Celebrating with a different kind of holiday star: The unexpectedly pagan side of Christmas

Sharp smells of pine needles and holly, twinkling lights, and heaps of food spread out at parties, are just a few things that come to mind once December hits Canada every year. Widely known as a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas is one of the biggest North American holidays. But despite the holiday having primarily Christian roots, a lot about Christmas as we know it today, has unexpectedly pagan origins. While Christianity emerged as a monotheistic religion during the Roman Empire, experts say many of its holiday customs were influenced by the dominant Western polytheistic pagan religions around them. And even with the dominance of Christmas’ Christian narrative, some still appreciate and believe in the pre-Christian pagan […]

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Letter: Paganism is misunderstood

Here in Canada, there is an openness and tolerance of most religions and spiritualities. Despite many regions still rampant with cultural and institutional bigotry against one or more types of people, the world as a whole has grown kinder and more welcoming. In a society that has been established predominantly on the values of Abrahamic religions however, there are still many who fear and disdain those who call themselves a Pagan, Wiccan, or witch. Practicing Wiccans, Pagans, and witches are no longer persecuted due to prejudiced legal systems and are even protected and recognized as legitimate by law in most provinces. While the religion is legally recognized, it is often not recognized practically. I have seen my fair share of […]

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