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Guest MistyCat

What About Christmas? - Do Pagans celebrate?

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Guest MistyCat

Hi,

 

I'm very new to this, I wonder if someone could tell me whether Pagans celebrate things such as Christmas, Easter etc?

 

Although Christian festivals, I have only ever heard of Jehovahs and Jews not celebrating Christmas for one. I have never heard of Pagans not celebrating, but surely it goes against Pagan belief?

 

I don't know if I could give up my tree at Christmas :ph34r:

 

Thanks

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Guest Kitchenwitch

Hi MistyCat

I am fairly new at this and last Christmas was my first as a witch/pagan. As I couldn't expect the rest of my family to suddenly not celebrate Christmas, it was business as usual for them but there was a small extra Yule celebration for me. I cooked a meal, decorated a huge chocolate log and got the family together. Then I decorated my altar, lit my own candles and thought about the exraordinary turn of events in my life. The house was decorated with extra greenery and small symbols that meant something only to me were scattered around. My hubby and grown up kids even bought me witchy pressies. It's possible to help the family to enjoy their Christmas ( we havent been religious about it for quite a few years) and celebrate Yule quietly and in your own way. Hope this helps a bit though I'm sure others can help you better than me. :ph34r:

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Pomona

In modern society, Christmas especially, and to a lesser extent Easter, have become fairly secularised festivals, focussing more on the commercial and family aspect than the religious one.

 

So I guess the question is - is it the secular or religious aspect you want to celebrate?

 

You should also bear in mind that there are many Pagan festivals which fall at these times (well, Yule, Saturnalia amongst others I guess - can't think of any for Easter apart from the vernal equinox and I'm not counting Ostara).

 

Many Pagans combine the two (secular and religious).

 

They treat Christmas as a time to be with family and generally just relax and have fun, but will do something appropriate for their religious beliefs as well. It makes sense to do so when your family don't share your beliefs and I don't see anything wrong in that.

 

So I put up my tree for Yule, and celebrate Saturnalia privately, Yule with Vert, and Christmas with my parents. Everyone's happy :ph34r:

 

There's no hard and fast rule as to what Pagans should do - every Pagan is different and beliefs differ, so it's impossible for there to be any general "pagans do this, pagans don't do that etc".

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Guest Natalie
I don't know if I could give up my tree at Christmas  :ph34r:

 

158112[/snapback]

I also wondered about this, but after searching through old threads & posts, I read that people on here still do put a tree up, and also celebrate Yule, so that made me happy that I can still have my tree!! ;)

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Pomona

The tree at midwinter is an authentic pre-Christian symbol :ph34r:

 

So decorate to your heart's content ;)

 

I like to decorate mine, as I say, at Yule, and I weave spells in every decoration I put up. It's one of my favourite Yule traditions.

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Guest Fillionous

Another one of those 'ask 6 pagans get 12 answers', so I will give you my solution to this issue.

 

I do not celibrate Christmas, I do not go to a church and celibrate the birth of a son of God called Jesus, I do not sing Christmas carols about this child who came to save me and the various people that came to his birth to praise him. Nor do I celibrate any other Christian festival, any more than I would celibrate a Muslim or Jewish or Hindu etc. festival.

 

Christmas for me, is a secular time, conveniant because most of my family and friends are off work and in a position to recieve visitors and be social. So the Christmas holidays (and to a certian degree Easter too) is a time to visit my family and help them celibrate. And this does include the exchange of presants and the eating of classic seasonal treats and meals. Fortunetly none of my family are much into the over comecalization of Christmas, so it is not about 'things' more people... For my Mum who is strongly Christian, that means Jesus, for me it is my family.

 

I think that this is true for a great many people in this country. Certianally for all those of faiths that Christmas has no relivance to... it is just a conveniant holiday, a chance to see family and friends and know that they too will be off work.

 

I do not follow a 'classic' Pagan / Wiccan celibration of Yule, but I do mark the passage of the seasons. As part of this I do decorate my house with seasonal greenery, plants, colours etc... at 'Christmas' that usually includes a tree. But again it is nothing to do with the Christian festival, more my sence of wanting some green and sparkle in my life at the dark of winter.

 

Be bright, be bold

Fillionous

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Guest lady_templar_99

Still celebrate Christmas, because lets face it christmas is fun!!

 

I put up a tree, give pressies, eat so much food that I think I'm going to be sick. Good old fasioned traditional stuff. I just dont think about the religious side of it. Go with whatever makes you comfortable. I eat chocolate eggs at easter because I like chocolate. Simple no other reference needed. Easter = chocolate. Even before I was pagan thats what it meant for me. I guess I had it a bit easier not coming from a strongly christian family.

 

I also will go to church at christmas. I like singing carols. you dont have to mean the words just enjoy the community that it creates. I go because my mum likes to go. IF my mum wanted to go and celebrate at another festival id probably trundle along with her. Makes her happy which makes me happy. I dont join in with prayers, I usually just think quietly and make my own prayers. Im of the oppinion that nobody is going to mind not even the gods as generally we're all there in the same spirit. To celebrate the turn of the year to enjoy each others company and to wish love and happyness on the people arround us.

 

I dont take part in lent mainly because i find the whole thing a bit odd. I even go round collecting for christian aid! A lady at work asks me to help, its for charity, they do good work Im not going to worry about what faith is on the collection bag.

 

Thats my take on things but I know that everyone here will have a different idea about it. I think you just have to forge your own way through and find something that works for you, but I dont think there is a right or a wrong way.

 

temps

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Xalle

Hi Misty,

 

One of the great things about stepping out of the Christian world and following your own path is just that, its your own path, there is no right or wrong.

 

Celebrate Xmas, or dont, keep the tree or not.. its entirely up to you, you dont need others to give you a step by step guide to the year.

 

When it comes to "that time of year" this is what I do. I celebrate yule. In the sense that I have a few friends over, we toast the year and I do a few wee personal things just for me. I also celebrate Xmas.. note not Christmas.. Xmas for me is a day with my family, decent food, terrible films and getting together with the people I love and care for when we all put our anxt to the side and chill.

 

Do whatever feels right for you. Thats the best way.

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Guest Gorgana

When I first mentioned to my daughter about "officially coming out" as a Pagan, the first thing she asked was, "Oh, does that mean I wont get any presents at Christmas?", and I said that of course she would and we would carry on as normal because to us it has always just been a holiday not a religious festival. We would carry on decorating our tree, bringing in greenery from the garden and lighting our candles.

 

She then read the post about Easter=Chocolate and laughed and agreed totally that Easter is just about Chocolate and family. I must admit that I went out and bought some pretty eggs to hang on some branches for over Easter but only in order to celebrate the coming of Spring, nothing to do with Jesus and his rebirth.

 

 

We have never celebrated these times as religious holidays, just holidays in which to meet up with friends and family and get some good pressies :o_wave:

 

love

g

x

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Guest drachenfach

This pagan celebrates whatever the hell she likes, especially if it involves chocolate and time off work.

 

Seriously though, as many others have said the main Christian holidays have become increasingly secularised, and are often very important to family both in a religious sense and (usually more importantly) 'stuff yourself with turkey/chocolate and watch old films' .

 

So I celebrate whatever's kicking off at the time- Easter and Christmas with my family, Eid, Diwali and Chinese New year with the people at work, pagan festivals with my partner and like-minded friends.

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Guest lady_templar_99

Well lets face it any excuse to celebrate is a good one :D

 

Specially if it involves chocolate in any way.

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Guest Appleleaf

I celebrate Yule as a spiritual holiday, with my partner. We take a day off and go out into nature. For Christmas, we exchange small gifts and have a day of nice food and relaxing! Exchanging gifts and cards with friends is always fun, and it's a secular thing anyway as none of my friends are strict Christians, so we just enjoy an exuse to be nice to each other! I make my own cards so they go out with "seasons greetings" written on them.

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Guest Tas Mania

A well kept secret about us Pagany peoples:

 

We celebrate ALL year long!

 

Merry Mead! :o_perv: :D :o_perv: :o_dance: :o_drink: :o_lol:

Edited by Tas Mania

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Guest Kristofski

Most of the traditions in christmas and easter are from pagan days anyway. I mean, what do eggs and rabbits have to do with the death of jeasus?!? :o_cute: :o_smile: :o_cute:

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Guest Eagledance

Hic Tas

Let's raise a glass to the fantastic feast of St Frederick of Fridays! :o_smile:

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Guest Quasizoid
A well kept secret about us Pagany peoples:

 

We celebrate ALL year long!

 

Merry Mead!  :o_cute:  :o_smile:  :o_cute:  :o_dance:  :o_drink:  :o_lol:

158333[/snapback]

 

Yep! I'll drink to that! :o_beer:

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Guest Tas Mania

St Frederick of Fridays!

Also the Patron Saint of Workers, his correspondences are as follows:

 

fav colour : bile,

Planet: Uranus

Plants: potatoes (chipped) and garlic (plenty)

herbs: yes please!

Mantra: ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz......

Holy Day: Friday, sometimes Saturday and Sunday, but interchangeable (dependant on ruling Demon)

Rites: Dedication of the Wages to the God Bank.

Sacrificial Offerings: Taxes, rent, mortgages, et al.

He is also the mentor of the Fellowship of Sacred Weekend Sleeps.

 

Suitable offerings are drams, drams of various varieties, fags, sweeties, chips, and drams. :o_smile: :o_cute:

Edited by Tas Mania

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Guest Eagledance

St Frederick (Or Freddy as we call him in these parts) is also known to be beneficially predisposed to the odd G&T and bar of Green & Black's. He also likes Desperate HOusewives on video and the occasional bit of horizontal jogging on the sofa.

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Guest Quasizoid

Ooo I'm just itching to see what this thread will turn into on the next full moon! :o_smile:

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Guest Eagledance

:o_cute: :o_smile: :o_cute:

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Guest Tas Mania
Ooo I'm just itching to see what this thread will turn into on the next full moon!  :o_cute:

158369[/snapback]

 

Why? Is it on a Friday? :o_smile:

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Guest MistyCat

You've all been fantastic in your replies and really helpful! I am starting to realise that this is going to be my own special path in which I can celebrate and follow in the way that I choose to. I like it all the better for this reason because I feel that other religions are very conformist and rather dictational.

 

I guess there is no right and wrong, which must make every Pagan so much more interesting to talk to and share things with, than those from other religions.

 

I'm getting married in July - in a Christian church, because its just what I wanted to do. I am so glad there are no hard rules!

 

Thanks again everyone, you have been great :-)

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fizzyclare1

My family and I celebrate xmas 'cos its an excuse to buy pressies - then I do my own spiritual thing (usually a walk in the country or something) - I've come to the point actually where I've realised that my walk in the woods is like a visit to church - except that when I went to church (on the odd occasion that I did go) I didn't feel much spiritual connection (I imagine that xians do get some kind of spiritual connection from going to church - but I dunno).

 

and its alot more fun.

 

fizzy :lol:

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Guest Swanhild

I celebrate Christmas - I love turkey. Seems to be more of an overindulgence folk festival for pagans.

 

Easter is a major celebration for many Heathens as it is named after the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre. Eggs and bunnies galore!

 

Skegga :P

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Guest Birka

I don't celebrate Christmas and I've worked the last three. I give gifts to those that give them to me because a gift deserves a gift and I do use it for an excuse to drink - however I do that for the weekend too. I'm now living in a non-Christian country so that is a lot better in terms of having to hear colleagues bitching about not getting time off. At most, we'll get a day off in Korea - which doesn't bother me - it means another drinking session in Onyang but we do that for every Korean holiday anyway.

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Guest Quasizoid

Sheesh, I haven't even finished the harvest yet. Ask me again in a couple of months, that's if there are any survivors! :P

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Guest +Angelmouse+

Hiya.

 

Me and Mine just make Christmas an extention of Yule. Most people at Christmas have to shack about to family and friends houses doing the glad tidings bit so we do both. Yule is when we start our overindulging and celebrating everything run. I plant my Garlic in the veg plot as an offering for the year to come (I harvest it on the Summer Solstice, my Birthday!) We walk on the beach or in the forest. We decorate the house with greenery usually that we have collected on the walk and then we get right royally trollied. It's great. Christmas is just an extention of that really except we have to go to other peoples houses to do it and can't get quite as Pisshed. :D

 

In any case, as someone already said, they nicked our bloddy dates in the first place. Celebration of new life to come anybody? Sound familiar? Turning of the Wheel hmm, hmm?

 

 

Angelmouse :)

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Guest Freydis

We don't celebrate Christmas, but we do celebrate Yule, starting with Mother's Night on (or as close as we can make it) to the Equinox, which is also when we celebrate the new year. Sometimes we celebrate wiht our hearth, but more often it's just us (geographical constraints). Exactly what we do depends on the weather, but myself and my daughter and son will hold our ritual when we remember and honour the mothers in our family. The we get down to the serious Yule feasting....hic! :)

 

Frey

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Guest badgersmoon

I've been saying for years, long before I had any inkling about Paganism, that I didn't want to have "Christmas" any more.

Christmas, in the sense of the "Christ's Mass" is meaningless to anyone not a christian, and has anyway become so commercialised it's hardly worth anything.

That said, I see no reason not to have a damn good midwinter knees-up. That's effectively what the season is about.

I even quite like christmas carols and have been known to go to midnight mass just because of all the pretty lights and a chance to do a damn good sing.

So have the big dinner, drink the unfeasible amounts of alcohol, give the presents, on whatever day your family do it, just recognise in your own heart that you're celebrating the turning of the year, the slow return to sunlight, the growth of the new God/Year. Not a recent bolt-on possibly-Mithraist, certainly Latinised religion. :)

 

As an aside: can the big party, the killing of the last of the animals, the using of the last of the meal the breaching of the last barrel etc. at Yule be seen as an act of faith? I.e. "if we kill this old sheep now the sun will come back soon and the new lambs will be born for us to eat"

BM

xx

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