but may be mistaken) the Nestorian, Jacobean, Coptic and Armenian sects).

    Sextus Julius Africanus published a book in around 220 AD called Chronographai where he suggested that Jesus' conception was on the spring equinox (ie March 25) so this led to the conclusion that His birth was on the 25th of December. There are some indications that the date began to be widely accepted by the time of the Council of Nicea, and by 350 AD it seems to have been widely accepted in the West as the Nativity.

    As with Easter, the early Christian Church sought to compete with the pagan religions by essentially hijacking their main feasts. You are correct with mentioning Dies Natalis Solis Invicti as being on December 25 ("the birth of the Unconquered Sun") although this in itself was a convenient way to bring other , non-Roman gods into the very Roman tradition of the Saturnalia which was a huge week-long festive celebration of the god Saturn, held around the time of the solstice. December 25 was also the 'birthday' of Mithras (whose worshippers shared bread and wine in his worship, for he had died for them and been resurrected as a symbol of eternal life for those who followed him), Sol (a Graeco-Romano-Egyptian sun god whose worship was promoted by the Emperor Aurelius) and Elah-Gabal (a Syrian sun god who came to prominence in Rome when the chief priest of his religion became the Emperor Elagabalos).

    Your "Santa" thing is interesting. Our modern image of Santa, in the red cloak with the white beard and giving gifts, is essentially an American invention from the 19th century, drawing heavily on the Dutch Sinterklaas, which itself was borrowed from a number of sources including Odin (who used to carry a big brown bag with him in which to put naughty children) and from the legends of St Nicholas and St Basil. The whole Santa/Satan thing is just a coincidence I'm afraid (yes, they do sometimes happen!) although you will find a lot of Baptists and some more extreme Protestants will agree with you on that point.

    The Yule log was not just a phallic symbol. A Yule log is a really big log of wood that takes several days to burn through, thus allowing the servants, who would normally have to keep stoking the fire up and keeping it feed with wood, the opportunity to have a break and celebrate Christmas as well.

    Remember also with the 12 Days of Christmas that 12 is a number of power. In Greek times 3 and 4 were considered to be powerful numbers, hence 7 is a lucky number (3+4) and 12 is also powerful (3x4). There were 12 gods in the major pantheon of the Greek and Roman religion, Odin had 12 sons in Norse mythology (as did Jacob in Hebrew mythology), there are 12 months of the year, there were 12 Apostles. Both the Western and Chinese Zodiacs have 12 signs. There were 12 tribes of Israel. I'm sure if you looked further you'd find a lot more 12s.

    I don't think the modern celebration of Christmas has very much to do with Christianity anyway other than a superficial link so all those pagans and athiests out there have no cause to get their knickers in a twist.

  7. Great topic :D

    Firstly, I find it strange that you consider Jeremiah 10 to be referring to Christmas trees, as that interpretation is more popular among extremely fundamentalist Christians or "fundies" :D

    A more common interpretation is (as the scripture actually says) that the tree is taken from the forest and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel .....into an idol. Which is then adorned with silver and gold, etc. etc.

    A tree doesn't stay a tree when a Bronze Age craftsman gets to unleash his chisel upon it. It becomes a boat or a statue or something else.

    And secondly, I agree with Karl, it is coincidence that Santa is an anagram for Satan as is:


    Good for a laugh.

    Santa Claus is simply the Dutch "Sinterklaas" pronounced in English.

  8. Nice input from you too Karl. I think you both can call it a draw and agree to disagree..but i think you both CAN agree that the modern celebrations and stereotypes of christmas don't really have much to do with christianity itself.

  9. Yes, perhaps it is a coincidence, but a very interesting one considering the possible link with the origin of our modern day satan imagery.

  10. In response to the Idol/tree thing it really depends on the translation you're reading. If it's the NIV, KJV, ESV, ASV, NKJV and probably other translations quite plainly state that it was a tree. On the other hand, the NASB, TM, NLT, Amplified Bible, CEV and probably many more that insert the word idol or statute into the verse. It is just another discrepancy to add to the mix, but this time it is a discrepancy between versions rather than within the same version.

  11. I think you missed my point.

    Agreed, they do plainly state that it was a tree. WAS a tree.

    Jeremiah 10:3

    "For the practices of the peoples are worthless;
    they cut a tree out of the forest,
    and a skilled worker shapes it with a chisel." - TNIV

    "The customs of other people are worth nothing.
    Their idols are just wood cut from the forest,
    shaped by a worker with his chisel." - NCV

    I'm not going to quote all the different translations because it doesn't matter what translation you read, there is no discrepancy between them: they all state that the tree, after being cut from the forest, was manipulated by someone and formed into an idol. A Christmas tree doesn't go through this process.

    Christmas Tree - Tree cut from the forest, adorned with gold and silver, fastened down so it doesn't fall over. Yay, very pretty. It's still a tree.

    Idol - Tree cut from the forest, HANDCRAFTED BY A SKILLED WORKER, adorned with gold and silver, fastened down so it doesn't fall over. It is no longer a tree, in fact it is compared to a scarecrow.

    Conclusion: Christmas trees do not get a mention in Jeremiah 10.

  12. Jeremiah 10:3-5 (American Standard Version)

    3 For the customs of the peoples are vanity; for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman with the axe.

    4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

    5 They are like a palm-tree, of turned work, and speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither is it in them to do good.

    The american standard version doesn't mention a chisel, but rather an axe instead, and compares it to a palm tree not a scarecrow.

    So does the King James version.

    3For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

    4They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

    5They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

    And of course it's not talking specifically about christmas trees. Christmas wasn't even an event then, and our modern day celebrations are a conglomeration of dozens of traditions from various pagan cultures.

    Even if the half that refers to it as an idol are more correct, it doesn't change the fact that the original at the very least is ambiguous.

    It also doesn't change the fact that decorating trees during the winter solstice comes directly from druidic pagan tradition. It is not a christian idea.