In reply to the question on Quora: “Which religions don’t celebrate Christmas or Easter?”
Christmas originally had nothing to do with either Christianity or Islam – rather it has it’s origins in the midwinter festival coinciding with the Winter Solstice, and many other basically pagan rites dating back thousands of years before the Christian Nativity story, but since much of it is a celebration of nature rather than religion everyone should be able to enjoy it and be happy together despite religion!!
The ancient European pagans celebrated the midwinter festival and a number of other festivals long before Christianity ever existed!
Babylonians celebrated the feast of the Son of Isis with gluttonous eating and drinking, and gift giving and the goddess of fertility, love, and war.
The Romans held a festival on 25 December called “Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, celebrating their own god Sol Invictas – PAGAN.
The Persian god Mithras, the Syrian sun god Elah Gabal, the German Sol, the Greek Helios and the Mesopotamian Shamash. But also Saturnalia, honouring Saturn, the God of Agriculture. The law courts and schools were closed. No public business could be transacted an this is where the holidays originated – ALL PAGAN!!!
Wax tapers were given by the more humble to their superiors. The origin of the Christmas candle – PAGAN!!
In Rome groups of costumed went from house to house entertaining their people. And this was where the carolling Christmas tradition originated PAGAN!!
Statues of the Mother and lover or Mother and son were paraded through the streets not only in Italy but also in Africa, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany and Bulgaria. Thus, the symbolism of the Heavenly Virgin and the infant child paraded on a yearly basis are not of Christian origin. They stem from the Mother-goddess religion, which is very ancient ENTIRELY PAGAN!!.
Scandinavian countries celebrated Yule honouring Thor – PAGAN.
In Germania (not Germany) they celebrated midwinter night followed by 12 wild nights of eating and drinking. The 12 days of Christmas PAGAN!!
The church under Pope Julius I declared that Christ’s birth would be celebrated on December 25 in 350 AD in order to try to hijack the PAGAN festivals but it was largely ignored. Christians did not really celebrate Christmas until 378 but it was then dropped in 381 and not resurrected until 400.
The Christmas tree stems from pagan tradition and ritual surrounding the Winter Solstice, which included the use of holly boughs and other foliage as an adaptation of pagan tree worship. Holly and ivy represented male and female. Mistletoe was considered a sacred plant, and the custom of kissing under the mistletoe began as a fertility ritual – all PAGAN!!
Santa Claus came from the Dutch “Sinterklaas” and was a tall figure riding a white horse through the air and usually accompanied by Black Peter, an elf who punished disobedient children. Also the origin of the reindeer, sleigh and the elves ALL PAGAN!!
The modern red coated Santa was brought about by Coca Cola!!
America actually banned Christmas several times and is the originator of the expression “Happy Holidays” which came about because of the pagan origins of Christmas to include all religions and traditions!!
Easter is set by the first full moon after the vernal equinox. This is the one day in the year when day and night are roughly equal!
It varies by more than a month over the years and so it simply cannot represent the date of anyone’s death!!!
It is in fact a combination of several pagan festivals most notably the spring festival.
The name Easter comes from “Eastre” an Anglo-Saxon pagan goddess. Also the Norse goddess,Ostara who took her name from the Teutonic lunar goddess Eostre
Even the Chinese have the festival of Ching Ming where flowers and sweets are put on their ancestors graves!!
The egg and the rabbit are symbols of springtime and rebirth along with the custom of giving flowers etc!!
The Venerable Bede, an early Christian writer pointed out that the Christian church absorbed Pagan practices when it found the population unwilling to give up the festivals. Thus a lot of what Christians now see as Christians practices are in fact pagan!!!
So all the pagan religions worship them along with the christians who are now more pagan than the original pagans!!
Scratch the Christian and you find the pagan – spoiled. – Israel Zangwill