Holidays are observed by many religions, though not all. This may be due to cultural and historical circumstances, as well as to differences in beliefs about the nature of time and celebration.
While many faiths celebrate holidays, others see no need to do so. They could also feel that celebrations take their attention away from God or their religious principles. Some people may also hold the view that celebrating holidays is somehow connected to paganism, nationalism, or sectarianism.
This article will examine the faiths that don’t partake in holiday celebrations. We shall briefly describe each faith tradition and explain why its members do not observe its holidays.
What Religion Does Not Celebrate Holidays?
Religions that Do Not Celebrate Holidays
- Jehovah’s Witnesses
- Seventh-day Adventists
- Church of God (7th Day)
- Church of Christ (Scientist)
- Baháʼí Faith
- Unitarians and Universalists
- Ethical Culture
1. Jehovah’s Witnesses
Why Jehovah’s Witnesses Don’t Celebrate Holidays?
Jehovah’s Witnesses are a Christian denomination that refrains from celebrating holidays for a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons is that they believe that many holidays have pagan origins. For example, Christmas, Easter, and Halloween are all holidays that have been adapted from pagan festivals. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that these holidays are not in line with the teachings of the Bible.
Another reason why Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate holidays is that they believe that they can be a distraction from their worship of God. They believe that holidays can focus too much on materialism and worldly pleasures, and not enough on God and his teachings. They also believe that holidays can promote nationalism and sectarianism, which they believe are contrary to the teachings of the Bible.
Instead of celebrating holidays, Jehovah’s Witnesses focus on celebrating the Lord’s Memorial, which commemorates the death of Jesus Christ. They believe that this is the only holiday that is specifically commanded in the Bible. The Lord’s Memorial is celebrated once a year, on the same day that Jesus was killed. During the Lord’s Memorial, Jehovah’s Witnesses share the communion and reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice for their sins.
What Jehovah’s Witnesses Do Celebrate
While Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate traditional holidays, they do celebrate certain events, such as weddings and anniversaries. They also celebrate the Lord’s Memorial, as mentioned above.
When Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrate these events, they do so in a way that is consistent with their beliefs. For example, they avoid using pagan symbols or traditions in their celebrations. They also focus on the spiritual meaning of the event, rather than the material aspects.
2. Seventh-day Adventists
Do Seventh-day Adventists Celebrate Holidays?
Seventh-day Adventists are a Christian denomination that observes the Sabbath on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. They do not celebrate Christmas, Easter, or other religious holidays throughout the calendar year as holy feasts established by God.
Seventh-day Adventists believe that the Bible does not command Christians to celebrate any holidays other than the Sabbath. They also believe that many holidays have pagan origins and that they distract people from their focus on God.
What do Seventh-day Adventists do on holidays?
Seventh-day Adventists typically spend holidays with their families and friends. They may attend church services, go for walks in nature, or volunteer in their communities. They also avoid participating in holiday activities that they believe are pagan or materialistic, such as exchanging gifts or decorating Christmas trees.
How do Seventh-day Adventists celebrate the Sabbath?
Seventh-day Adventists believe that the Sabbath is a day of rest and worship. They typically spend the Sabbath day attending church services, studying the Bible, and spending time with their families. They also avoid working or engaging in other activities that they believe would be disrespectful to God.
What are some other holidays that Seventh-day Adventists do not celebrate?
In addition to Christmas and Easter, Seventh-day Adventists typically do not celebrate the following holidays:
- New Year’s Day
- Valentine’s Day
- St. Patrick’s Day
- Black Friday
- Cyber Monday
- New Year’s Eve
Do Christadelphians Celebrate Holidays?
Christadelphians are a Christian denomination that does not celebrate religious holidays. They believe that the Bible does not command Christians to celebrate any holidays other than the Lord’s Supper. They also believe that many holidays have pagan origins and that they distract people from their focus on God.
Christadelphians believe that the Bible is the only source of authority for Christian faith and practice. They believe that the Bible does not command Christians to celebrate any holidays other than the Lord’s Supper. They also believe that many holidays have pagan origins and that they distract people from their focus on God.
The only holiday that Christadelphians celebrate is the Lord’s Supper. They believe that the Lord’s Supper is the only Christian festival commanded in the Bible. They celebrate the Lord’s Supper on the first day of the week, which is Sunday.
Christadelphians celebrate the Lord’s Supper by meeting together to break bread and drink wine. They believe that the bread and wine represent the body and blood of Jesus Christ. They also believe that the Lord’s Supper is a time to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Christadelphians are active in their communities through a variety of activities, such as Sunday school programs, summer camps, and volunteer work. They are also encouraged to be tolerant of other religious groups. However, they are forbidden from participating in other religious groups’ activities.
Let’s know your thoughts:
- What are your thoughts on the Christadelphian belief that holidays are not biblical?
- Do you think that it is important for Christians to celebrate holidays? Why or why not?
- What are some ways that Christians can celebrate their faith without participating in holidays?
4. Church of God (7th Day)
Does the Church of God (7th Day) Celebrate Holidays?
The Church of God (7th Day) does not celebrate holidays in the traditional sense. They believe that the only holy day that Christians should observe is the Sabbath, which is Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This belief is based on their interpretation of the Bible, specifically the Ten Commandments, which state that the seventh day is to be kept holy.
The Church of God (7th Day) also believes that many holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, are not biblical and have pagan origins. They point to the fact that the Bible does not give any specific instructions for celebrating these holidays. Additionally, they believe that some of the customs and traditions associated with these holidays are pagan in nature.
For example, Christmas is celebrated on December 25th, which was the day of the winter solstice in ancient Rome. The Romans celebrated this day with festivals and rituals honoring their sun god, Saturn. The Church of God (7th Day) believes that it is inappropriate for Christians to celebrate Christmas on this day, as it is associated with paganism.
Similarly, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon. The Paschal Full Moon is the first full moon after the spring equinox. Ancient pagan cultures celebrated the spring equinox with festivals honoring their fertility goddesses. The Church of God (7th Day) believes that it is inappropriate for Christians to celebrate Easter on this day, as it is associated with paganism.
Instead of celebrating traditional holidays, the Church of God (7th Day) focuses on observing the Sabbath. They believe that the Sabbath is a special day set aside for rest, worship, and fellowship. On the Sabbath, they attend church services, study the Bible, and spend time with family and friends.
The Church of God (7th Day) also celebrates special occasions throughout the year, such as the birth of Jesus Christ and the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, they do not consider these occasions to be holidays in the traditional sense. Rather, they view them as opportunities to reflect on the life and death of Jesus Christ and to celebrate the hope of salvation that he offers.
Why does the Church of God (7th Day) believe that it is important to observe the Sabbath?
The Church of God (7th Day) believes that observing the Sabbath is important for a number of reasons. First, they believe that it is a commandment from God. The fourth commandment states, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”
Second, the Church of God (7th Day) believes that the Sabbath is a time for rest and refreshment. They believe that it is important to take one day a week to rest from work and other activities and to focus on spiritual matters.
Third, the Church of God (7th Day) believes that the Sabbath is a time for worship and fellowship. They believe that it is important to come together with other Christians to worship God and to learn more about his teachings.
What does it mean to observe the Sabbath?
For the Church of God (7th Day), observing the Sabbath means setting aside Saturday as a day for rest, worship, and fellowship. They begin the Sabbath on Friday evening at sunset and end the Sabbath on Saturday evening at sunset. During this time, they avoid work and other activities that would distract them from their spiritual focus.
Instead, they spend the Sabbath attending church services, studying the Bible, praying, and spending time with family and friends. They may also use the Sabbath to read Christian literature, listen to Christian music, or engage in other spiritual activities.
5. Church of Christ (Scientist)
Does the Church of Christ (Scientist) Celebrate Holidays?
Christ (Scientist) celebrations are not conventional. They say holidays can cause materialism and overindulgence and distract people from God. They celebrate the Lord’s Supper, the sole biblical Christian celebration.
Mary Baker Eddy launched the Church of Christ (Scientist) in 1879 with Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Eddy teaches Christian Science, a therapeutic technique founded on the idea that God is the only truth and disease is an illusion, in this book.
Eddy thought holidays were pagan and idolatrous. They could also cause materialism and overindulgence, she said. So she forbade her followers from enjoying festivals.
Eddy advised her disciples to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper commemorates Jesus Christ’s Last Supper with his disciples. Eddy thought the Lord’s Supper was a moment for Christians to remember Jesus’ sacrifice.
Scientist Church celebrates the Lord’s Supper every Sunday. At church, members read the Bible and take communion. They pray and hymn.
Christmas and Easter are also celebrated by the Church of Christ (Scientist). These occasions are not typical holidays. They use them to ponder on Jesus’ life and death and celebrate his salvation.
Why does the Scientist Church of Christ believe in God-centeredness?
Healing and spiritual progress require focusing on God, according to the Church of Christ (Scientist). They think that only God exists and that disease is a delusion.
Focusing on God reminds us of our spirituality. God’s love and healing power are also remembered. This awareness can help us overcome disease and other obstacles.
Rastafarians believe that traditional holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, are associated with the white oppressor class and are a form of brainwashing. They believe that these holidays were created to distract people from their true purpose, which is to overthrow the oppressors and establish a new world order based on justice and equality.
Instead of celebrating traditional holidays, Rastafarians celebrate their own holidays, such as:
- Nyabinghi: Nyabinghi is a week-long celebration of the Rastafarian faith. It is held every year from February 17th to February 23rd, which are the birthdays of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia and Marcus Garvey, respectively.
- Grounation: Grounation is a one-day celebration of the Rastafarian faith. It is held on July 21st, which is the anniversary of the coronation of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia.
- Empress Menen’s Coronation Day: Empress Menen’s Coronation Day is a one-day celebration of the coronation of Empress Menen Asfaw, the wife of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia. It is held on November 2nd.
- Emperor Haile Selassie I’s Birthday: Emperor Haile Selassie I’s Birthday is a one-day celebration of the birthday of Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia. It is held on July 23rd.
- Marcus Garvey’s Birthday: Marcus Garvey’s Birthday is a one-day celebration of the birthday of Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican-born political activist and publisher who is considered to be one of the fathers of the Pan-African movement. It is held on February 17th.
Rastafarian festivals include drumming, singing, chanting, and prayer. Rastafarians use marijuana during holidays to commune with God.
Along with their own holidays, Rastafarians celebrate Christmas and Easter. But they celebrate holidays differently. Rastafarians celebrate Jesus’ birth on Christmas for hope and freedom. Marcus Garvey and Emperor Haile Selassie I are also considered.
Rastafarians commemorate Jesus’ resurrection and triumph over death and persecution on Easter. Unity and collaboration are also valued.
Rastafarian celebrations matter. They unite Rastafarians to celebrate principle. They also recall Rastafarian freedom and justice struggles.
7. Baháʼí Faith
Does the Baháʼí Faith Celebrate Holidays?
The Baháʼí Faith has eleven holy days, which are important anniversaries in the history of the religion. On nine of these holy days, work is suspended. There is no fixed format for any of the holy days, and Baháʼí communities organize their own commemorative meetings.
The Baháʼí holy days are:
- Naw-Rúz (New Year)
- First Day of Riḍván
- Ninth Day of Riḍván
- Twelfth Day of Riḍván
- Declaration of the Báb
- Ascension of Baháʼu’lláh
- Martyrdom of the Báb
- Birth of Baháʼu’lláh
- Birth of the Báb
- All-Souls’ Day
- Fast-Breaking Day
The Baháʼí holy days are celebrated by Baháʼís around the world. However, there is no fixed format for any of the holy days. Baháʼí communities organize their own commemorative meetings, which may include prayers, readings from the Baháʼí scriptures, music, and dancing.
Instead of celebrating traditional holidays, Baháʼís focus on celebrating their own holy days, which are based on the teachings of the Baháʼí Faith. These holy days commemorate important events in the history of the Baháʼí Faith and provide opportunities for Baháʼís to learn more about their religion and to strengthen their sense of community.
Mandaeans enjoy holidays, but not in the same way as people of other religions. Mandaeans think that holidays are linked to Zoroastrianism, which they think is a bad faith. They also think that celebrating holidays is a form of worshipping idols. Instead, they have their own festivals that are based on their religious views and traditions.
The four main Mandaean holidays are:
- Bronaya (Creation day): This holiday celebrates the creation of the world by God. It is celebrated on the first day of the Mandaean calendar, which usually falls in March or April.
- Dahfa Dimanah (Golden Baptism day): This holiday celebrates the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist. It is celebrated on the 15th day of the Mandaean month of Tammuz, which usually falls in July or August.
- Dahfa Rabbah (Great holiday): This holiday is the most important Mandaean holiday. It celebrates the birth of Mandaeism and the revelation of the Mandaean scriptures to Adam. It is celebrated on the 21st day of the Mandaean month of Adar, which usually falls in March or April.
- Dahfa Hanina (Flowers day): This holiday celebrates the spring equinox and the renewal of life. It is celebrated on the 21st day of the Mandaean month of Nisan, which usually falls in March or April.
Holy services, feasts, and traditions mark Mandaean festivals. Bronaya is where Mandaeans pray and read scripture. And they feed and gift loved ones.
Mandaeans recreate Jesus’ baptism on Dahfa Dimanah. Lake and river swims cleanse.
Dahfa Rabbah celebrates Mandaeism’s birth and scripture. Friends and family share dinner and gifts.
Spring equinox and life regeneration are celebrated on Dahfa Hanina. This family picnics with friends.
Mandaians enjoy holidays. It lets Mandaeans commemorate traditions. History and Mandaean culture are remembered.
Mandaean holidays foster group unity in many ways. They first allow Mandaeans of various backgrounds to enjoy their beliefs and traditions. Mandaeism emphasises family and community. Mandaean compassion, forgiveness, and tolerance are taught third.
In Bronaya, Mandaeans exchange gifts and feast with family and friends. Family and friend relationships are strengthened. It fosters Mandaean community.
Mandaans celebrate Mandaeism’s birth and scripture revelation on Dahfa Rabbah. This links Mandaeans to their heritage. It also supports their national identity.
On Dahfa Hanina, Mandaeans picnic in nature with family and friends. The emphasis on family and community promotes Mandaean togetherness.
Other Not-So-Popular Religions that Do Not Celebrate Holidays
Quakers (also known as the Religious Society of Friends) believe in the simplicity of life and the importance of inner guidance. They reject many traditional Christian practices, including holidays.
Shakers (also known as the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing) are a Christian sect that believes in celibacy and communal living. They do not celebrate holidays because they believe that every day is a gift from God.
11. Unitarians and Universalists
Unitarians and Universalists are liberal Christian denominations that reject many traditional Christian beliefs, including the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus. They do not celebrate holidays because they believe that every day is a time to celebrate God’s love and creation.
12. Ethical Culture
Ethical Culture is a humanist movement that does not believe in God or supernatural beings. Ethical Culturists celebrate holidays such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day and International Women’s Day, but they do not celebrate traditional religious holidays.
Of the religions discussed, the Church of God (7th Day), the Church of Christ (Scientist), the Rastafari faith, the Baháʼí Faith, and Mandaeism do not celebrate holidays in the traditional sense. There are various reasons for this, but these religions generally believe that holidays are associated with paganism, idolatry, nationalism, or sectarianism. They also believe that holidays can distract people from their focus on God and their spiritual growth.
Instead of celebrating traditional holidays, these religions focus on celebrating their own special occasions, such as the Sabbath, the Lord’s Supper, Rastafarian holidays, Baháʼí holy days, and Mandaean holidays. These special occasions are based on the teachings of each religion and provide opportunities for members to come together and celebrate their shared beliefs and values.
Note that each religion has different beliefs and practises, therefore not all members may agree with not celebrating holidays. The trend is that these religions don’t observe conventional holidays.
Whether to celebrate holidays is personal. Some people’s culture and religion revolve around festivals. Others link holidays with sad memories or with meaninglessness. Every person must decide what’s best for them and their family.
We must also respect others’ faiths and practises. Be sympathetic and respectful if someone doesn’t celebrate holidays.