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The History of Religious Holidays and Traditions
Many people today enjoy religious holidays, but don't stop thinking and analyze what are traditions of holidays, and why we celebrate them the way we do. Many of today's holidays are mixed in Pagan traditions, but that doesn't discount the religion that the holiday is supposed to celebrate. If you look at history books, it's true that religious holidays use Pagan traditions so that it made Christianity, Judaism, and Islam to pagans in the 1st century A.D. These Pagan traditions got passed down generation to generation, these traditions just stuck, and no one questioned it.
On a personal note, I am a Christian, so even though I write how Pagan traditions has infiltrated many religions today, I am not knocking it. I write this article with respect for all religions, not just Christianity.
For Christianity, two holidays that are considered holy include Easter and Christmas. In reference to Easter, this holiday is a celebration of the day of Jesus's resurrection after three days of death from being crucified on the cross. The day that Passover and Easter is celebrated is not fixed on our traditional calendar each year, it depends upon the Jewish calendar. Passover takes place on the first Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon.
The Easter tradition of decorating and hiding eggs is because in most cultures, eggs represent rebirth. Throughout the past, most eggs were dyed red, in reference to the blood of Christ. Another Easter tradition is rabbits or heirs. This started because it was a common practice for pagans to pray for fertility around early Spring. The Pagans used this holiday as a time for most women to pray to certain saints, and rabbits were used as a symbol of fertility.
For Christmas, it is celebrated on December 25 each year, which is a common tradition in many Pagan religions. Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ to a virgin, but the wrong day is celebrated. According to the Bible, Jesus was born in the spring, and according to Astronomers, by referencing the stars, he was likely born in May. Another Christmas tradition is to give gifts. This tradition dates back to when the three wise man gave gifts to the infant Jesus.
One popular holiday for Muslims is Ramadan. Ramadan is a holy month in which Muslim individuals fast from sunrise to sundown. During this time, they usually eat traditional food at night, such as lemon and fig chicken or lentil soup. Another tradition would be for a Muslim family to eat dates and drink water before the sunrises so they have enough energy to endure the fast during the day.
Another holiday is the Islamic New Year. Many Muslims remember this day as the day of the migration to Medina. Traditionally, most Muslims fast during this day, and stay home from work to pray or go to Mosque. During this time, many mosques gather food for the poor, so they can come to the mosques and receive canned food and a hot meal.