Are Holidays Holy Days? Part 1 – New Year’s (Eve)


Where this all originates is from where the Julian calendar began on January 1st. Julian means “old style” and the calendar was introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 BC as a reform of the Roman calendar which was shortly after the Roman conquest of Egypt. Interestingly enough, the Christian Church did not support this day because it was considered a pagan celebration. The church, instead, chose the Feast of the Annunciation for their New Years day that falls on March 25th (which actually is a festival in commemoration of the announcement of the incarnation to Mary, Jesus’ mother.)

In England, this civic year continued to begin in January 1 until around the 12th century while legal documents where starting to switch to March 25th. At the same time, the calendars and almanacs continued with January 1 as the beginning of the calendar. The Julian calendar was then replaced in 1582 by the Gregorian calendar but did not get adopted by Britain, the British, and what is now United States until 1752. The following year in 1753 Sweden then also adopted the new calendar.

The New Year’s public gathering first took place in London 1878 where St. Paul’s cathedral had a new installment of bells.

The Customs of the Holiday

On December 31st, a pagan/wiccan categorized event does take place celebrating the new coming year called Hogmanay. Hogmanay’s roots are indeed of the pagan practice of sun and fire worship in mid winter, however, the origin of the word is not entirely known. This then got adopted by the Romans forming the ancient Saturnalia winter festival obviously related to the Roman god Saturn.

An important element of this holiday is fire, where one the rituals consist of somewhere near at least 45 people swinging balls of fire around their heads walking down their local streets. These “balls” are created from chicken wire holding coals, wood, fir cones, or any other flammable material while then attached to some kind of wire for the person to swing. Some also claim that this fireball ritual is to ward off evil spirits and witches of the old year.

Stonehaven Fireball Ceremony

Fireballs during Hogmanay

A second type of ritual that is performed for Hogmanay is First-Footing where at the stroke of midnight one would be considered lucky to have a stranger come to their door offering symbolic gifts such as a black bun (type of fruit cake), a silver coin, salt, coal, or whisky. The visitor is considered to have good luck if they are visited by a tall dark haired male, bad luck if the visitor is a fair-haired male or a female.

Another ritual is Burning the Calvie which consists of a bonfire that is made up of barrels (called casts) split in half on January 11th. One barrel is reconnected with a large nail and filled with tar and then lit on fire. Afterwards, it is carried through town and placed on the ruins of an altar called Douro. This is the heart of the bonfire and as pieces fall from the bonfire, people scramble to get lit pieces for kindling their New Year’s fire at home. It is said they do this so the smoke of the pieces they collect, go up their chimneys to prevent spirits and witches from coming down into their homes.

Burning of the Calvie

The more commonly known part of New Years is the fireworks. This is from the old Scottish pagan ceremonies from hundreds of years ago. From the traditional ceremony people would take cowhides and use them as their costumes while running around being hit with sticks. Other things included burning animal hides on sticks (a burning stick was also called Hogmanays), and rolling torched barrels down hills.

They also formed groups of people where the leader would wear a sheep skin and the followers would carry sacks. These groups would move from house to house reciting a Gaelic rhyme opening the possibility of being invited in to the others’ homes. If they were invited in, the leader would walk around a fire clockwise. The sacks carried by the members allowed them to carry the bannocks (fruit buns) they received as gifts.

Sheep Skin Costume

To look at all other European pagan costumes that could be related to Hogmanay visit this link:

Since we have looked at the history of New Years and the rituals/events that took place in the history, along with some that are still practiced today, we can look at whether this holiday is considered a holy day according to the bible.

First we can see that with this holiday, fire is used in a lot of events which in return represents the sun and worship of the sun. What does the bible say about this?

If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the Lord thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the Lord thy God, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die. [Deut. 17:2-5 KJV]

Reading these verses we can see that it is mentioned that if one worships the sun, the moon, or any object in the skies they, who worshiped that object, turned that object into a god and served it. It is then reinstated that God has not commanded it and classifies it as an abomination (something that God finds of the extreme in disgust and hatred). The punishment then was to be stoned to death. Remember He is a jealous God and hates wickedness/sin.

One may bring up, “How can God be a just God and yet be jealous while He, Himself, states that jealousy is a sin?” Jealous has several different meanings that can be observed for this purpose. Let us first look at what He is referring as to us. We are not to be jealous of one another which means rivals to each other or in a nutshell always trying to be better than everyone else. Just taking this definition and looking at God’s position it is impossible for Him to be this way because He has everything, knows all and is the Alpha and Omega.

So what is He meaning when He says He is a jealous God? It means He is vigilant in guarding a possession. He created us, and gave His only begotten son so we could have that possibility of living with Him forever in heaven. Which means He loves us A LOT! If you love something or someone so dear, wouldn’t you always be watching out for that item or person making sure that no harm comes or becomes lost?

Alright, let’s get back on track. From the ritual events that was previously mentioned, they all seem to have a purpose of warding off witches or spirits of some sort. In whole, the New Year celebration is to “burn” away all the bad from the currently ending year and open ways for the new year while bringing good luck. All of this revolves around superstition which is defined as a belief or way of behaving based on fearing the unknown while having faith in magic or good luck. We will go back to the bible and see what it has to say about magic and good luck.

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. [Gal. 5:19-21 KJV]

In these verses, it lists off works or actions of the flesh (sin) that those who partake in will not got to heaven and we can see that idolatry (this goes back to worshiping the sun) and witchcraft (use of sorcery or magic; communication with a demon) are brought out.

Before going into the topic of luck, we must understand that the word luck is not mentioned in the bible. So, just to branch off a bit, looking at superstition and then luck we should know that if rituals/events are being conducted to bring forth good luck it is the same idea as a good luck charm. Here with the word charm we can find something related in the bible about this.

There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee. [Deut. 18:10-12 KJV]

With this, we can see that all of these are also considered abominations unto God and we find among these majority are related to magic and/or witchcraft. Let’s go and break each of these down further.

  • Pass Through The Fire– for this particular verse it is associating child sacrifices of burning them.
  • Divination– the practice of using signs (such as an arrangement of tea leaves or cards) or special powers to predict the future. Example would be tarot cards
  • Observer of Times– another phrase for soothsayer or fortune teller
  • Enchanter– a person who uses spells or magic; sorcerer or wizard
  • Witch– person who practices magic as a religion
  • Charmer– one who casts spells
  • Consulter With Familiar Spirits– communication with the dead, contacting devils or demons
  • Wizard– someone who is skilled at magic
  • Necromancer– one who practices of consulting the spirits of the dead

We can see that all these are purely evil and very deep into Satan’s territory. While explaining what a charmer is we haven’t explained what a charm truly is. A charm is something that is believed to have magical powers and prevents bad luck. If something was truly a charm (where having magical powers) the item would have had a spell placed on it and literally be of witchcraft. Yet a charm can be the act of reciting or chanting verses of magical power as well.

If we pull all this together for good luck, the individual is superstitious to where they are afraid of the unknown.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. [2 Tim. 1:7 KJV]

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. [Matt. 6:34 KJV]

This also redirects their faith into something evil and away from God

~{ Matthew 6:19-20 }~

 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: [Matt. 6:19-20 KJV]

In conclusion, the roots of a New Year celebration was founded on pagan rituals and evil practices that surely should not be accepted. The idea of creating a New Year’s resolution is to change something for the better. The idea is not wrong but put your thought of change in God with faith and pray to Him about it instead.

With the ball drop at Time Square, it does not seem to be anything in itself being bad. This originated in 1877 where each day at noon the ball would drop from the Western Union Building triggered by telegraph sent from Washington D.C. This gave signal throughout the entire financial district of Lower Broadway and the ships in the harbors allowing for everyone to reset watches and chronometers.  In 1907, this idea was adopted for bringing in the new year by the New York Times. However in today’s time I would not be surprised if Illuminati symbolism was plastered throughout the events.