Christmas is a Christian holiday, right? And New Year’s has always been strictly secular, a time for champagne and party hats? Oh, and Valentine’s Day is just a contemporary holiday, isn’t it?
Every holiday has a long and varied history, fascinating and confusing, all at once. The most popular holidays are no different, and even those steeped in one faith or another are not wholly of the faith they appear to be of.
No—nearly all of these holidays have Pagan origins that extend deeply into the past, into times when people sought to gain some measure of control over their lives by appealing to various spirits, gods, and natural forces. Think Jesus planted that first Christmas tree? Think again.
But this isn’t a bad thing! The mixture of holidays gives us the opportunity to learn about our collective past, and to see how cultures slowly meld together over the course of centuries.
Few know the true origins of these holidays because of the preconceived notions that sometimes revolve around Pagan beliefs—that these traditions are somehow inherently wrong. Because of this, our contemporary culture has largely sanitized these holidays, removing most traces of their Pagan roots.
Let's dig a little more deeply into the truth with a look at these 5 holidays and their Pagan origins.