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As you enjoy this holiday period, you should also learn the dark origins these holidays. You would be surprised to find out that many holidays have dark and or even pagan origins.

Many religions simply adopted the festival as a way to help them convert the pagans or just make the holiday feel more religious.

  1. 1 Christmas

    Christmas started over 2000 years ago in the Roman Empire. The Romans celebrated Saturnalia a holiday set aside to celebrate the harvest. The festivities included drinking, gambling and even bizarrely cross-dressing (who said transgender was a new thing again?)

    Europe also had their drunken celebration around December called The Jual, which celebrated the “birth of the sun.” When Christianity took over Europe in the 5th century, many pagans refused to toe the Christian line. 

    To help convert pagans, Christianity decided to state that Jesus was born around the same time Jual was happening. But the pagans just wanted to have a good time and accepted this. The pagans came to a compromise with the Christians. If they made the festivities about Jesus, then they would be allowed to have their parties (politics at play?)

    But you would think that this was the point where Christmas became the fun-loving day we all know today. But you would be wrong! For the next 1000 years, Christmas had more in common with “the purge” than anything else. 

    Drunken mobs would take over the streets and go to wealthy peoples' homes. They would demand food and drink. If they would be denied they would threaten their “hosts” with violence. 

    When the British arrived in America, they banned Christmas because it was not a very religious holiday. But with more immigrants flooding into America, bringing their own Christmas traditions, these practices merged, creating a new culture and in essence a new Christmas tradition. 

    As Christianity spread, they spread the Christmas holidays without disclosing that it had pagan roots, drunken festivity, and violence.

  2. 2 Halloween

    Halloween was also a pagan tradition. It was the end of the harvest season and was also recognition of death. Pagans believed that spirits roamed the earth at this time. They wore masks so that the souls did not recognize the living and possessed them. 

    The Vatican took note of this and created All Hallows Eve to honor saints who did not have a day set aside for them. The date was chosen on the same day pagans celebrated their harvest and spirits to make it easier to convert them to Christianity.

  3. 3 New Year’s Day

    New Year’s Day does not include a dark origin, but still quite impressive. New Year ’s Day was celebrated around March when the seasons changed. Since 4000 years ago, there were no calendars, They used seasons to recognize a new year.

    The Babylonians celebrated New Year with 11 days of feasting. It was to celebrate the victory of the sky god Marduk over the sea god Tiamat.

  4. 4 Valentine’s day

    Roman traditions were weird, to say the least, but they also brought us the “day of love.” Their ritual was a little strange. On 13th to 15th February, the Romans sacrificed dogs and goats to their gods. The hides of these animals were used to beat their women. They believed that this increased their fertility. This celebration was called Lupercalia.

    Also a few centuries later two men called Valentines we killed for their faith. The church then started to celebrate Saint Valentines. In the fifth-century pope Galatious I combined Saint Valentine’s Day and Lupercalia in an attempt to convert pagans to Christianity. 

  5. 5 Birthdays

    Many Christians did not celebrate birthdays as they believed it was pagan traditions. The Pharaohs first celebrated birthdays. On the day they were made Pharaohs, Egyptians believed that their kings ascended to god status and hence a day of celebration. 

    Christians only started celebrating their birthday after they began to celebrate the birth of Jesus

  6. 6 Mother’s day

    It descends from a Greek tradition that focused on worshiping fertility. And when the holiday name was translated it spelled out “mother worship.”  

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