Pagan Roots Revealed in Christmas and New Year Celebrations

Pagan Roots Revealed in Christmas and New Year Celebrations



Each year Christmas reveals its pagan roots in the traditions and rituals in which people choose to partake. Over 2 billion people celebrate Christmas worldwide. Many are deterred from celebrating the holiday due to lack of biblical relevance toward incredulous traditions performed yearly.

International Business Times writes:

Early century Christians believed those who had religious views beyond major recognized religions were considered to be pagans. Many Christmas traditions and customs over time, were gradually adopted from pagan rituals, after acknowledging how appealing and profitable their winter festival would be to the church.

Christmas Yule Log

The Christmas Yule log appears on television during the month of December; the wood burns while holiday music plays in the background. Unbeknownst to many individuals celebrating Christmas traditional churches are unlikely to reveal the burning log’s pagan roots.


The winter solstice represents the first day of winter, which is also the shortest day of the calendar year. On the night before the winter solstice, it is a common pagan tradition to partake in a yule log ceremony. A group of people meditates in darkness before lighting the wood to show appreciation for all life that may be produced by the sun the following year, and, as the fire ignites, chanting and pagan carols begin. This culture embraces and celebrates the birth of the sun each year.

Evergreens, Holly, Ivy & Mistletoe

Over 32 million people celebrate Christmas yearly by purchasing an evergreen bough to decorate in traditional holiday colors. History reveals there is inadequate proof that this tradition is associated with Christmas or Christ. Moreover, the relevance of decorating an evergreen bough has pagan roots. Red, green, and white are sacred Druidic colors used in pagan customs, ceremonies, rituals, and clothing.


Pagans are encouraged to place wreaths, pinecones, and the season’s herbs throughout the house, especially in the rooms where social gatherings take place. Significant thresholds should have mistletoe placed above them at the beginning of the winter solstice until the new year for abundant blessings. A wreath placed outside the door of a home symbolizes the continuance of the lifecycle and the year moving in a circular motion. Historically, mistletoe is a plant that is viewed as a symbol of fertility.

To objectify the greenery holly reminds one of the multiple purposes of the winter greenery. Pagans traditionally place holly outside their front doors to keep unwanted spirits from entering the home. The thick-bodied frame of the plant and the thorns help provide protection from prowling animals when planted around valuable crops.

Santa Claus


Santa Claus goes by many names worldwide, St. Nick, Father Time, Father Christmas, Father Ice, Grandfather Frost, and many others. Circle Sanctuary made a statement emphasizing that the Celtic God Herne in pagan heritage, changes form into Santa Claus’ reindeer during the winter solstice. St. Nick in America is a moldable figure based off of several cultures globally.

The mendaciousness of the early church is revealed every Christmas as believers begin to research the holiday they are celebrating. Christians find its roots stem from pagan practices and is a far cry from being a day dedicated to Jesus.

By Jhayla D. Walls
Edited by Cathy Milne


Ancient Origins: The Holly and the Ivy: How Pagan Practices Found Their Way Into Christmas
Breaking Israel News: The Biblical Reason Some Christians Won’t Have a Holly Jolly Christmas
Circle Sanctuary: Celebrating Winter Solstice
Daily Journal: History of Christmas Traditions
International Business Times: Santa Claus’ Pagan Origins: Why Do Christmas Traditions Come From Old Europe?
LA Crosse Tribune: Other View: How did a Common Conifer Come to Symbolize the Season
The Tyee: A Last-Minute Gift The Truth About Christmas

Featured and Second Inline Images Courtesy of Pierre Metivier’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Top Image Courtesy of Antonio Castagna’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
First Inline Image Courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Third Inline Image Courtesy of Tony Cyphert’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License