The Pagan Roots of Christmas And How It Became Commercialized
As we approach the European’s American Holiday called, Christmas, I thought this would be great time for me to share with you about the pagan roots of this holiday and what it really represents. Millions of our people are about to partake in the celebration of this holiday and have absolutely no idea about where this celebration stemmed from and how it became so popularized. After all, it’s not mentioned about in the Bible, the Quran, the Talmud or any other religious text. It’s also not widely celebrated by our distant relatives in Africa or the other eastern countries where our people are scattered at. Yet, it’s the hallmark card for Christianity, the biggest pay day for businesses across the world, and Black American’s favorite holiday.
Millions of black folk work double shifts, sacrifice paying their bills, and go broke every year just to get their children and family members some gifts for this esteemed holiday. As a result, millions of black folk’s dollars goes into the hands of white folks pockets during this holiday season; causing our oppressors to stay rich and the oppressed to stay poor. But why is that? Why do we, the so-called African Americans go so hard for this holiday; even though it contributes to our financial demise?
It’s because we have been indoctrinated by our oppressors — through the religion of Christianity — to esteem this holiday above all else. For instance, before our ancestors were captured and shipped to the West Indies and the Americas as slaves; none of them celebrated Christmas nor participated in the religion of Christianity. In fact, they weren’t even aware of these Greek religions and traditions because they were Hebrews that kept the laws and commandments of Yah (God) and had no dealings with Europeans. It wasn’t until their cousins — the Africans and Arabs — had captured them and sold them off to the Europeans as slaves; that they were introduced to the European religion of Christianity and their celebration of Christmas.
Since the vast majority of their slavemasters were Christians, our ancestors were immediately grafted into the Christian cultures of the Europeans upon their arrival to the Americas. Christmas, being the most popular celebration among the Christian slavemasters, it became the most highly esteemed celebration of the slaves by default. Based on the collection of slave narratives that the government collected as part of the Federal Writer’s Project in the late 1930s, Christmas was observed on nearly all plantations, with black slaves and white slave owners often celebrating together.
However, according to our ancestor, Fredrick Douglass, in his 1845 Narrative, Christmas was tool used by the slavemaster to keep the slaves in check. By giving our ancestors a few days off from their horrific free labors in the cold fields; it softened their spirits from rebellion and made them see their slavemaster as a father figure rather than their oppressor (this was my paraphrase of Mr. Douglass’s account of Christmas for the slaves).
On a typical Christmas day on the plantation, slaves would awake and seek out whites because it was customary for all slaves to receive gifts. On many plantations, the slavemasters would host Christmas parties for their relatives, and allow the slaves to invite their family members over who were owned by different slave masters. Although the slavemaster only did this too keep his slaves well behaved; our ancestors took advantage of this time of year by reuniting with families and rejuvenating their bodies and spirits from the extremely brutal conditions of slavery. Not being able to see their families all year long, this time of year became highly sought after and allowed the slaves to endure the rest of the year peacefully, just as Fredrick Douglass stated.
However, in all the joyous celebrations of Christmas that our ancestors partook in during slavery, the vast majority of them had no idea as to what the Christmas holiday was even about. Since it was illegal for them to read and English was not their native language; they had to rely on their slavemaster’s wife or mistress or overseer to explain to them anything bible related. And all they were taught about Christmas was that it was the celebration of the birth of Christ; so the slaves just ran with that. And after hundreds of years later, this is what our people still believe.
This is why today, if you ask any of our people who are Christians why do they celebrate Christmas, they will tell you that “it’s the celebration of the birth of Christ”. However, there is no mention of anyone in the bible or any of the ancient manuscripts that the bible was translated from, which celebrated the birth of Yahusha (Jesus). Even the story of the birth of the Messiah (Christ) mentioned about in the gospels, does not once hint at any celebration of His birth let alone a holiday called Christmas. So now that we know that this holiday was not celebrated or even mentioned about in the scriptures and that we learned to celebrate it from our oppressors — let’s now dig into the history of this holiday and discover where this celebration really came from.
The Untold Pagan Origins Of Christmas
According to various scholars, the festival celebrated on December 25th was first documented as “Christmas Day” in the year 324. A.D. by The Romans under the authority of Emperor Constantine The Great. And just one year later in the year 325. A.D., Constantine and other rulers and priests of Europe got together at the Council of Nicea and formed the religion of Christianity. The significance of Constantine and the Romans being involved in the creation of Christianity is that they were all pagans; meaning they worshiped false Gods. And one of the many false Gods that they worshiped was Saturn, which is the name that the so-called sixth largest planet from the sun is named after.
In celebration of their false God, Saturn, the Romans took part in the festival celebration known as Saturnalia, which took place on December 25th. The Saturnalia festival has an astronomical character, referring to the completion of the sun’s yearly course, and the commencement of a new cycle. Saturn, which is where we get the word for the 7th day of the week, Saturday, represented the sun at its lowest aspect during the winter solstice; and was the God that they celebrated Saturnalia after. Since the Romans worshiped Saturn as their Sun God, they replaced Yah’s (God’s) holy 7th day Sabbath of rest with Saturday — a day to party and get drunk — and started worshiping Saturn on the first day of the week when the sun rised, and called it Sun-Day; in reverence to the sun. This change took place in 364 C.E. at the Council of Laodicea and the so-called church has been honoring this day over the Sabbath ever since.
On December 25th when the celebration of Saturnalia would began, public festivities would ensue which involved ritual sacrifices in the Temple of Saturn and the making and giving of small presents (especially to children) in honor of Saturn. During the celebration, business was postponed and there was drinking, gambling, singing, and even public nudity. Pagans also decorated their houses with clippings of evergreen shrubs and decorated living trees with bits of gold and silver metal. Sound familiar doesn’t it?
Another pagan festival that was celebrated by the Romans was called “Sol Invinctus” and gave veneration to the solar deity Mithras. Followers of Mithras would also gather together on the 25th of December and celebrate Sol Invinctus or ‘the birthday of the unconquered sun’. They considered the sun ‘unconquered’ due to the fact that it ‘survives’ the reduced daylight hours during the winter solstice. And Mithras was considered to be the light and power behind the sun. So the symbol of Mithras is the sun.
The worship of the Sun-God, Mithras, dates back over 4000 years to the Ancient Persians (Iran) during our Israelite ancestor’s captivity under the Babylonians. The Persians worshiped the sun god Baal under the name of “Mithra” or “Mithras, and persuaded many of our ancestors to do the same (Jeremiah 23:13-21). In case you didn’t know, Baal was the deity of Nimrod’s son Tammuz, who the ancient Hammites (Africans) worshiped as the reincarnation of Nimrod. The worship of Baal later spread to other nations, but under a different names such as Mithras and Saturn. And since the Israelites were constantly being persuaded by these other nations to worship Baal, The Most High had to constantly send prophets to them, warning them to stop worshiping false Gods or they would remain in slavery.
For instance, in Jeremiah the 10th chapter, Yah speaks to his people through the prophet, saying:
Thus saith Yahuah, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. – Jeremiah 10:2-5
In this passage, Jeremiah is referring to the decorating of the tree in worship and honor of Baal’s rebirth that the other nations partook in; that some of the Israelites were starting to follow after. Trees and branches became symbols of Baal (Nimrod) because Nimrod was “cut down” or murdered by Shem; so a tree stump became a place of honoring him. The winter solstice was the time when the sun was thought to be “reborn”, so December 25th was celebrated as Baal’s (Nimrod’s) birthday. And the Most High is telling Israel in this passage to stop participating in this celebration of Baal’s Birthday because it’s idolatry.
The birthday celebration of Baal, was later adopted by many other cultures who worshiped Him under their own name. The Persians adopted the worship of Baal and called him Mithras. The Greeks adopted the worship of Mithras from the Persians, and called him many names, both the most popular two were Zeus and Hesus Krishna. Then the Romans adopted this Sun-God worship and called him by Saturn as well as Christos Helios, which meant “Christ-The-True-Sun”. The Roman Emperor Constantine, who worshiped Christos Helios, wanted to combine all the God’s into one so that he could control the entire continent of Europe through a one world religion.
Since all the pagans believed in reincarnation; a dying and resurrected Jewish Messiah would satisfy the Jews, the Greeks, the Romans, and the surrounding nations. So Constantine and the other leaders of Europe merged all the Sun-Gods into one at the Council of Nicea and created the God, Iesus Christ, which meant that the Sun was the anointed one. Iesus Christ later became known as Jesus Christ, the God of the Christians.
Prior to the religion of Christianity and the institution of Christmas, December 25th was already a festival day in Rome through Mithraism, Saturnalia and various other pagan religions, whose god’s celebrated their birthdays on December 25th. Therefore, once Christianity became Rome’s official religion, setting December 25 as Jesus’ birthday to satisfy the pagans who were already celebrating on December 25th for their Gods was as easy as taking candy from a baby.
So the reason why the celebration of Christmas today resembles all the other pagan festivals of ancient and present times around the world is because it derived from paganism. Now that we know where this holiday came from, let’s dig more into history and see how it became commercialized.
Santa Clause and Christmas Shopping
Perhaps, the most popular name to be mentioned and celebrated during Christmas, is a fat white guy with a long white beard named, Santa Claus. Although Christians will claim that Christmas is all about Christ, it’s very clear by the lies they tell their children about Santa Clause and the gifts they buy for them in his tradition, who it’s really about. However, although most of us recall being taught about Santa Claus by our parents when we were kids; hardly anyone knows who Santa Clause really is or where His story came from. So allow me to clear this mystery up for you.
According to legend, the man we call Santa Claus was a fourth century Catholic bishop named Saint Nicholas who lived in Turkey. He participated in the First Council of Nicaea along with Constantine The Great in deciding what scriptures to include in the bible and what not to include. It is said that St Nicholas was known as a patron of children for his generosity to them during his lifetime especially during the Winter Solstice. By the middle ages, He became worshiped as a God and often called upon in prayer.
Next, according to legend, St Nicholas magically re-appears in the Netherlands over 1500 years after his death, around the seventeenth century. However, he doesn’t appear as St Nick; he appears as Sinter Klaas (a.k.a. Santa Claus). Nevertheless, legend has it that in His name, dutch children began the tradition of placing their shoes by the fireplace on December 5, for the mystic fourth century Bishop, Saint Nicholas. The next morning, the gleeful Dutch children quickly awoke to gifts in their shoes, left by Sinter Klaas. Just like the stories we hear of today’s Santa, Sinter Klaas would miraculously, travel from housetop to housetop, and enter through the chimney of people’s homes.
This legend of Santa Clause migrated to America with the Europeans and by the 20th century, the Dutch Sinter Klass had become a household name. Beginning in 1863, cartoonist Tom Nast began a series of annual drawings in Harper’s Weekly of a fat Santa with a flowing beard, fur garments, and a clay pipe. Nast drew these images of Santa until 1886, and his work had a major influence in creating the modern American Santa Claus. The “Mall Santa” that we are all familiar with — sporting a red suit with white cuffs and collar, and black leather belt, became the popular image in the United States in the late 19th century and early 20th century because of the “Merry Old Santa Claus” images created by political cartoonist Thomas Nast.
Although widespread images of Santa Claus are based upon American representations, the notion of a fat, bearded flying man is nothing more than another European attempt of creating a false God for people to worship. The evidence of my claim derives from the actions that preceded the commercialization of Santa Claus. For instance, after Santa became a household name that parents told their kids about in the 19th century; the revenue of businesses during the month of December has increased over 50% since the 20th century. And I assure this is no coincidence.
At the beginning of the 1930s, as the burgeoning Coca-Cola company was looking for ways to increase sales of their product during winter, they turned to a talented commercial illustrator named Haddon Sundblom, who created a series of memorable drawings that associated the figure of a larger than life, red-and-white garbed Santa Claus with Coca-Cola and the slogan: The Pause That Refreshes. This increased the sales of Coca-Cola tremendously during the winter months, and other large corporations took note of their success and did the same.
Upon the massive success of the commercialization of Santa Claus, companies started to commercialize Christmas as a whole as a way to bring in more money to their businesses during the month of December. And since the early 1950’s, the widespread advertising of Christmas has been a huge success for corporations, bringing in millions of dollars to white-owned corporations every single year. This is why today, soon as the month of November hits, you can hardly flip through a channel, listen to the radio or visit a website, without hearing about some Christmas special that is going on.
Companies spend millions of dollars in advertising to us their specials during the winter months to persuade people — especially black people — to spend money that we don’t have and feel happy doing it. They do this to us by promoting images of Santa Clause giving to kids or of three European wise men bringing gifts to a white European baby in a manger, to send messages to our brain that this is the season of giving and we need to participate. And it works like a charm because the majority of Black America has been mis-educated through our oppressor’s schools and religions into thinking that God is white and that participating in Christianity and Christmas is pleasing to Him; when the exact opposite is the case.
In closing, I hope that you will be able to receive the truth about the pagan roots of Christmas and how it became commercialized. I myself was once a Christian and I also was deceived into celebrating the Christmas Holiday. But 3 years ago I was presented some information about Christmas and Christianity that changed my life, and I haven’t celebrated this holiday since. Knowing what this holiday is truly about and where it stemmed from, my spirit was convicted to no longer take part in this European holiday that has robbed my people of millions of dollars over the last century. And it is my hope that by you reading this article that you will be challenged to withdraw your participation from this pagan celebration as well. Shalom!
- The Two Babylons or The Papal Worship
- European Christianity and The Atlantic Slave Trade: A Black Hermeneutical Study
- The Great Deception: Chapter 7
- Constantine’s Creation of Jesus Christ
- Christmas In the Big House, Christmas in The Quarters
- The Slave Experience of The Holidays
- Come Out Of Her My People
- Christmas, Muslims, and The Paganisation of Christianity
- Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass