General Question

Charles's avatar

Does Chrisitanity have an original holiday?

Asked by Charles (4804points) April 15th, 2012

All the ones I can think of were adopted from other beliefs. Is there one that has no other history from another belief? Many widespread customs associated with Christmas – such as Christmas trees, Santa Claus, mistletoe, holly wreaths, the custom of exchanging gifts – have pagan origins.

Christmas : Saturnalia

Easter : Ostara

Jesus of Nazareth : Apollonius of Tyana

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15 Answers

The_Idler's avatar

Well the Catholics must have some… The Assumption is one that springs to mind?

The first thing I thought of was Michaelmas, but then I realised it’s pretty much tied to the Harvest Festival, which I would expect to have pre-Christian roots.

Aside from that… I can’t think of a parallel to All Hallows’ Day…. though All Hallows’ Eve is quite clearly pagan-influenced.

The_Idler's avatar

The Catholics probably have loads though.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@charles – Easter also owes a lot to Passover. The so called last supper was the final seder of Passover.

Bill1939's avatar

The early Roman Catholic Church preempted existing religious holidays to facilitate the conversion of non Christians to the Church’s dogma. While Christmas is unlikely the date of the birth of Jesus, I think that the date for Easter is close to the time of his crucifixion and subsequent disappearance from the tomb. I am not aware of another religion that celebrates resurrection.

Judi's avatar

The first one that came to mind was Pentecost.
There are Church holidays throughout the year.

Charles's avatar

“The first one that came to mind was Pentecost. ”

Pentecost (Greek: Πεντηκοστή [ἡμέρα], Pentēkostē [hēmera], “the Fiftieth [day]”) is a prominent feast in the calendar of Ancient Israel celebrating the giving of the Law on Sinai,


jerv's avatar

@Bill1939 Spring is seen by many as a time of rebirth as barren trees come back to life and grow new leaves, animals come out of hiding and start running around again, etcetera, so it could be argued that any holiday that celebrates the coming of Spring celebrates resurrection, even if it’s more symbolic than literal.

And here is what Wikipedia has to say about Ostara (the Vernal Equinox); “In terms of Wiccan ditheism, this festival is characterized by the rejoining of the Mother Goddess and her lover-consort-son, who spent the winter months in death”.

So now you are aware of another religion celebrating resurrection ;)

SpatzieLover's avatar

By holidays, I’ll take that to mean days of rememberance, feast days or holy days of obligation. Yes, Catholism has many.

Catholic liturgical calendar for 2012

We consider Halloween to be the eve of All Saints Day. All Saints is the day prior to All Souls Day

We observe Lent

Lightlyseared's avatar

@Charles So what your really saying is that Christianity is a load of made up bollocks?

Charles's avatar

“Christianity is a load of made up bollocks?”

It probably is.

Bill1939's avatar

Thanks to all for pointing out the obvious connection between spring time and rebirth/resurrection. Sometimes I am oblivious to the obvious.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I don’t know. I think we stole most of them from the Pagans.

nnennasimone's avatar

This is a good question and well worthy of research. My interest has been sparked.

Judi's avatar

Today is Ascension Day!

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