Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):

Should Christians Observe Thanksgiving?

On the surface Thanksgiving seems like a harmless enough observance; however, the surface ice is very thin! Lurking in the murky depths below is a veritable lake of PAGANISM awaiting the unsuspecting participant. The HARVEST HOME, CHRISTMAS and HALLOWEEN all have rituals in common that date back to ancient BABYLON and Semiramis! Many of the foods on the Thanksgiving table were a part of PAGAN WORSHIP, and one food in particular was REJECTED by the early Puritans as being UNFIT TO EAT AT ANY TIME! Read how Thanksgiving is an INFERIOR SUBSTITUTE for the TRUE Feast of Ingathering set apart by your Creator God as part of His Holyday calendar to teach mankind about the INCREDIBLE HUMAN POTENTIAL awaiting each and every one of us.

by John D. Keyser

All Americans are familiar with the story of Thanksgiving. The Pilgrim Fathers' arrival on these shores, and how they set apart a day in gratitude for their first harvest in 1621, has been schoolboy fare for generations.

All Americans know that President Lincoln set aside a day for national thanksgiving in August of 1863, when the tide of the Civil War turned in favor of the North.

Most Americans know that, at the insistence of one indefatigable Sarah Josepha Hale, President Lincoln finally proclaimed the last Thursday of November to be a day of thanksgiving for a "year filled with the blessings of FRUITFUL FIELDS and healthful skies." Every president has followed Lincoln's example since.

Every year Americans look forward to what they call "turkey day" -- a day when families get together for fellowship and football, and the crowning highlight of a sumptuous meal of turkey, pumpkin pie, and all the trimmings!

On the surface this seems innocent enough, doesn't it? The grateful Pilgrims thanked their God for their survival and blessings in a new land. A war-weary nation thanked their God for the imminent conclusion of the bloodiest and most devastating war in its young history. And since that time generations of Americans have thanked their God for the bountiful blessings of a favored nation richly endowed. SURELY there is nothing wrong with this.

In a publication disseminated by the Worldwide Church of God, entitled Thanksgiving Day...What Should It Mean To You?, the following statement is made:

How does God view the American custom of celebrating Thanksgiving Day?

This publication further claims:

Is this day of Thanksgiving, then, so HOLY AND PURE that everyone can now observe it with a CLEAR CONSCIENCE before YEHOVAH God Almighty? Is this day DEVOID of any "PAGAN TRADITIONS" and established for a "HONORABLE PURPOSE" as stated above? Let us see.

Is Thanksgiving Really An American Institution?

In the book Holidays Around the World, by Joseph Gaer, we find the following enlightening information:

Joseph Gaer points out the Roman connection:

It seems that this custom of Thanksgiving isn't as harmless as we thought!

Notice, now, what Marian Schibsly and Hanny Cohrsen have to say in their book Foreign Festival Customs and Dishes:

Now notice:

It is becoming quite discernible that Thanksgiving was NOT A NEW CONCEPT in a new land, springing up full grown from the fertile mind of a Pilgrim Father. Rather, it grew up gradually in the unique and multifaceted culture of Puritan New England, having an origin more COMPLEX AND ANCIENT than the legend the public schools have nurtured for generations!

Author Robert J. Myers makes this quite clear:

Notice what happened in Mexico:

No wonder Chief Massasoit and his ninety braves felt right at home with the Pilgrim Fathers on that day in 1621!! Obviously, the idea for this "first Thanksgiving" did not just "pop" into the mind of Governor Bradford as most people believe! On the contrary Thanksgiving, in the guise of the pagan harvest festivals, can be traced right back to ANCIENT BABYLON AND THE WORSHIP OF SEMIRAMIS!

Along with Massachusetts, Florida, Maine, Texas and Virginia claim to have hosted the ''first Thanksgiving." However, it was in the towns of the Connecticut River Valley and the farming villages of Plymouth Colony that the holiday AS WE NOW KNOW IT evolved.

Four Ancient Traditions

In the book Thanksgiving: An American Holiday, An American History, Diana Appelbaum brings together all the loose ends:

We now see that the Puritans REJECTED the Harvest Home:

Did you notice the Puritan settlers of the new colonies REJECTED OUT OF HAND the Harvest Home -- one of the very "grandparents" of our present-day Thanksgiving? In other words, the Thanksgiving observed by the Pilgrim Fathers in 1621 WAS NOT a part of the Puritan calendar!

Let's continue:

We can clearly see that Harvest Home was lumped right in with Christmas, Easter and the saints' days, and FORBIDDEN in the Puritan New England colonies.

Diana Appelbaum now discusses the next "GRANDPARENT" of THANKSGIVING:

Notice WHERE this "unholy" food ended up:

The next "grandparent" of Thanksgiving -- civil proclamations -- is now discussed:

The fourth "grandparent" of the American Thanksgiving Day was that of RELIGIOUS proclamations. Diana Appelbaum explains:

Synthesis of Traditions

Let's now see how all these factors coalesced to generate the Thanksgiving Day that appeared in Puritan New England in the 1630s and 1640s:

Connecticut led the way! Notice:

As a result, the connection between the American Thanksgiving and the old European HARVEST HOME was permanently cemented! What the Puritans in their wisdom earlier SHUNNED, was now a regular part of the American calendar.

The "Harvest Home"

What about this "HARVEST HOME" we keep reading so much about? Where did it originate, and what were the customs or "rites" involved in its observance? Let's turn to the Encyclopedia Britannica for an overview:

The same encyclopedia, 1943 edition, has a more detailed explanation:

Notice one of the features of the Harvest Home:

The Harvest Home, as celebrated in various European countries, is described by Marian Schibsly and Hanny Cohrsen:

Notice the connection between the Harvest Home, Easter and Christmas in Germany:

Of special interest are the customs in Britain:

Other British customs are important to consider:

Here we see the custom in London:

From Poland we hear about "Baba" being drenched with water:

The Thanksgiving or Harvest Home customs of the Scandinavian countries elevate the GOOSE to a position of GREAT IMPORTANCE:

Now look at the intimate LINK between the Harvest Home and HALLOWEEN:

Do you see the threads of similarity running through the harvest festival customs in all these different countries: The HARVEST QUEEN OR MAIDEN, sometimes an old woman representing the CORN MOTHER OR SPIRIT; the DRENCHING WITH WATER; the COMMONALTY OF FOODS -- the GOOSE in particular? WHERE did all these customs or rituals originate?

The Harvest Home in England

Before we answer that question let's look more closely at the Thanksgiving or Harvest Home in England. Since the Pilgrim Fathers and the Puritans all came from England, it behooves us to examine the harvest customs in the Old Country.

An old volume entitled Observations on the Popular Antiquities of Great Britain, authored by John Brand, gives a complete and detailed account of the Harvest Home. Notice:

This sounds quite reasonable -- the harvest is over and the farmer has made it through another year. It was certainly a time for rejoicing and relaxing, for a while! However, even this seemingly innocuous let down after the harvest has PAGAN CONNOTATIONS. Notice:

John Brand continues by discussing the Harvest Home in detail:

Hutchinson, in his work, discusses the "image":

The traditions of Northumberland tell about the Kern Baby or Harvest Doll:

The Devonshire tradition of the "knack" and the HARVEST QUEEN are discussed next:

Clearly, then, the HARVEST QUEEN represents none other than CERES, THE ROMAN GODDESS OF AGRICULTURE AND CROPS!

There was a VARIATION of this tradition in Scotland:

The Harvest Home Dinner

John Brand goes on to discuss the harvest or Thanksgiving Dinner itself:

There you have it. These are the traditions and customs the Pilgrim Fathers had been exposed to all their lives before immigrating to the New World. They took these customs with them and DREW UPON THEM at that "FIRST THANKSGIVING" in 1621!

The Puritans, however, were a different story. They REJECTED most of these customs before leaving England, and certainly immediately after arriving in America, but were soon OVERWHELMED by the onrush of traditional Old World concepts emanating from the small towns of New England. Before very long, the PAGAN RITES of the HARVEST FESTIVAL swept across America to become a part of modern Thanksgiving celebrations.

The French Traditions

We have discovered that the CORN MOTHER and the HARVEST QUEEN represent none other than the ROMAN GODDESS CERES! The traditions of France back this up. Sir James Frazer, in his voluminous work The Golden Bough, shows this:

At the evening dance the following occurred:

How plain that is! Now just WHO was this CERES of the Harvest Home?

The Ceres-Demeter Connection

Funk and Wagnalls New Encyclopedia explains:

Did you notice the LENGTH of Ceres chief festival -- the Cerealia? Exactly EIGHT DAYS IN LENGTH, the same length as the Feast of Tabernacles, including the Last Great Day! Remember that, it's important!

The Encyclopedia Britannica adds some detail about CERES:

The main festivals of the Ceres cult are now outlined:

The Pilgrim Fathers and the "Sacred Meal "

Now notice what Robert Haven Schaumer relates about the annual festival "CELEBRATED IN SECRET BY THE WOMEN" of Rome:

On their return the festival degenerated into an orgy:

Why am I stressing this THREE-DAY FESTIVAL TO CERES in Rome and Athens? Because the Pilgrim Fathers OBSERVED A THREE-DAY THANKSGIVING during the fall in 1621!! Did you get that?

Diana Karter Appelbaum CLEARLY brings this out in Thanksgiving, An American Holiday, an American History:

Isn't that incredible? The Pilgrim Fathers celebrated the ancient THREE-DAY THANKSGIVING TO CERES OR DEMETER!

It is interesting to realize that Edward Winslow, an "historian" among the Pilgrim Fathers, would have written about the religious services held in those fall days if it was a day of thanksgiving to YEHOVAH God, but HE MENTIONED NO SUCH THING! Instead, Diana Appelbaum states that "Oysters, clams and fish rounded out the abundant, but far from epicurean FEAST THAT THE CELEBRATORS WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE LIKELY TO CALL A 'HARVEST HOME' than a 'thanksgiving' celebration."

The Egyptian "Isis"

The identity of the Roman CERES with the Grecian DEMETER doesn't stop here. Sir James Frazer identifies CERES WITH THE EGYPTIAN ISIS! Notice:

Augustine adds some important information:

That sounds awfully familiar, doesn't it? This "lamenting" occurred in some of the English Harvest Home customs that we just read about! Frazer continues by reporting:

The Universal World Reference Encyclopedia, under the heading "CERES," LUCIDLY shows the ISIS-CERES connection:


Alexander Hislop, in his authoritative work The Two Babylons, confirms this:

The first-century B.C. Greek historian, Diodorus Siculus, testifies that "Orpheus introduced FROM EGYPT, the greatest part of the mystical ceremonies, the ORGIES that CELEBRATE THE WANDERINGS OF CERES, and the whole fable of the shades below."

Hislop further notes that "It is UNIVERSALLY ADMITTED THAT ISIS WAS THE ORIGINAL OF THE GREEK AND ROMAN CERES. But Ceres, be it observed, was worshipped not simply as the DISCOVERER OF CORN; she was worshipped as 'THE MOTHER OF CORN.' " (The Two Babylons, page 160).

Obviously, the "Corn Mother" or "Harvest Queen" of the English and European harvest customs was none other than the EGYPTIAN ISIS!

Back to Babylon!


Indeed there was! According to World Religions: From Ancient History to the Present, "The great goddess ISHTAR gradually absorbed the functions of MANY earlier female deities, and her name became a synonym for 'goddess'....From Nineveh, her main temple, her worship spread to the west where this goddess of love and fertility was known as ISHTAR of Erlil. She was considered the QUEEN OF HEAVEN and attracted Judean women (Jeremiah 7:18; 44:19), Syrians as Anat, Arabs as Atar, GREEKS AS ASTARTE and EGYPTIANS AS ISIS." (Edited by Geoffrey Parrinder. Facts on File Publications, N.Y. 1983, p. 117).

This book shows ISIS to be the same as both ISHTAR AND ASTARTE. But who were they? Let Alexander Hislop explain:

In the appendix to The Two Babylons we discover that "Semiramis, under the NAME OF ASTARTE, was worshipped not only as an incarnation of the Spirit of God, but as the MOTHER OF MANKIND, we have VERY CLEAR and satisfactory evidence. There is no doubt that 'the Syrian goddess' was ASTARTE (Layard's Nineveh and its Remains, vol. ii, p. 456). Now, the Assyrian goddess, or ASTARTE, IS IDENTIFIED WITH SEMIRAMIS by Athenagoras (Legatio, vol. ii, p. 179), and by Lucian (De Dea Syria, vol. iii, p. 382). These testimonies in regard to Astarte, or the Syrian goddess, being, in one respect, SEMIRAMIS, ARE QUITE DECISIVE." (NOTE J, p. 110, p. 307).

A very interesting SYMBOL of Astarte is mentioned by Hislop on page 109 of his book:

It is really amazing how all this dovetails together!

Ralph Woodrow, in Babylon Mystery Religion, states that "THE PROCESSION OF CERES IN ROME WAS PRECEDED BY AN EGG" (page 144). Isn't that remarkable?

Also, in a footnote, Hislop authoritatively says "The constellation Virgo, as admitted by the most learned astronomers, WAS DEDICATED TO CERES, WHO IS THE SAME AS THE GREAT GODDESS OF BABYLON [SEMIRAMIS], for Ceres was worshipped with the babe at her breast, EVEN AS THE BABYLONIAN GODDESS WAS."


The Pilgrim Fathers -- whether they realized it or not -- were in fact WORSHIPPING THE "QUEEN OF HEAVEN" for those three days in 1621. AND WE HAVE BEEN DOING THE SAME THING EVER SINCE!!

A Thundering Warning!

What does YEHOVAH GOD have to say about this? HOW does HE view the worship of SEMIRAMIS, THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN?

Semiramis was known to the Israelites as ASHTAROTH; and YEHOVAH God THUNDERED through the prophet Samuel: "If ye do RETURN unto the Lord with all your hearts, THEN PUT AWAY THE STRANGE GODS AND ASHTAROTH FROM AMONG YOU, and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, AND SERVE HIM ONLY: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines." (I Samuel 7:3, KJV).

The Modern Language Bible, in the following verse, states: "The children of Israel then got rid of the Baals and ASTARTE, AND SERVED THE LORD EXCLUSIVELY."

The Eternal God LOATHES any such worship -- ESPECIALLY that surrounding the pagan queen of heaven; and He CONSIDERS IT SIN OF THE WORST KIND! Notice I Samuel 12:10: "And they [the Israelites] cried unto the Lord, and said, WE HAVE SINNED, because we have FORSAKEN THE LORD, and have served Baalim and ASHTAROTH..."

King Josiah of Judah abolished IDOLATRY during his reign and reinstituted YEHOVAH GOD'S HOLY DAYS in the land. II Kings relates the story:

These verses POWERFULLY indicate what YEHOVAH God thinks about such practices. Worshipping NIMROD AND SEMIRAMIS, whether it be through the customs or rituals of CHRISTMAS, EASTER, HALLOWEEN OR THANKSGIVING, is an ABOMINATION in the eyes of YEHOVAH God!

Our Heavenly Father set up HIS holy days for us to worship HIM -- days that REVEAL (not hide -- as in the Babylonian Mystery Religion) our Creator's tremendous plan for all mankind -- and He expects us to use these days to draw closer to Him in spirit and truth. Anything else is simply NOT ACCEPTABLE to the Eternal God!

Let's turn to Jeremiah 7:18 and 44:19, and see HOW YEHOVAH God THUNDERS His disapproval and anger:

The women also said, "And when we burned incense to the QUEEN OF HEAVEN and poured out DRINK OFFERINGS to her, did we MAKE CAKES for her, to worship her, and pour out drink offerings to her without our husbands' permission?"....So the Lord could no longer bear it, because of the EVIL OF YOUR DOINGS and because of the ABOMINATIONS WHICH YOU COMMITTED.

Therefore your land is a DESOLATION, AN ASTONISHMENT, A CURSE, AND WITHOUT AN INHABITANT, as it is this day. (Jeremiah 44:19, 22 NKJV).

I don't think another word needs to be said!

What's in a Meal?

It's almost a surety that some reading this article will say: "So what, we don't practice the rituals of the corn mother -- we don't worship Semiramis, we just enjoy family fellowship and end the day with a Thanksgiving meal! There's nothing wrong with that!''


Consider the Turkey!

Let's start with the main fare -- the THANKSGIVING TURKEY. Why a turkey? Why not a rack of lamb or barbecued beef ribs? The turkey is actually a recent innovation to American Thanksgiving dinners, and didn't even become widespread in this country until the 19th century.

In 1845, Methodist missionaries at the Shawnee Mission Indian School in Mission, Kansas, invited some nearby Quaker missionaries over for Thanksgiving. Notice the Quakers' record of this event:

On pages 266 and 267 of this same book, author Diana Appelbaum admits that "Turkey would not become the STAR ATTRACTION of the Thanksgiving dinner UNTIL THE EARLY NINETEENTH CENTURY;" and she further states that "Early Thanksgiving dinners were simple but ample, featuring fresh game, which was as likely to be venison, duck or GOOSE as turkey, and Indian CORN boiled or steamed as Indian pudding."

Here we see the GOOSE popping up again! We have already seen the importance placed upon the GOOSE in the Scandinavian countries -- and here it is again, appearing in the New World! Why?

Author Appelbaum mentions the GOOSE again: "In the 1700s and early 1800s, a turkey, GOOSE or other bird would be roasted by suspending it directly over the fire... "

In the early years of this nation, the GOOSE was the "MAIN MEAT COURSE," and was only replaced by the turkey because of the ABUNDANCE of this bird in the American wilderness. Diana Appelbaum notes: "Whether our forebears admired the turkey for its courage or for its flavor, whether it was chosen be cause it could be HUNTED IN NOVEMBER WOODS or because it was the largest fowl in the barnyard, we will never know. But early in the nineteenth century, turkey became the American Thanksgiving bird."

Even AFTER the turkey became the star attraction, a GOOSE was still to be found on the Thanksgiving table. Look at this early nineteenth-century account:

An account, circa 1827, shows the same thing:

Coming down to the Civil War, we find this extravagant account in the New York Times of Thanksgiving day in the Union army:

As the Victorian era drew to a close, Thanksgiving completed its transition from a regional holiday to a national one, and the turkey was well-established as the premier meat on the table. In the process, the GOOSE disappeared from sight AND THE SYMBOLISM THAT WAS ASSOCIATED WITH IT WAS TRANSFERRED TO THE TURKEY!

And what was that SYMBOLISM? Once again, Alexander Hislop has the answer:

This, then, is WHY the goose has had such a PROMINENT POSITION in the Harvest Home and Thanksgiving meals.

When partaking of the goose, or now the Thanksgiving turkey, YOU ARE MAKING A FOOD OFFERING TO OSIRIS, OR NIMROD! Do you think YEHOVAH God closes His eyes to that?

Wilkinson, a nineteenth-century Egyptologist and author, has some interesting comments about the goose:

We see here that the TRUE MEANING of the symbol (the GOOSE) is a SON, who voluntarily gives himself up as a sacrifice for those whom he loves -- in other words the PAGAN MESSIAH NIMROD !

Actually, the Thanksgiving goose was BORROWED FROM CHRISTMAS, as were many of the other foods on the table. Hislop mentions "that 'CHRISTMAS GOOSE' and 'YULE CAKES' were essential articles in the worship of the Babylonian Messiah, as that worship was practised both in Egypt and at Rome."

The GOOSE, believe it or not, was also IMPORTANT to the Indians of the New World! According to James Frazer:

This takes us right to Nimrod and Semiramis again -- they BOTH were personifications of the corn! Isn't that amazing?

A Pig in the Poke!

Another food frequently found on the Thanksgiving table is PORK.

A letter from a Boston schoolgirl to her "Dear Cousin Betsey", describes a typical family Thanksgiving in the Boston of 1779. This is what she said:

A rather humorous episode came out of the Thanksgiving of 1874 -- once again showing the PREDOMINANCE OF PORK on the typical Thanksgiving table:

This man certainly turned Thanksgiving into an ORGY!

The appearance of PORK on the Thanksgiving table has tremendous symbolism, because THE PIG REPRESENTS DEMETER OR CERES! James Frazer makes this abundantly clear in The Golden Bough:

Notice how disgusting the rites of the Thesmophoria were:

The PORK on the table, like the goose itself, was also BORROWED FROM THE CHRISTMAS TABLE! Frazer brings this "Yule" connection out:

Do you see the BLENDING of the Thanksgiving AND Christmas customs here? The appearance of the CORN SPIRIT at MIDWINTER (Christmas) in the FORM OF A BOAR made from the CORN OF THE LAST SHEAF?

It is becoming very apparent that Thanksgiving draws on BOTH Christmas AND Halloween for its very existence as we know it today!

Frazer continues:

Not only was the PIG a symbol of Semiramis (Ceres, Demeter), but it ALSO IDENTIFIES Osiris or Nimrod:

See how Shem came to be associated with the pig:

This TYPHON (or TYPHO) -- who was hostile to Nimrod -- was SHEM the son of Noah, a POWERFUL instrument of the Eternal God in the years immediately following the flood. He strode across the landscape of the Middle East, combating apostasy and error wherever he found it; AND HE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATH OF THE FATHER OF APOSTASY -- NIMROD! As a warning to all others who might perpetuate the worship of Nimrod and his wife, Shem had the body of Nimrod CUT UP INTO PIECES and distributed throughout the land of Egypt. This is important to remember because there is a THANKSGIVING CUSTOM that reflects the horrible end of Nimrod! More about that later.

The ever dependable Hislop, in his ever dependable book The Two Babylons (which, incidentally, has been WRITTEN OFF by the Worldwide Church of God as being TOO PROVOCATIVE to the Catholic Church and mainstream "Christianity"), confirms the research and analysis of James Frazer:

Take note of what Theocritus had to say:

Not only does eating PORK at the Thanksgiving table represent SACRIFICING TO NIMROD AND SEMIRAMIS, but it is FORBIDDEN BY YEHOVAH GOD to be eaten AT ANY TIME -- see Leviticus 11.

A slice of pork, anyone?

Apple Pie and Apple Cider!

APPLES have always been an important part of Thanksgiving. Of all the delicacies laid out on the Thanksgiving table, I probably enjoyed APPLE PIE the most -- with the possible exception of the turkey, that is! My eldest daughter makes one of the best French apple pies I have ever come across, and I always looked forward to making an absolute glutton of myself on her handiwork every Thanksgiving! But APPLES didn't become a part of Thanksgiving fare by accident.

If you are at all observant, you will realize that APPLES play an important role at HALLOWEEN TIME. Just recently, while visiting a local supermarket, I noticed a large barrel of APPLES sitting right in the middle of a large Halloween display. When the neighborhood children came "trick or treating" to your door, it was customary to give them APPLES as well as candy. WHY? How did APPLES become so important in HALLOWEEN AND THANKSGIVING traditions?

The Yearbook of English Festivals, by Dorothy Spicer, gives some insight into these questions:

The Book of Holidays, by J. Walker McSpadden, contains the following information:

The same book states that " 'Trick or treat' means of course that the young Halloween visitors who come to your door will play no tricks on you if you will 'treat' them -- ask them for cookies, or CIDER, maybe, and help fill their bags with FRUIT [APPLES], nuts, cake, candy, or anything else you think they might like." As chance(?) would have it, APPLE CIDER is also very prevalent on Thanksgiving!

And WHAT does the APPLE -- or WHO does the apple -- represent? Let J. Walker McSpadden explain:

And WHO, exactly, was POMONA? You guessed it -- none other than our old friend CERES THE CORN MOTHER or, ultimately, SEMIRAMIS THE QUEEN OF HEAVEN! Every thing goes right back to the original post-flood apostates NIMROD AND SEMIRAMIS!

The reason apples are COMMON to both Thanksgiving and Halloween is shown by Marguerite Ickis in her work The Book of Festival Holidays:

And that is PRECISELY why we find Halloween customs or rites mixed in with those of Thanksgiving!

Now do you see WHY Thanksgiving is TOTALLY PAGAN and belongs to what I call the "UNHOLY TRIO" -- HALLOWEEN, THANKSGIVING AND CHRISTMAS? To be at all LOGICAL, if you continue to observe Thanksgiving, you should also observe Easter, Halloween and Christmas! Why? Because they ALL COME FROM THE SAME SOURCE -- the Babylonian Mystery Religion of Nimrod and Semiramis!!

The Symbolism of Pumpkins

Another "attendant" upon the Thanksgiving feast is the good ol' PUMPKIN PIE! Here again, you don't have to be too observant to realize pumpkins also play an IMPORTANT ROLE IN HALLOWEEN.

Holidays Around the World, by Joseph Gaer, makes the following observation:

PUMPKINS became an integral part of Thanksgiving the same way apples did, because the HARVEST FESTIVAL fell at the end of the year on the old PAGAN CALENDAR -- the same time summer was bid good-bye, winter welcomed AND THE DEAD REMEMBERED!

Pumpkins became a part of Halloween in this country through the influence of the Irish. Many years ago, people began hollowing out turnips and pumpkins and placing lighted candles inside TO SCARE EVIL SPIRITS from the house. The pumpkin and candle became known as a "jack o'lantern" because "tradition says that an Irish Jack, too wicked for heaven and expelled from hell for playing tricks on the devil, was condemned to walk the earth with a lantern forever." (The Book of Festivals, p. l25).

This custom, in turn, originated with the Celtic Druids of northern Britain, who lit a fire to scare away winter and the evil spirits who were waiting to come rushing in when summer was over.

There is ANOTHER WAY, however, that the PUMPKIN became a traditional part of Thanksgiving in America. In Mexico a young girl REPRESENTING THE MAIZE GODDESS OR CORN-SPIRIT was sacrificed on a heap of corn and PUMPKINS. James Frazer describes the bloody scene:

This girl clearly personified the maize goddess:

Keep that in mind next time you bite into a piece of Thanksgiving pumpkin pie!

It's not at all improbable that Chief Massasoit and his braves were familiar with SIMILAR CUSTOMS amongst their own people, or in those tribes around them. The presence of pumpkins at that "first Thanksgiving" in 1621 may not have surprised the Indians at all and, in fact, the Indians showed the Pilgrim Fathers how to successfully grow pumpkins along with the corn.

Chopped Up Meat & the Death of Osiris!

Finally, we come to the LOWLY MINCE PIE -- "eaten in every English household at Christmas" and transferred to the "celebration of the Yankee Thanksgiving."

The MINCE PIE "was banished from the Puritan kitchen as being UNHOLY FOOD AT ANY TIME OF THE YEAR" -- WHY?

According to Diana Appelbaum, "Of the infinite variety of pies, two, the PUMPKIN and THE MINCE, are INTIMATELY ASSOCIATED WITH THANKSGIVING DINNER.... There is no more QUINTESSENTIAL Thanksgiving dish than MINCE MEAT PIE, and yet, unlike the native pumpkin pie, MINCE MEAT was a tradition borrowed from the CHRISTMAS FEASTS of merry old England. Puritans in both England and America BANNED CHRISTMAS; the 'high-shoe lords of Cromwell's making' frowned on ALL of the ancient Yuletide customs: 'Plum broth was Popish, AND MINCE PIE -- /O, THAT WAS FLAT IDOLATRY!'

"But by the early 1700s, MINCE PIE was enshrined in the New England Thanksgiving menu." (Thanksgiving: An American Holiday, An American History, pps. 270-27l).

That's a pretty strong statement to make -- mince pie considered FLAT IDOLATRY? When we examine what the MINCEMEAT represents, you'll understand why!

Let's turn back the pages of time and see what was involved in the PREPARATION of a typical nineteenth-century Thanksgiving meal:

The chopping of the meat was an ANNUAL RITUAL and REPRESENTED THE CHOPPING UP OF OSIRIS' BODY by Shem! Now do you see WHY the Puritans ABHORRED MINCE PIES?

The faithful Hislop explains what happened after the death of NIMROD (OSIRIS) those many centuries ago:

The death of Nimrod was observed in many countries:

Now Hislop earlier mentions that Osiris, or Nimrod, was represented under the form of a YOUNG BULL OR CALF. Notice:

If we go now to Photius, we find that he quotes Demosthenes as saying that "spotted fawns (or nebroi) were TORN IN PIECES for a certain mystic or mysterious reason;" and he himself tells us that "THE TEARING IN PIECES OF THE NEBROI (OR SPOTTED FAWNS) [OR THE YOUNG BULL OR CALF] WAS IN IMITATION OF THE SUFFERING IN THE CASE OF DIONYSUS" OR BACCHUS [NIMROD]. (Photius, Lexicon, Pars. i. p. 291).

You may be wondering WHY I am leading you through all these details concerning the various representations of Nimrod; be patient it will soon become very CLEAR!

If we go now to Frazer once more, we will see the CONNECTION between the death and dismemberment of Nimrod and the HARVEST HOME celebrations:

And, furthermore, the BULL OR CALF was considered to be the CORN-SPIRIT! "...The corn-spirit IN BULL FORM is sometimes believed to be KILLED AT THRESHING. At Auxerre [in France], in threshing the last bundle of corn, they call out twelve times, 'We are killing the Bull.' In the neighbourhood of Bordeaux, where a BUTCHER KILLS AN OX ON THE FIELD IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE CLOSE OF THE REAPING, it is said of the man who gives the last stroke at threshing that 'he has killed the Bull.' At Chambery the last sheaf is called the sheaf of the YOUNG OX, and a race takes place to it in which all the reapers join. When the last stroke is given at threshing they say that 'the Ox is killed', AND IMMEDIATELY THEREUPON A REAL OX IS SLAUGHTERED BY THE REAPER WHO CUT THE LAST CORN. THE FLESH OF THE OX IS EATEN BY THE THRESHERS AT [HARVEST] SUPPER "

We can see CLEARLY that the partaking of the flesh of the divine animal -- in this case a BULL, OX OR CALF -- during the meal of the ancient Greek and Roman festivals parallels the HARVEST SUPPERS of modern Europe where, as we have just seen, the flesh of the animal which stands for the corn spirit (in this case Nimrod) is EATEN by the harvesters.


The beef (and sometimes pork -- which also represents Nimrod) is CHOPPED UP beforehand -- REPRESENTING THE DEATH OF NIMROD -- and mixed with APPLES, which we have already seen, REPRESENTS POMONA THE GODDESS OF THE ORCHARD! And who was Pomona? None other than CERES OR SEMIRAMIS!!

When you eat the mince pie you are partaking of a SACRAMENT -- that of the BODIES OF NIMROD AND SEMIRAMIS AND THE ENTIRE SYSTEM OF IDOLATRY THAT THEY ORIGINATED! It is plain to see WHY the Puritans ABHORRED mince pie and what it represented, and WHY they UNEQUIVOCALLY STATED that it was UNFIT TO EAT AT ANY TIME OF THE YEAR. How about you?

If we return to Hislop we will learn more detail about the death of Nimrod:

In Egypt two tribunals were necessary in determining the punishment for someone committing such a crime:

THIS IS HOW THE MYSTERY RELIGION started! "Now when Shem has so powerfully wrought upon the minds of men as to induce them to make a TERRIBLE EXAMPLE of the great Apostate, and when that Apostate's DISMEMBERED LIMBS were sent to the chief cities, where no doubt his system had been established, it will be readily perceived that, in these circumstances, IF IDOLATRY WAS TO CONTINUE if, above all, it was to take a step in advance, IT WAS INDISPENSABLE THAT IT SHOULD OPERATE IN SECRET. The terror of an execution, inflicted on one so mighty as Nimrod, made it needful that, for some time to come at least, THE EXTREME OF CAUTION should be used. IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, THEN, BEGAN, THERE CAN HARDLY BE A DOUBT, THAT SYSTEM OF "MYSTERY," WHICH, HAVING BABYLON FOR ITS CENTRE, HAS SPREAD OVER THE WORLD."

And, I might add, into the custom of Thanksgiving!

The Inferior Substitute

When you come to think about it, it is absolutely amazing how Satan has ENGINEERED this system of religious perversion that, starting in Babylon right after the flood, spread to Egypt, Greece, Rome and finally into the modern world through the countries that were under the control of the Roman Empire.

Through this system, Satan has UNDERMINED the TRUE RELIGION established by the Eternal God; and through HIS DAYS AND FESTIVALS, has drawn a VEIL over the eyes of the greater part of mankind -- a veil that is only lifted by a select few servants of YEHOVAH God who are led by the spirit of YEHOVAH to "search the scriptures daily," and profane histories, to uncover this PLOT against the truth of YEHOVAH God.

Thanksgiving is nothing more than a perversion of, and an inferior SUBSTITUTE for the FEAST OF INGATHERING or the FEAST OF TABERNACLES. But mankind, led by Satan through the Mystery Religions, has perverted this wonderful OUTLINE of YEHOVAH's redemptive plan for them by SUBSTITUTING INFERIOR DAYS full of pagan ritual and meaningless symbolism.

The fact that Thanksgiving is a COPY OF THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES has not gone unnoticed by secular historians. John Brand, whose work has been quoted throughout this article, makes this comment:

Bourne thinks the ORIGINAL of both these customs [the HARVEST FEAST and the REVELRY that followed] is JEWISH, and cites Hospinian, who tells us that THE HEATHENS COPIED AFTER THIS CUSTOM OF THE JEWS, AND AT THE END OF THE HARVEST OFFERED UP THEIR FIRST FRUITS TO THE GODS. For the Jews rejoiced and feasted at the getting in of the harvest. (Observations on the Popular Antiquities of Great Britain, George Bell & Sons, 1908, p. 16.).

Marian Schibsby and Hanny Cohrsen also noticed the Thanksgiving-Tabernacles connection:

Let me repeat what author Robert Schauffler said about the Grecian THESMOPHORIA: "The harvest festival of ancient Greece, called the Thesmophoria, WAS AKIN TO THE JEWISH FEAST OF TABERNACLES. It was the FEAST OF DEMETER..." In Rome, the same feast occurred in October and BEGAN WITH A FAST DAY -- the pagan equivalent of the Day of Atonement!

Thanksgiving is just another attempt TO MASK the days the Eternal God SET APART for mankind to observe. Not only was the Feast of Tabernacles a harvest celebration, but it also OUTLINED AND POINTED TO the future fulfillment of an important part of YEHOVAH God's plan in developing the incredible human potential possible for each and every one of us. The INGATHERING of the harvest SYMBOLIZES the INGATHERING OF MANKIND -- the future ingathering of the great harvest of spirit-begotten human beings into YEHOVAH God's Family during the Millennium.

Our Righteous God used the two yearly harvest seasons in the Northern Hemisphere to PICTURE THE FUTURE SPIRITUAL HARVESTS of mankind into His divine family. The small spring harvest -- Pentecost -- is represented by a single day, and symbolizes the small spiritual firstfruits of a very small number of people whom YEHOVAH God has called into His Church before the return of His Son, when they will be BORN into YEHOVAH God's Family.

But the Feast of Tabernacles LASTS A FULL SEVEN DAYS! This indicates that the Eternal God's great SECOND HARVEST of mankind will take a LONG PERIOD OF TIME to be reaped -- in fact, the ENTIRETY of the Millennium!

The Feast of Tabernacles is a time of joy and great rejoicing. For the Israelites, it was a time of rejoicing because the abundant winter's food supply was GATHERED IN just before the Feast.

But the Feast of Tabernacles is a time of joy for those YEHOVAH God has called because it gives us a FORETASTE of the joy, happiness and universal peace that will exist WORLDWIDE under the reign of Yeshua the Messiah and YEHOVAH God the Father on this earth during the Millennium.

So WHY observe a MANMADE feast that is a MERE "SHADOW" of these wonderful things to come? WHY observe a feast that is loaded down with PAGAN CUSTOMS and nuances that VEIL the TRUE plan of YEHOVAH God? The Feast of Tabernacles, with its tremendous import, makes Thanksgiving seem totally irrelevant to a TRULY begotten son of YEHOVAH God!

Shallow Scholarship?

For the Worldwide Church of God to say, in their booklet on Thanksgiving, that "the American Thanksgiving Day does NOT have a PAGAN ORIGIN" and "is not usually celebrated with PAGAN CEREMONIAL CUSTOMS in honor of PAGAN TRADITIONS AND GODS, as are Christmas, Easter and Halloween" is TOTAL BUNK, and shows a depth of scholarship that is sadly lacking and extremely shallow!

Or, perhaps, they really don't want to pursue this avenue in depth because, as it stands, they have one day in the year when members can have "one foot in the world" to celebrate as the world does. To uncover the TRUE ORIGIN of Thanksgiving would mean the one day in the year, when church members can get together with unconverted family members for "football, fellowship, feasting and frolic," would have to be avoided and set aside like Easter, Halloween and Christmas. This, I'm afraid, the Worldwide Church of God is unwilling to do.



Hope of Israel Ministries -- Taking the Lead in the Search for Truth!

Hope of Israel Ministries
P.O. Box 853
Azusa, CA 91702, U.S.A.

Scan with your
Smartphone for
more information