Julebukking: Celebrating The Christmas Goat
Many of the holidays we celebrate today are not as modern as we like to think. Many of them have their roots in pagan holidays, and while most people are aware of the pagan origins of Halloween, they may not be aware of the pagan origins of other holidays like New Year’s Eve, Easter, Epiphany, and Saint John’s Eve.
The holidays became Christian holidays in 380 AD when Emperor Theodosius issued the Edict of Thessalonica, outlawing paganism and declaring Christianity the only official religion in the Roman Empire. This, of course, was not easy for the Romans who still worshiped the Roman gods like Jupiter. To make this shift a bit more palatable, the Christian Church simply placed the Christian holidays on the same dates as the old pagan ones. Thus, December 25, which was the final day of Saturnalia, shifted from being the Festival of the Sun God to becoming the date of Christmas.