Some atheists, Muslims and Christian fundamentalists like to grumble and gibe that the celebration of Christmas and Easter are “pagan.” They are right and they are wrong. They are right inasmuch as the wellsprings of our Western culture are deep in the pre-Christian cultures of Europe. They are wrong because the early Christians, like the Hebrews before them, saw their religion as a contrast and a corrective to the prevailing pagan culture.
A few years ago I wrote this article for Imaginative Conservative website on the origins of New Years Day.
New Year’s Day is not essentially a Christian celebration, but the institution of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God makes it so, for on this day we not only celebrate the beginning of a new year, but the beginning of the redemption of mankind and the reversal of the Fall.
Image Vasnetsov Madonna via Wikkimedia