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?
The Thanksgiving holiday was established in comparatively recent years. It is not mentioned in biblical revelation but the principle of attending and celebrating national holidays is made clear in Scripture.
Thanksgiving Day was established by the early colonists, NOT BY ANY DIVINE AUTHORITY. But this in itself does not make it wrong to celebrate. Notice the example of Jesus Christ. In John 10:22 we find that Christ attended the "Feast of Dedication," which was established by the Jews before to commemorate the purification of the Temple at Jerusalem. That day was celebrated on the anniversary of the day that the re-establishment of divine worship occurred after Antiochus Epiphanes had been vanquished and the Temple purified about 165 B.C.
This publication further claims:
Jesus' attendance at that annual holiday clearly illustrated that it is good and right to attend or celebrate a national holiday established for an honorable purpose. There was nothing wrong in the Jews' celebrating the dedication of the Temple and giving God special gratitude on that day. God led Esther and Mordecai to establish the Feast of Purim in commemoration of the miraculous deliverance of the Jewish people from bloody Haman (see the last chapter of Esther)
The national holidays celebrated by the Jewish people have, of course, no special significance for the non-Jew -- just as Thanksgiving Day holds no special significance for non-Americans.
Finally, the American Thanksgiving Day does NOT have a PAGAN ORIGIN, despite the claims of certain sects. It is NOT usually celebrated with PAGAN CEREMONIAL CUSTOMS in honor of PAGAN TRADITIONS AND GODS, as are Christmas, Easter and Halloween. (Ambassador College, l973, page 3).
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:
We often think of Thanksgiving as an American holiday, begun by the Pilgrims in Plymouth in 1621. At that time, so the story runs, the survivors of the Mayflower passengers celebrated their FIRST HARVEST in the New World with a FEAST to which Governor Bradford invited the Indian Chief Massasoit and ninety of his braves.
That was the first Thanksgiving Day in the New World. But actually a thanksgiving for the annual harvest is one of the OLDEST HOLIDAYS KNOWN TO MANKIND, though celebrated on different dates. IN CHALDEA, IN ANCIENT EGYPT AND IN GREECE, the harvest festival was celebrated with great rejoicing. THE HINDUS AND THE CHINESE observe the gathered harvest with. a holiday. And the Jews celebrate the ingathering of the crops [Feast of Tabernacles] as enjoined upon them in the Bible.
Joseph Gaer points out the Roman connection:
THE ROMANS celebrated their THANKSGIVING early in October. THE HOLIDAY WAS DEDICATED TO THE GODDESS OF THE HARVEST, CERES, and the holiday was called Cerelia. (That is where the word "cereal" comes from!)
The Christians [?] TOOK OVER THE ROMAN HOLIDAY and it became well established in ENGLAND, where some of the Roman customs and rituals for this day were observed LONG AFTER the Roman Empire had disappeared.
IN ENGLAND THE "HARVEST HOME" HAS BEEN OBSERVED CONTINUOUSLY FOR CENTURIES. The custom was to select a HARVEST QUEEN for this holiday. She was decorated with the grain of their fields and the FRUIT OF THEIR TREES. On THANKSGIVlNG DAY she was paraded through the streets in a carriage drawn by white horses. This was a REMNANT of the Roman ceremonies IN HONOR OF CERES...THE PILGRIMS BROUGHT THE "HARVEST IN" TO MASSACHUSETTS. (Little, Brown & Company, Boston, 1953, pps. l59-160).
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:
Giving thanks for the bounty of Providence is a practice AS OLD AS MANKIND and widespread as the human race. Long before the Christian era, HARVEST GODS were worshipped with curious and varied rites. Customs NOW IN USE at harvest festivals have their COUNTERPARTS IN PAGAN COUNTRIES; in many cases their origin and their significance is SHROUDED IN THE MISTS OF ANTIQUITY. The American Thanksgiving Day is usually ascribed to the Massachusetts colony of pilgrims, who, in gratitude for their FIRST HARVEST on American soil, devoted the day of December 13, 1621 to praise and REJOICING.
The idea underlying such a celebration did, however, NOT ORIGINATE WITH THEM. Thanksgiving day -- by that or SOME OTHER NAME -- was known to virtually all the people who have come to America since 1492 and is KNOWN TO THOSE NOW COMlNG...it becomes apparent that a day of thanksgiving is a custom in almost all the COUNTRIES OF EUROPE. It usually has to do with the HARVESTS -- with the planting of crops or their gathering -- and therefore is observed in rural districts rather than in cities. (American Council For Nationalities Service, N.Y. l974, p.46).
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:
The Pilgrims, who in 1621 observed our initial Thanksgiving holiday, were not a people especially enthusiastic about the celebration of festivals. In fact, these austere and religious settlers of America would have been DISMAYED had they known of the LONG AND POPULAR HISTORY OF HARVEST FESTIVALS, OF WHICH THEIR THANKSGIVING WAS ONLY THE LATEST....The HARVEST FESTIVAL, with its attendant rites, seems to have spread out from a relatively small area of land, FROM EGYPT AND SYRIA AND MESOPOTAMIA. The first or the last sheaf of wheat was offered to the "GREAT MOTHER," or the "MOTHER OF THE WHEAT: for the earthpower was essentially a FEMININE FORCE. ASTARTE was the EARTH MOTHER OF THE ANCIENT SEMITES; to the Phrygians she was Semele; under the name of DEMETER she was worshipped by the Greeks at the famous Eleusinian Mysteries; CERES, THE ROMAN GODDESS OF CORN, presided over the October Cerelia....In medieval times Germany, France, Holland, England, and the countries of central Europe observed the FEAST OF ST. MARTIN OF TOURS, MARTINMAS, ON NOVEMBER 11, as the time of HARVEST rejoicings.
Notice what happened in Mexico:
In our own hemisphere, among the Aztecs of Mexico, the harvest took on a grimmer aspect. Each year a YOUNG GIRL, a representation of XILONEN, THE GODDESS OF THE NEW CORN, was beheaded. The Pawnees also SACRIFICED A GIRL. In a more temperate mood, the Cherokees of the American Southeast danced the Green Corn Dance and began the new year at harvest's end. (Celebrations: The Comprehensive Book of American Holidays. Doubleday, N.Y. 1972, pages 271-272).
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:
Neither created intentionally nor copied from a paradigmatic "first Thanksgiving," the new celebration was a SYNTHESIS OF FOUR DISTINCT AND ANCIENT TRADITIONS, elements of which united in the unique cultural milieu of Puritan New England to give birth to Thanksgiving. The newborn Thanksgiving holiday had a Puritan "mother" from Connecticut, a Pilgrim "father" from Plymouth and, for ''grandparents," FOUR TRADITIONS FROM THE OLD WORLD.
New Englanders came from Old England, where the HARVEST HOME -- ONE OF THE "GRANDPARENTS" OF THANKSGIVING -- was celebrated. The Harvest Home was a holiday on which the villagers joined together to bring the last loads of grain from the fields and share a MERRY FEAST when the work was done. English villages followed local harvest customs; some dressed a maiden in white to ride atop a loaded cart as "QUEEN OF THE HARVEST". Others fashioned a figure from the grain itself to be robed in a white gown and set in the center of a circle of rejoicing farmers.
We now see that the Puritans REJECTED the Harvest Home:
THERE WAS SUFFICIENT TAINT OF IDOL WORSHIP AND EVIDENCE OF LICENTIOUS BEHAVIOR in the old English Harvest Home for Puritans to REJECT the custom summarily. They RECOILED from these remnants of the PAGAN CUSTOMS THAT PREDATED CHRISTIANITY in England, BUT MEMORIES OF THE HARVEST FEAST LINGERED ALL THE SAME.
The Puritans' SHUNNING of the ancient Harvest Home left a VOID in the New England year that might not have been problematic had a similar attitude not been extended to other holidays. But the Puritans had disapproved so many causes for celebration that A HOLIDAY VACUUM EXISTED IN THE YOUNG COLONIES.
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!
ALL SAINTS' DAYS HAD BEEN SWEPT OFF THE CALENDAR ALONG WITH CHRISTMAS AND EASTER, on the grounds that these MIXED "POPISH" RITUAL WITH PAGAN CUSTOM....Remaining to New England were three holidays -- Muster Day, Election Day and the day of the Harvard Commencement. (Facts On File Publications, N.Y. 1984, pps. 18-20).
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:
Like the Harvest Home, CHRISTMAS -- ANOTHER OF THE OLD-WORLD "GRANDPARENTS" OF THANKSGIVING -- was REMEMBERED but not celebrated by the Puritans The practice of designating the day of Jesus' birth, and especially of making merry on that day, were viewed as one of the GRAVE ERRORS of the churches of both Rome and England and as a DEPARTURE FROM THE PURITY OF THE EARLY CHURCH. Celebration of Christmas was so disparaged in the seventeenth-century Bay Colony that the General Court FORBADE laborers taking off from work on that day under penalty of a five-shilling fine. Not until the nineteenth century did New England relent in this attitude and the Congregational churches began to observe Christmas -- but Massachusetts was two centuries old before that happened. In the early years, everything associated with Christmas was rejected out of hand; EVEN THE LOWLY MINCE PIE, EATEN IN EVERY ENGLISH HOUSEHOLD AT CHRISTMAS, was banished from the Puritan kitchen as being UNHOLY FOOD AT ANY TIME OF THE YEAR.
Notice WHERE this "unholy" food ended up:
The spirit of Christmas, however, was SORELY MISSED, and during the 1600s, when Thanksgiving was becoming a popular festival, SMALL PIECES OF THE ENGLISH CHRISTMAS CREPT INTO THE CELEBRATION OF THE YANKEE THANKSGIVING. Those quintessential English CHRISTMAS DISHES, plum pudding and MINCE PIE became as indispensable a part of the Thanksgiving menu as turkey and pumpkin pie itself (page 24).
The next "grandparent" of Thanksgiving -- civil proclamations -- is now discussed:
Thanksgiving Day, our unique American holiday, ought not to be confused with still a third "grandparent," the SPECIAL DAYS OF THANKSGIVING PROCLAIMED BY CIVIL AUTHORITIES IN EUROPE AND THROUGHOUT THE AMERICAN COLONIES. When some stroke of extraordinary good fortune befell a nation, the civil authorities often declared a day of thanksgiving and prayer, marked by special services in every church...declarations of this sort were FAMILIAR TO THE FIRST SETTLERS ON THESE SHORES. Coronado, Popsham and the settlers at Jamestown, Plymouth and Boston ACTED IN THIS TRADITION when they held their "first Thanksgiving."
Settlers in both New Amsterdam and Plymouth were familiar with the Dutch custom of celebrating October 3 as a day of thanksgiving commemorating the independence of Holland from Spain. English settlers recalled that the Anglican church marked November 5, the anniversary of the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot, as a day on which thanks were given that the scheme to blow up Parliament had failed. PURITAN NEW ENGLAND UNDOUBTEDLY DREW UPON THE TRADITION OF CIVIC THANKSGIVINGS IN CREATING THE NEW HOLIDAY (page 25).
The fourth "grandparent" of the American Thanksgiving Day was that of RELIGIOUS proclamations. Diana Appelbaum explains:
Fourth "grandparent" to the American Thanksgiving Day was the tradition of INDIVIDUAL PURITAN CONGREGATIONS declaring days of thanksgiving and prayer. The Puritans rejected all ecclesiastical hierarchy in favor of the sovereignty of the congregation. Authority equivalent to that belonging to Catholic or Anglican bishops was vested in Puritan congregations, which has SOLE POWER to ordain clergymen, admit or excommunicate members and DECLARE DAYS OF FASTING AND OF THANKSGIVING. Like the proclamations of civil authorities, congregational thanksgiving days were declared for SPECIAL CAUSES. (Page 25).
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:
The Thanksgiving holiday born in Puritan New England in the 1630s and 1640s was SHAPED BY FOUR TRADITIONS -- the HARVEST HOME, CHRISTMAS, proclamations of civic thanksgiving and congregational days of thanksgiving and prayer....OTHER FEATURES of the holiday developed in Connecticut. The Connecticut River valley towns of Wethersfield, Windsor and Hartford were settled in 1635 and 1636 by families from Massachusetts Bay who shared with their sister colony a thoroughgoing dedication to Puritanism. The church in each town followed the established, Puritan custom of holding days of public thanks or of prayer and fasting as the occasion warranted, but THE LEADERS OF THE COLONY DEPARTED FROM TRADITION BY PROCLAIMING A DAY OF PUBLIC THANKSGIVlNG EACH AUTUMN IN GRATITUDE FOR GENERAL WELL-BEING AND FOR THE HARVEST JUST GATHERED. Although records from the early years are incomplete, a proclamation of thanksgiving for September 18, 1639, survives, as do proclamations for 1644 and for every year from 1649 onward.
Connecticut led the way! Notice:
THIS WAS THE CRUCIAL INNOVATION. The entire Western world shares the custom of special thanksgivings for special causes, and as we have seen, individual Plymouth Colony congregations sometimes held harvest thanksgivings followed by a festive meal. WHEN CONNECTICUT MADE THANKSGIVING DAY AN ANNUAL FESTIVAL FOR GENERAL CAUSES, HOWEVER, A NEW HOLIDAY WAS BORN. THANKSGIVING IN CONNECTICUT WAS HELD EVERY AUTUMN, NOT FOR SPECIAL REASONS, BUT IN GRATITUDE FOR THE ORDINARY BLESSINGS OF THE "YEAR PAST" AND FOR THE "FRUITS OF THE EARTH." (Thanksgiving: An American Holiday, An American History, by Diana Karter Appelbaum, pps. 28-29).
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:
HARVEST HOME, also called ingathering, traditional English harvest festival, CELEBRATED FROM ANTIQUITY and surviving to modern times in isolated regions. Participants celebrate the last day of harvest by singing, shouting, and DECORATING THE VILLAGE WITH BOUGHS. The "cailleac," or last sheaf of corn, which represents the SPIRIT OF THE FIELD, is made into a HARVEST DOLL AND DRENCHED WITH WATER as a rain charm. This sheaf is saved until spring planting.
The ANCIENT FESTIVAL also included the SYMBOLIC MURDER of the grain spirit, as well as rites for expelling the devil. (1980, Vol.5).
The same encyclopedia, 1943 edition, has a more detailed explanation:
HARVEST. the season of the ingathering of crops....Harvest has been a season of rejoicing from the remotest ages. The Romans had their CEREALIA OR FEASTS IN HONOUR OF CERES. The Druids [of Britain] celebrated their harvest on Nov. 1. In pre-Reformation England Lammas Day (Aug. 1 O.S.) was observed at the beginning of the harvest festival. Throughout the world harvest has always been the occasion for MANY QUEER CUSTOMS which ALL have their origin in the animistic belief in the CORN-SPIRIT OR CORN MOTHER. This PERSONIFICATION OF THE CROPS has left its impress upon the harvest customs of MODERN EUROPE. In West Russia, for example, the figure made out of the last sheaf of CORN is called the bastard, and a boy is wrapped up in it. The woman who binds this sheaf REPRESENTS THE "CORN MOTHER," and an elaborate simulation of childbirth takes place, the boy in the sheaf squalling like a newborn child and being, on his liberation, wrapped in swaddling bands. Even in ENGLAND vestiges of SYMPATHETIC MAGIC can be detected. In Northumberland, an image formed of a wheatsheaf, and dressed in a white frock and coloured ribbons, is hoisted on a pole. This is the "KERN BABY" OR HARVEST QUEEN, and is set up in a prominent place during the HARVEST SUPPER. Hallowmas, is called the "MAIDEN," and the youngest girl in the harvest-field is given the privilege of cutting it.
Notice one of the features of the Harvest Home:
Throughout the world, as Sir J.G. Frazer shows, the semiworship of the last sheaf is or has been the great feature of the HARVEST-HOME. Among the harvest customs none is more interesting than harvest cries; the Devonshire reapers go through a ceremony which in its main features is a COUNTERPART OF PAGAN WORSHIP. "After the wheat is cut they...pick out a bundle of the best ears...; this is called 'THE NECK'; the harvest hands then stand around in a ring, an old man holding 'the neck' in the centre. At a signal from him they take off their hats, then all together they utter in a prolonged cry. 'the neck!' three times, raising themselves upright with their hats held above their heads. Then they change their cry to 'Wee yen! way yen! or, as some report, 'we haven!' " (Vol. II, pps. 231-232).
The Harvest Home, as celebrated in various European countries, is described by Marian Schibsly and Hanny Cohrsen:
IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA there are two harvest celebrations, one of which Posviceni, is the church consecration of the harvest. The other, Obzinky, is secular in nature. When the harvesting is over, the farm laborers make a WREATH of ears of wheat, or rye and field flowers. It is usually PLACED ON THE HEAD OF THE PRETTIEST OF THE GIRLS, who then with the other harvesters, accompanied by music and song, proceeds to the home of the land owner to whom the wreath is offered. It is held in high honor and usually kept until next harvest. After the ceremony there is dancing and feasting at the farmowner's expense. At this feast are usually served ROAST PIG, ROAST GOOSE and the famous Kolace, cakes square in shape and filled with plum jam or sweetened cheese, or POPPYSEEDS.
In some sections of Czechoslovakia, instead of a wreath, or in addition to a wreath, the last sheaf harvested is DRESSED AS AN OLD WOMAN, THE BABA, and borne in state to the home of the landlord where it occupies a place of honor till Christmas or, in some places, till the next harvest. In Moravia an old woman, or perhaps the woman who bound the last sheaf, is actually wrapped up in the sheaf but she is not kept there till the next harvest. (Foreign Festival Customs & Dishes, p. 48)
Notice the connection between the Harvest Home, Easter and Christmas in Germany:
In GERMANY....ROAST PORK IS QUITE GENERALLY SERVED ON THIS OCCASION [THANKSGIVlNG], and beer; in the grape-growing sections, WINE FLOWS LIKE WATER. Dancing is part of the celebration. BARN DANCES and square dances especially.
A large wreath of wheat and field flowers is presented to the owner of the farm. Then all gather in the big hall of the farmhouse; prayers of thanks are offered, after which the wreath is hung in a place of honor. In some sections of Germany it remains untouched till next harvest; in others, THE GRAIN IS RUBBED OUT OF IT ON EASTER EVE AND SCATTERED AMONG THE YOUNG CORN. Sometimes the straw of the wreath is PLACED IN THE MANGER AT CHRISTMAS to make the cattle thrive.
In certain sections of Germany, the last sheaf, USUALLY DESCRIBED AS AN OLD WOMAN, is carried in triumph to the farm, a harvest custom formerly widely observed. In former times, in many agricultural countries, THE PEASANTS BELIEVED THE CORN MOTHER OR CORN SPIRIT WAS PRESENT IN THE LAST SHEAF; hence the custom....In Holstein the "old woman" IS DRENCHED WITH WATER, THE REMNANT of a PAGAN CUSTOM. (Foreign Festival Customs and Dishes, pps. 48-49).
Of special interest are the customs in Britain:
GREAT BRITAIN: Fifty years ago or so, however, the HARVEST HOME SUPPER, the "Kern Doll" or "Kern Baby," the "Kern Woman" or "Cailleach" (Gaelic for old woman) as she is called in Scotland, the ceremonies of Crying the Neck or Crying the Mare, and the Hockey Cart WERE FEATURES OF THE HARVEST FESTIVITIES ON MANY FARMS.
As in other European countries, the above-mentioned customs ARE UNDOUBTEDLY REVIVALS OF PAGAN HARVEST RITES. The Kern Baby and the Cailleach REPRESENT THE "CORN SPIRIT," which ACCORDING TO PAGAN BELIEF ruled over the fields and to be propitiated by certain rites; PERSEPHONE AND DEMETER WERE THEIR NAMES IN GREECE. The last sheaf, known as the "Kern Baby" in case the harvest was early, or the Kern Mother or Kern Woman or Cailleach if it was late, was dressed in festive woman's clothing and carried in procession to the farm house where it was honored by various ceremonies. In some districts it was kept till the coming harvest; in others it was FED TO THE CATTLE AT CHRISTMAS to ensure their health for the coming year. "CRYING THE NECK" OR "CRYING THE MARE" WAS PROBABLY ANOTHER PAGAN SURVIVAL. As the harvest progressed, THE CORN SPIRIT was driven from place to place, finally taking shelter in the last corn or hayloft left standing. This was tied or plaited into what was known as a "neck" or "nack" and then the reapers hurled their sickles at it in an effort to cut it down. The successful reaper, was, according to tradition, expected to cry, "I have her! What have you?" the others were to ask. "A neck! A neck!" or "A Mare! A Mare!" the winner would reply. "What will you do with her?" "Send her to Farmer__________," naming a farmer who was behind in his harvest.
Other British customs are important to consider:
Other old HARVEST CUSTOMS are still observed in Great Britain....Hiring of servants, especially of farm servants, traditionally takes place on Martinmas, November 11th. About persons who were changeable or flighty, the old saying was "He will not stay to eat Martin's kail." Kail, however, is not the traditional Martinmas food, ROAST GOOSE is eaten in many homes on that day in England, as well as in a NUMBER OF OTHER COUNTRIES -- Germany and the Scandinavian countries, for instance. According to popular belief it was possible to FORETELL FROM THE BREASTBONE OF A GOOSE eaten on Martinmas Eve WHAT THE COMING YEAR WOULD BE LIKE. In England THE CUSTOM OF EATING GOOSE ON MARTINMAS has largely been transferred to Michaelmas Day, September 29th. An old saying has it that "Those who eat GOOSE on Michaelmas Day shall not want money all that year."
Here we see the custom in London:
Harvest festivals are not wholly the property of the rural regions of Great Britain. In London, the costermongers [street hawkers of vegetables and fruit] have their Harvest festival, or THANKSGIVING; it comes a month before the American Thanksgiving....The most notable feature of their PROCESSIONS is their COSTUMES, which are covered from head to hem with round pearl buttons, edge to edge, solidly or in designs. The wearers of the costumes are known as "pearlies"....There is always a PEARLY KING AND A PEARLY QUEEN at these festivals. According to tradition the fashion which is now the pride of the costermongers dates back to the 18th century. (Foreign Festival Customs and Dishes, p. 50).
From Poland we hear about "Baba" being drenched with water:
There is also in POLAND a secular harvest festival called "Dozyaki," or, more rarely, "Okrezne." When the harvesting is over, the farmworkers gather around a small stack of grain which has been left standing in the field and celebrate an ANCIENT RITE known as "the decoration of the quail" or "THE DECORATION OF THE GOAT"....In the district of Cracow the woman who binds the last sheaf is known as the BABA, OR OLD WOMAN. She is wrapped up in the sheaf so that only her head projects, and then taken in a harvest wagon to the farm house where she is DRENCHED WITH WATER by the whole family. She remains in the sheaf till the HARVEST DANCE is over, and all through the year she is called Baba.
The Thanksgiving or Harvest Home customs of the Scandinavian countries elevate the GOOSE to a position of GREAT IMPORTANCE:
The end of the harvest is also the occasion for festivity and THANKSGIVING in the SCANDINAVIAN COUNTRIES AND FINLAND. The celebrations are usually local and occur when the individual landowner has harvested and stored his crops. EATING AND DRINKING AND DANCING are the regular features of these festivals...in Norway, instead of passing, as is true in Poland and some of the other European countries, the custom of a THANKSGIVING FESTIVAL is gaining strength.
For America's turkey DENMARK SUBSTITUTES GOOSE, cooked as only the Danes know how. The GOOSE COMES INTO HIS OWN on Mortens Dag, or St. Martin's Day, and he CROWDS EVERYTHING ELSE INTO THE BACKGROUND. The harvest being largely the cause of the jollity, the celebrations reach their height in the country districts. (Foreign Festival Customs & Dishes, p. 57).
Now look at the intimate LINK between the Harvest Home and HALLOWEEN:
The first Sunday in October the churches in FINLAND offer prayer for the safe gathering of the harvest. It is known as "Mikkelin paiva" (St. Michael's Day), and in the country districts it is a DAY OF MUCH IMPORTANCE...Before the custom of giving thanks for the harvest on "Mikkelin paiva" came into existence, there was throughout Finland a celebration known as "Kekri." Like so many harvest festivals, it had no fixed date but was celebrated by each land owner as soon as his crops were safely in the barns. THE FESTIVAL WAS PROBABLY ORIGINALLY SOME FORM OF PAGAN ANCESTOR WORSHIP. The "Kekri" were the SPIRITS OF THE DEAD who were believed to be interested in the farm work and to help with it. When the harvest was over, in gratitude for their services during the year and to preserve their good will, A FEAST WAS PREPARED FOR THEM, usually in the stables, as the "Kekri" were supposed to be especially helpful with the horses and cattle. With the coming of Christianity the "Kekri" festival BE CAME A PART OF "MIRKELIN PAIVA" (pages 57-58).
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:
Macrobius tells us that, AMONG THE HEATHENS, the heads of families, WHEN THEY HAD GOT IN THEIR HARVEST, were wont to FEAST with their servants who had laboured for them in tilling the ground. In exact conformity to this, it is common among Christians, when the fruits of the earth are gathered in and laid in their proper repositories, to provide a PLENTIFUL SUPPER for the harvestmen and the servants of the family. At this entertainment all are, in the modern revolutionary idea of the word, perfectly equal. Here is no distinction of persons, but ruler and servant sit at the same table, converse freely together, and spend the remainder of the night in DANCING, SINGING, and etc. in the most easy familiarity....To the husbandman, when the fear of wet, blights, and etc. has harassed with great anxiety, the completion of his wishes could not fail of imparting an enviable feeling of delight. FESTIVITY IS BUT THE REFLEX OF INWARD JOY, AND IT COULD HARDLY FAIL OF BEING PRODUCED ON THIS OCCASION, WHICH IS A TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF EVERY CARE (George Bell & Sons, 1908, pages 16-33).
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:
The respect shown to servants at this season SEEMS to have sprung from a grateful sense of their services. Everything depends at this juncture on their labour and dispatch. VACINA (OR VACUNA, so called as it is said a VACANDO, THE TUTELAR DEITY, as it were, OF REST AND EASE,) among the ancients, was THE NAME OF THE GODDESS to whom rustics SACRIFICED AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE HARVEST....Moresin tells us the POPERY...brings home her chaplets of CORN, which she suspends on poles, that OFFERINGS WERE MADE ON THE ALTARS OF HER TUTELAR GODS, while thanks are returned for the collected stores, and prayers are made for FUTURE EASE AND REST.
John Brand continues by discussing the Harvest Home in detail:
IMAGES, too, of straw or stubble, he [Moresin] adds, are wont to be carried about on this occasion; and that in England he himself saw the rustics [farmers] bringing home in a cart a FIGURE MADE OF CORN, round which men and women were SINGING PROMISCUOUSLY, preceded by a drum or piper. In a Journey into England, by Paul Hertzner, in the year 1598, ed. 1757, p.79, speaking of Windsor, he says 'As we were returning to our inn, we met some country people celebrating their HARVEST HOME; their last load of CORN they crown with flowers, having besides an IMAGE richly dressed, by which perhaps they would SIGNIFY CERES: this they would keep moving about, while men and women, men and maidservants, riding through the streets in the cart, shout as loud as they can till they arrive at the barn.'
Hutchinson, in his work, discusses the "image":
Hutchinson, in his History of Northumberland, ii. ad finem, 17, says, 'I have seen in some places, an IMAGE apparelled in great finery, crowned with flowers, a SHEAF OF CORN placed under her arm, and a SCYCLE in her hand, carried out of the village in the morning of the conclusive reaping day, with music and much clamour of the reapers, into the field, where it stands fixed on a pole all day, and when the reaping is done, is brought him in like manner. This they call the HARVEST QUEEN, AND IT REPRESENTS THE ROMAN CERES.'
The traditions of Northumberland tell about the Kern Baby or Harvest Doll:
An old woman, who is a respectable authority on a subject of this nature, at a village in Northumberland, informed us that, not half a century ago, they used everywhere to dress up some thing similar to the figure above described at the end of the harvest, which was called a HARVEST DOLL OR KERN BABY. This northern word is plainly a CORRUPTION OF CORN BABY, OR IMAGE, and is the KERN SUPPER, which we shall presently consider, or CORN SUPPER. In Carew's Survey of Cornwall, f.20b, 'an ill-kerned or sacred harvest' occurs.
The Devonshire tradition of the "knack" and the HARVEST QUEEN are discussed next:
At Werington, in Devonshire, the clergyman of the parish informed me that when a farmer finishes his reaping, a small quantity of the ears of the LAST CORN are twisted together or tied together into a curious kind of figure, which is brought home with great acclamations, hung up over the table and kept till the next year. The owner would think it extremely UNLUCKY to part with this, which is called a KNACK.
Dr. E.D. Clarke, tells us that at the Hawkie, as it is called, I have seen a clown DRESSED IN WOMAN'S CLOTHES, having his face painted, his head DECORATED WITH EARS OF CORN, and bearing about him other SYMBOLS OF CERES, carried in a waggon, with great pomp and loud shouts, through the streets, the horses being covered with white sheets; and when I inquired the meaning of the ceremony, was answered by the people, that THEY WERE DRAWING THE HARVEST QUEEN.
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:
In the Statistical Account of Scotland, 1795, xix.550, Parish of Longforgan, Perth, we read: 'It was very lately, the custom to give what was called a MAID FEAST, upon the finishing of the harvest; and to prepare for which, the last handful of corn reaped in the field was called THE MAIDEN. This was generally contrived to fall into the hands of one of the FINEST GIRLS in the field, [who] was dressed up with ribands [ribbons], and BROUGHT HOME IN TRIUMPH, with the music of fiddles or bagpipes. A FINE DINNER was given to the whole hand, and the EVENING SPENT IN 'JOVIALITY' AND DANCING, while the 'fortunate' lass who took the Maiden was the QUEEN OF THE FEAST; after which this handful of corn was dressed out, generally in the form of a 'cross', and hung up with the date of the year in some conspicuous part of the house.
The Harvest Home Dinner
John Brand goes on to discuss the harvest or Thanksgiving Dinner itself:
In Cornwall, it should seem, they have HARVEST DINNERS. 'The HARVEST DINNERS,' says Carew in his Survey, f. 68, 'are held by every wealthy man, or, as wee term it, every 'good liver' betweene Michaelmas and Candlemas, whereto he inviteth his next neighbours and kindred; and though it beare also with them, and consume a great part of the night after in CHRISTMAS RULE. Neither doth the 'good' cheere wholly expire but the end of the weeke.'
In the Life of Eugene Aram, 2nd. edit. p. 71, there is an essay on 'the Mell-supper, and shouting the Churn,'...In this he supposes these FEASTS TO BE THE RELICS OF PAGAN CEREMONIES....In England we hear of it [Mell-supper] under various names in different counties, as Mell-supper, Churn-supper, Harvest-supper, HARVEST-HOME, FEAST OF INGATHERING. (Observations on the Popular Antiquities of Great Britain, pps. l6-33).
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:
In FRANCE, also, in the neighbourhood of Auxerre, the last sheaf goes by the name of the Mother of the Wheat, Mother of the Barley, Mother of the Rye, or Mother of the Oats. They leave it standing in the field till the last waggon is about to wend homewards. Then they make a puppet out of it, dress it with clothes belonging to the farmer, and adorn it with a CROWN and a blue or white scarf. A branch of a tree is stuck in the breast of the puppet, WHICH IS NOW CALLED THE CERES.
At the evening dance the following occurred:
At the dance in the evening THE CERES is set in the middle of the floor, and the reaper who reaped fastest dances round it WITH THE PRETTIEST GIRL FOR HIS PARTNER. After the dance a pyre is made. All the girls, each wearing a wreath, strip the puppet, PULL IT TO PIECES, and place it on the pyre, along with the flowers with which it was adorned. Then the girl who was the first to finish reaping sets fire to the pile, and ALL PRAY THAT CERES MAY GIVE A FRUITFUL YEAR. (Abridged Version, Macmillan Company, N.Y. 1951).
How plain that is! Now just WHO was this CERES of the Harvest Home?
The Ceres-Demeter Connection
Funk and Wagnalls New Encyclopedia explains:
CERES, in Roman mythology, the goddess of agriculture. SHE and her daughter PROSERPINE were the COUNTERPARTS OF THE GREEK GODDESS DEMETER AND PERSEPHONE. The Greek belief that her joy at being reunited with her daughter each spring caused the earth to bring forth an abundance of fruits and grains was INTRODUCED INTO ROME IN THE 5TH CENTURY B.C., and her cult became extremely popular, especially with the plebeians [common people of Rome]. Her chief festival, the Cerealia, was CELEBRATED FROM APRIL 12-19. (Vol. 5, MCMLXXV, page 296).
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:
CERES, goddess of the growth of foodplants, worshipped, alone or with the god CERUS, OVER A CONSIDERABLE PART OF ITALY....Her cult was early overlaid by that of DEMETER, who was widely worshipped in SICILY AND MAGNA GRAECIA, cf. DEMETER. On the advice of the Sibylline Books, a cult of CERES LIBER and LIBERA was introduced into Rome in 496 B.C., to check a famine. LIBER and LIBERA seem to REPRESENT THE IARCHOS AND KORE of the Eleusinian cult. The ritual of this worship was largely if not wholly Greek. The temple, which was built on the Aventine in 493 B.C., and was of Etruscan shape, but decorated by Greek artists, became a centre of plebeian activities, religious and political.
The main festivals of the Ceres cult are now outlined:
CERES WAS REGARDED AS THE PATRONESS OF THE CORN TRADE, which seems to have been early in plebeian hands. The chief festivals of this cult were: (1) LUDI CERIALIS, introduced before 202 B.C., and ultimately LASTING FROM APRIL 12-19; (2) An annual festival, instituted before 217 B.C, CELEBRATED IN SECRET BY THE WOMEN and apparently dealing with the UNION OF KORE AND HADES; (3) From 191 B.C. on A FAST (ieiunium Cereris), held every five years, but later every year on Oct. 4. All these are on Greek lines. (Vol. 5, 1943, page 159).
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:
The harvest festival of ancient Greece, called the THESMOPHORIA was AKIN TO THE JEWISH FEAST OF TABERNACLES. It was the FEAST OF DEMETER, the foundress of agriculture and goddess of harvests, and was CELEBRATED IN ATHENS, IN NOVEMBER, BY MARRIED WOMEN ONLY. Two wealthy and distinguished ladies were chosen to perform the sacred function in the name of the others and to PREPARE THE SACRED MEAL, WHICH CORRESPONDED TO OUR THANKSGIVING DINNER. On the first day of the feast, amid great MIRTH AND REJOICING, the women went in PROCESSION to the promontory of Colias and CELEBRATED THEIR THANKSGIVlNG FOR THREE DAYS in the temple of DEMETER.
On their return the festival degenerated into an orgy:
On their return a festival OCCURRED FOR THREE DAYS IN ATHENS, sad at first but gradually growing into an ORGY OF MIRTH AND DANCING. Here a COW AND A SOW were offered to Demeter, besides FRUlT and honeycombs. The SYMBOLS OF THE FRUITFUL GODDESS WERE POPPIES AND EARS OF CORN, A BASKET OF FRUIT AND A LITTLE PIG. THE ROMANS WORSHIPPED THIS HARVEST DEITY UNDER THE NAME OF CERES. Her festival, which occurred yearly on October 4th, was called the CERELIA. It BEGAN WITH A FAST [Day of Atonement?] among the common people who offered her a SOW and the FIRST CUTTINGS OF THE HARVEST. THERE WERE PROCESSIONS IN THE FIELDS WITH MUSIC AND RUSTIC SPORTS and THE CEREMONIES ENDED WITH THE INEVITABLE FEAST OF THANKSGIVING. (Thanksgiving, Dodd-Mead, 1957, pages 12-13).
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:
The first autumn, an AMPLE HARVEST insured that the colony would have food for the winter months. Governor Bradford, with one eye on the divine Providence, proclaimed a day of thanksgiving to God, and WITH THE OTHER EYE ON THE LOCAL POLITICAL SITUATION EXTENDED AN INVITATION TO NEIGHBORING INDIANS TO SHARE IN THE HARVEST FEAST IN ORDER TO GUARANTEE THAT THE FEAST SERVED TO CEMENT A PEACEFUL RELATIONSHIP; THE THREE-DAY LONG MEAL WAS PUNCTUATED BY DISPLAYS OF THE POWER OF ENGLISH MUSKETS FOR THE BENEFIT OF SUITABLY IMPRESSED INDIAN GUESTS (pages 7-8).
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:
For if her [Isis'] brother and husband Osiris was in one of his aspects THE CORN-GOD, as we have seen reason to believe, SHE [ISIS] MUST SURELY HAVE BEEN THE CORN-GODDESS....For if we may trust Diodorus Siculus, whose authority appears to have been the Egyptian historian Manetho, THE DISCOVERY OF WHEAT AND BARLEY WAS ATTRIBUTED TO ISIS, and at her festivals STALKS OF THESE GRAINS WERE CARRIED IN PROCESSION to commemorate the boon she had conferred on men.
Augustine adds some important information:
A further detail is added by Augustine. He says that ISIS MADE THE DISCOVERY OF BARLEY at the moment when she was sacrificing to the common ancestors of her husband and herself, all of whom had been kings, and that she showed the newly discovered ears of barley to Osiris and his councilor Thoth or Mercury, as Roman writers called him. THAT IS WHY, adds Augustine, THEY IDENTIFY ISIS WITH CERES. Further, at harvest-time, when the Egyptian reapers had cut the first stalks, they laid them down and BEAT THEIR BREASTS, WAILING AND CALLING UPON ISIS. The custom has been already explained as a LAMENT FOR THE CORN-SPIRIT SLAIN UNDER THE SICKLE. (The Golden Bough, the Macmillan Co., N.Y. 1935, Vol. 6, pages 116-117).
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:
According to Brugsch she [Isis] is "not only the creatress of the fresh verdure of vegetation which covers the earth, but is actually THE GREEN CORNFIELD ITSELF, which is personified as a goddess. This is confirmed by her epithet "Sochit" or "Sochet," meaning "a cornfield," a sense which the word still retains in Coptic. THE GREEKS CONCEIVED OF ISIS AS A CORN-GODDESS, FOR THEY IDENTIFIED HER WITH DEMETER. In a Greek epigram she is described as "she who has given birth to the fruits of the earth," and "THE MOTHER OF THE EARS OF CORN"; and in a hymn composed in her honour she speaks of herself as "QUEEN OF THE WHEATFIELD," and is described as "charged with the care of the fruitful furrow's wheat-rich path." Accordingly, GREEK OR ROMAN ARTISTS OFTEN REPRESENTED HER [ISIS] WITH EARS OF CORN ON HER HEAD OR IN HER HAND.
Such, we may suppose, WAS ISIS IN THE OLDEN TIME, A RUSTIC CORN-MOTHER adored with uncouth rites by Egyptian swains. (The Golden Bough, page 117).
The Universal World Reference Encyclopedia, under the heading "CERES," LUCIDLY shows the ISIS-CERES connection:
Ceres, the daughter of Saturn and Vesta, and GODDESS OF GRAIN, HARVESTS, AND TILLAGE. To Jupiter she bore a daughter, Proserpine. CERES CORRESPONDS WITH THE ISIS OF THE EGYPTIANS and the DEMETER OF THE GREEKS. She is represented with a GARLAND OF EARS OF GRAIN ON HER HEAD, holding in one hand a lighted torch and in the other A POPPY, WHICH WAS SACRED TO HER. The Romans instituted in her honor the festivals called CEREALIA. (1948, vol. 34).
How much plainer does it have to be? CERES CORRESPONDS TO THE ISIS OF THE EGYPTIANS AND THE DEMETER OF THE GREEKS!!
Alexander Hislop, in his authoritative work The Two Babylons, confirms this:
In Egypt, the Mother and the Child were worshipped under the names of ISIS AND OSIRIS...in Greece AS CERES, the Great Mother, with the babe at her breast...(Loizeaux Brothers, Neptune, N.J. 1959, p. 20).
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!
And WHO was Isis? NONE OTHER THAN THE INFAMOUS SEMIRAMIS OF BABYLON! Notice Hislop once again:
The Druidic system [in Britain and France] in all its parts was evidently THE BABYLONIAN SYSTEM. Dionysius informs us, that the rites of Bacchus were duly celebrated in the British Islands (Periergesis, v.565, p.29) and Strabo cites Artemidorus to show that, IN AN ISLAND CLOSE TO BRITAIN, CERES AND PROSERPINE were venerated with rites similar to the ORGIES OF SAMOTHRACE. (LIB. IV. P 190.) It will be seen from the account of the Druidic CERIDWEN [CERES] and her child...that there was a GREAT ANALOGY between her character and that of the GREAT GODDESS MOTHER OF BABYLON [SEMIRAMIS]. (Footnote, p. 81).
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:
This Babylonian queen [Semiramis] was not merely in character coincident with the Aphrodite of Greece and the Venus of Rome, but was, in point of fact, the HISTORICAL ORIGINAL of that goddess that by the ancient world was regarded as the very embodiment of everything attractive in female form, and the perfection of female beauty; for Sanchuniathon assures us that APHRODITE OR VENUS WAS IDENTICAL WITH ASTARTE, AND ASTARTE...IS NONE OTHER THAN "THE WOMAN THAT MADE TOWERS OR ENCOMPASSING WALLS" i.e., SEMIRAMIS. (The Two Babylons, pps. 74-75).
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:
In ancient times EGGS were used in the religious rites of the EGYPTIANS AND THE GREEKS...From Egypt these SACRED EGGS can be distinctly traced to the BANKS OF THE EUPHRATES. The classic poets are full of the fable of the MYSTIC EGG OF THE BABYLONIANS; and thus its tale is told by Hyginus, the Egyptian, the learned keeper of the Palatine library at Rome, in the time of Augustus, who was skilled in all the wisdom of his native country: "An EGG of wondrous size is said to have fallen from heaven into the river Euphrates. The fishes rolled it to the bank, where the doves having settled upon it, and hatched it, OUT CAME VENUS, who afterwards was called the Syrian Goddess" -- that is, ASTARTE. Hence the egg became one of the SYMBOLS OF ASTARTE, OR EASTER [ISHTAR]....
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 rites of the CORN-MOTHER AND THE HARVEST QUEEN are nothing more than THE ANCIENT WORSHIP OF SEMIRAMIS -- QUEEN OF BABYLON AND HUSBAND OF NIMROD "the mighty hunter AGAINST the Lord."
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:
Then the king [Josiah] DEFILED the high places that were EAST OF JERUSALEM, which were on the SOUTH OF THE MOUNT OF CORRUPTION [THE MOUNT OF OLIVES], which Solomon king of Israel had built for ASHTORETH THE ABOMINATION OF THE SIDONIANS....And he BROKE IN PIECES the sacred pillars and CUT the wooden images, and filled their places with the bones of men (23:13-14, NKJ).
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 children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the QUEEN OF HEAVEN, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may PROVOKE ME TO ANGER....Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, MINE ANGER AND MY FURY SHALL BE POURED OUT upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; AND IT SHALL BURN, AND SHALL NOT BE QUENCHED. (Jeremiah 7:18, 20 KJV).
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!''
DON'T BE SO SURE! HAVE YOU CONSIDERED THE TRADITIONAL FOODS THAT ARE SERVED DURING THE MEAL? YOU HAD BETTER, BECAUSE YOU ARE IN FOR SOME SHOCKS!
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:
TURKEY was the MAIN MEAT course at this celebration. Wild turkeys were plentiful and the Methodists had cooked several. THE QUAKERS WERE SURPRISED; THEY HAD NEVER HEARD OF THE TURKEY AS A BIRD OF THANKSGIVING. But, following a special religious service, they pulled the roast from the wishbones with almost as much gusto as the Methodists. (Thanksgiving: An American Holiday, An American History, p. 103).
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:
Thanksgiving dinner was a feast that had been in preparation for weeks and even months before the great day arrived.... Turkey held the place of honor at Thanksgiving, but our New England forebears had appetites heartier by far than those of their modern-day descendants, and turkey was accompanied by a huge chicken pie made of the meat of three or four birds Besides these were placed roasted ducks and GEESE, TWO OR MORE, DEPENDING ON THE SIZE OF THE COMPANY...and small mountains of mashed vegetables...stood beside the turkey and GEESE at the great feast. (Thanksgiving: An American Holiday, An American History, p. 69).
An account, circa 1827, shows the same thing:
The roasted turkey took precedence on this occasion, being placed at the head of all the table [which the goose once occupied]; and well did it become its lordly station....A GOOSE and a pair of ducklings occupied side stations on the table, the middle being graced, as it always is on such occasions, by that rich burgomeister of the provisions called a chicken pie (ibid., p. 83).
Coming down to the Civil War, we find this extravagant account in the New York Times of Thanksgiving day in the Union army:
The glorious host under Sherman, which is sweeping through Georgia, bearing aloft in the sunlight the flag of the Union. It is not impossible that as they marched along, cutting the wide swathe of which we read, they took occasion to pick up and bear aloft on their bayonets all the turkeys, GEESE and chickens of Georgia to furnish themselves with a THANKSGIVING FEAST today (ibid., p. ).
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:
Wilkinson, in reference to Egypt, shows that "the favourite offering" of OSIRIS was "A GOOSE," and moreover, that the "GOOSE could not be eaten except in the depth of winter." As to Rome, Juvenal says, "that OSIRIS, if offended, COULD BE PACIFIED ONLY BY A LARGE GOOSE and a thin cake." In many countries we have evidence of a SACRED CHARACTER ATTACHED TO THE GOOSE It is well known that the capital of Rome was on one occasion saved when on the point of being surprised by the Gauls in the dead of night, by the cackling of the GEESE SACRED TO JUNO, KEPT IN THE TEMPLE OF JUPITER. The accompanying, woodcut proves that the GOOSE in Asia Minor was the SYMBOL OF CUPID, just as it was the SYMBOL OF SEB in Egypt. In India, the GOOSE occupied a similar position; for in that land we read of the SACRED "BRAHMANY GOOSE," or goose sacred to Brahma. Finally, the MONUMENTS OF BABYLON show that the GOOSE possessed A LIKE MYSTIC CHARACTER IN CHALDEA, and that it was offered in sacrifice there, as well as in Rome or Egypt, for there the priest is seen with the goose in the one hand, and his sacrificing knife in the other. (The Two Babylons, pages 101-102).
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:
The SYMBOLIC MEANING of the offering of the GOOSE is worthy of notice. "The goose," says Wilkinson, "signified in hieroglyphics A CHILD OR SON;" and Horapollo says (i.53, p.276), "It was chosen TO DENOTE A SON, from its love to its young, being always ready to give itself up to the chasseur, in order that they might be preserved; for which reason the Egyptians thought it right to revere this animal." (Wilkinson's Egyptians, vol. v., p. 227).
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:
The Mandans and Minnetarees of North America used to hold a festival in spring which they call the CORN-MEDICINE FESTIVAL OF THE WOMEN. They thought that a certain OLD WOMAN WHO NEVER DIES [CORN MOTHER] made the crops to grow, and that, living in the south, she sent the migratory waterfowl in spring AS HER TOKENS AND REPRESENTATIVES. Each sort of bird represented a special kind of crop cultivated by the Indians: THE WILD GOOSE STOOD FOR THE MAIZE....So when the feathered messengers of the OLD WOMAN began to arrive in spring the Indians celebrated the CORN MEDICINE FESTIVAL OF THE WOMEN....They gave the name of the Old Woman who Never Dies BOTH TO THE MAIZE AND TO THOSE BIRDS [THE GEESE] which they regarded as SYMBOLS of the fruits of the earth...(The Golden Bough, pages 204-205).
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:
The tables were set in the Dining Hall and even that big room had no space to spare when we were all seated....There were our two Grandmothers side by side...and happy they were to look around upon so many of their descendants....Then there were six of the Livingstone family next door. They had never seen a Thanksgiving Dinner before, HAVING BEEN USED TO KEEP CHRISTMAS DAY INSTEAD, AS IS WONT IN NEW YORK AND PROVINCE....Mayquittymaw's Hunters were able to get us a fine red Deer, so that we had a good haunch of Venison on each Table. These were balanced by HUGE CHINES OF ROAST PORK at the other ends of the Tables. Then there was on one a big Roast Turkey and on the other A GOOSE and two big Pigeon Pasties [pies]. (Thanksgiving: An American Holiday, An American History, pages 5 1-52).
A rather humorous episode came out of the Thanksgiving of 1874 -- once again showing the PREDOMINANCE OF PORK on the typical Thanksgiving table:
A story making the rounds in Keokuk, Iowa, in 1874 told of a physician who was called to treat a young man who "worries hash at a fourth-class boarding house" but had been invited to dine out on Thanksgiving Day. The doctor asked the patient what he had eaten and the young man, noting that he might not be able to recall everything, recounted that he had consumed: "Three dishes of oyster soup, two plates of fish and two of turkey, two dozen fried oysters, and a dozen raw; some gherkins, FOUR SLICES OF ROAST PIG, a quart of coleslaw, two cups of coffee, four stalks of celery, a liberal supply of boiled cabbage, SIX HARD BOILED EGGS [remember the "symbol" of Astarte?], some turnip, a glass of milk, APPLE DUMPLINGS, a bottle of native wine, TWO DISHES OF PLUM PUDDING, two MINCE PIES, SOME FRUIT CAKE, and three dishes of ice cream." The doctor, it was said, listened to this recital, pronounced the case to be hopeless, and left to call the undertaker!
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:
Passing next to the corn-goddess Demeter, and remembering that IN EUROPEAN FOLKLORE THE PIG IS A COMMON EMBODIMENT OF THE CORN-SPIRIT, we may now ask whether the pig, which was so CLEARLY ASSOCIATED WITH DEMETER, may not have been originally the goddess herself in animal form. THE PIG WAS SACRED TO HER; in art she was portrayed carrying or accompanied by a pig; and the PIG WAS REGULARLY SACRIFICED in her mysteries, the reason assigned being that the pig injures the corn and is therefore an enemy of the goddess....And in fact the rites of one of her festivals, THE THESMOPHORIA [THE THREE-DAY FESTIVAL, remember], bear out the view that originally THE PIG WAS AN EMBODIMENT OF THE CORN-GODDESS HERSELF, either Demeter or her daughter and double Persephone. THE ATTIC [GREEK] THESMOPHORIA was an AUTUMN FESTIVAL, CELEBRATED BY WOMEN ALONE IN OCTOBER, and appears to have represented with mourning rites the descent of Persephone (or Demeter) into the lower world, and WITH JOY her return from the dead....
Notice how disgusting the rites of the Thesmophoria were:
Now it was customary at the Thesmophoria to throw PIGS, cakes of dough, and branches of pine-trees into "the chasms of Demeter and Persephone," which appear to have been sacred caverns or vaults. In these caverns or vaults there were said to be SERPENTS, which guarded the caverns and consumed most of the flesh of the pigs and DOUGH-CAKES which were thrown in. Afterwards -- apparently at the next annual festival -- the decayed remains of the pigs, the cakes, and the pine-branches were fetched by women called "drawers," who, after observing rules of ceremonial purity for three days, descended into the caverns, and, frightening away the serpents by clapping their hands, BROUGHT UP THE REMAINS AND PLACED THEM ON THE ALTAR. Whoever got a piece of the decayed flesh and cakes, and SOWED IT WITH THE SEED-CORN in his field, was believed to be sure of a good crop...Further, it is to be noted that AT THE THESMOPHORIA THE WOMEN APPEAR TO HAVE EATEN SWlNE'S FLESH. The REAL, if I am right, must have been a solemn sacrament or communion, the worshippers PARTAKING OF THE BODY OF THE GOD. (The Golden Bough, abridged version pps. 543- 545).
The PORK on the table, like the goose itself, was also BORROWED FROM THE CHRISTMAS TABLE! Frazer brings this "Yule" connection out:
But the idea of THE CORN-SPIRIT AS EMBODIED IN PIG FORM is nowhere more clearly expressed than in the Scandinavian custom of the Yule Boar. In Sweden and Denmark at YULE (CHRISTMAS) it is the custom to bake a loaf in the form of a BOAR-PIG. This is called the Yule Boar. THE CORN OF THE LAST SHEAF is often used to make it. All through Yule the Yule Boar stands on the table. Often it is kept till the sowing-time in Spring, when part of it is mixed with the seed-corn and part given to the ploughmen and ploughhorses or plough-oxen to eat, in the expectation of a good harvest. In this custom THE CORN SPIRIT, IMMANENT IN THE LAST SHEAF, APPEARS AT MIDWINTER IN THE FORM OF A BOAR MADE FROM THE CORN OF THE LAST SHEAF; and his quickening influence on the corn is shewn by mixing part of the Yule Boar with the seed-corn and giving part of it to the ploughman and his cattle to eat.
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!
Formerly a REAL BOAR was sacrificed at Christmas, and apparently a MAN in the character of the Yule Boar. This, at least, may perhaps be inferred from a Christmas custom still observed in Sweden. A man is wrapped up in a skin, and carries a wisp of straw in his mouth, so that the projecting straws look like the bristles of a boar. A knife is brought, and an OLD WOMAN, with her face blackened, pretends to SACRIFICE him.
On Christmas Eve in some parts of the Estonian island of Oesel they bake a long cake with the two ends turned up. It is called the CHRISTMAS BOAR, and stands on the table, till the morning of New Years Day, when it is distributed among the cattle....In other parts of Estonia, again, the CHRISTMAS BOAR, as it is called, is baked of the FIRST RYE CUT AT HARVEST; it has a conical shape and a cross is impressed on it with a PIG'S BONE or a key, or three dints are made in it with a buckle or a piece of charcoal. It stands with a light beside it on the table ALL THROUGH THE FESTAL SEASON....In some places the Christmas Boar is PARTAKEN OF [EATEN] by farmservants and cattle at the time of the barley sowing, for the purpose of thereby producing a heavier crop. (The Golden Bough, 3rd Edition. The MacMillan Company, N.Y. 1935, pps. 300-303)
Not only was the PIG a symbol of Semiramis (Ceres, Demeter), but it ALSO IDENTIFIES Osiris or Nimrod:
The view which IDENTIFIES THE PIG WITH OSIRIS derives not a little support from the SACRIFICE OF PIGS TO HIM ON THE VERY DAY ON WHICH, according to tradition, OSIRIS HIMSELF WAS KILLED; for thus the killing of the pig was the ANNUAL REPRESENTATION OF THE KILLING OF OSIRIS, just as the throwing of the pigs into the caverns at the THESMOPHORIA was an annual representation of the descent of Persephone into the lower world; and BOTH CUSTOMS are parallel to the European practice of killing a goat, cock, and so forth AT HARVEST AS A REPRESENTATION OF THE CORN-SPIRIT.
See how Shem came to be associated with the pig:
Again, the theory [is] that the pig, originally Osiris himself, afterwards came to be regarded as an embodiment of his enemy TYPHON [TYPHO]....Thus, the annual sacrifice of a pig to Osiris might naturally be interpreted as vengeance on the HOSTILE ANIMAL that had SLAIN OR MANGLED the god. But, in the first place, when an animal is thus killed as a solemn SACRIFICE once and once only in the year, it generally or always means that the animal is divine, that he is spared and respected the rest of the year as a god and slain, when he is slain, also in the character of a god. In the second place, the examples of Dionysus and DEMETER, if not of Attis and Adonis, have taught us that the animal which is sacrificed to a god on the ground that he is the god's enemy may have been, and probably was, ORIGINALLY THE GOD HIMSELF. Therefore, THE ANNUAL SACRIFICE OF A PIG TO OSIRIS [NIMROD], coupled with the alleged HOSTILITY OF THE ANIMAL TO THE GOD, tends to show, first, that originally the pig was a god, and, second, THAT HE WAS OSIRIS (The Golden Bough, p. 551).
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:
In many countries THE BOAR WAS SACRIFICED TO THE GOD, for the injury a boar was fabled to have done him. According to one version of the story of the death of Adonis, or Tammuz, it was, as we have seen, in consequence of a wound from the tusk of a BOAR that he died. The Phrygian Attes, the beloved of Cybele, whose story was identified with that of Adonis, was fabled to have perished in LIKE MANNER, by the tusk of a boar. Therefore, DIANA, who though commonly represented in popular myths only as the huntress Diana, WAS IN REALITY THE GREAT MOTHER OF THE GODS [SEMIRAMIS], has frequently the BOAR'S HEAD as her accompaniment, in token not of any mere success in the chase, but of HER TRIUMPH OVER THE GRAND ENEMY [SHEM] OF THE IDOLATROUS SYSTEM, IN WHICH SHE OCCUPIED SO CONSPICUOUS A PLACE.
Take note of what Theocritus had to say:
According to Theocritus, VENUS was reconciled to the boar that killed Adonis, because when brought in chains before her, it pleaded so pathetically that it had not killed her husband of malice prepense, but only through accident. But yet, in memory of the DEED that the mystic boar had done, MANY A BOAR LOST ITS HEAD OR WAS OFFERED IN SACRIFICE TO THE OFFENDED GODDESS....On CHRISTMAS DAY the Continental Saxons offered a boar in sacrifice to the Sun, to propitiate her for the loss of her beloved Adonis [Nimrod]. In Rome a similar observance had evidently existed; for a BOAR FORMED THE GREAT ARTICLE AT THE FEAST OF SATURN....Hence the BOAR'S HEAD is still a STANDING DISH IN ENGLAND AT THE CHRISTMAS DINNER, when the reason of it is long since forgotten (pages 99-101).
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:
Fun-loving Americans HAVE BORROWED from their British ancestors many Hallow E'en games, such as APPLE-BOBBING, nut roasting and TOSSING OF APPLE PARINGS. Translated to New World soil, the old practices have become revitalized and currently are observed with MORE ENTHUSIASM than in the country of their birth...Next to nuts, APPLES FEATURE IN ALL HALLOW E'EN DIVINATIONS. APPLE-BOBBING still is as popular in the North Country as in rural America. Even PIPS AND PARINGS come in for their share of attention. This old rhyme accompanies the SWINGING OF A [APPLE] PARING, to learn the loved one's initials:
I pare this pippin round and round again,
My sweetheart's name to flourish on the plain:
I fling the unbroken paring o'er my head,
My sweetheart's letter on the ground to read.
(1954, pps. l53-157).
The Book of Holidays, by J. Walker McSpadden, contains the following information:
Nuts and APPLES are the invariable attendants upon ALL Halloween feasts, both then and now. In fact, in the north of England Halloween is often called "Nutcrack Night.'' And in Penzance and St. Ives, in Cornwall, the Saturday nearest Halloween is known as "Allen Day," AFTER THE BIG RED APPLES OF THE REGION -- apples from ancient orchards which have SUPPLIED MANY GENERATIONS OF HALLOWEEN BELIEVERS (pps. 149-153).
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:
When you duck for apples, or throw an apple paring over your shoulder to see what initial it makes on the floor, YOU ARE DOING AS THE ROMANS DID -- HONORING POMONA, THE ROMAN GODDESS OF ORCHARDS AND ESPECIALLY OF APPLE ORCHARDS. (The Book of Holidays, pps. l49-153).
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:
HARVEST FESTIVALS came at a time of the year when the last warmth of Indian summer is gone, and bleak winds and gray skies begin to appear. It is the time of year when barns are made snug, THE LAST OF THE APPLES and vegetables are stored away in bins and people sit in front of a roaring fire to relax from their long summer's work. IN SHORT, IT IS A REJOICING OVER EARTH'S GIFTS.
The custom of holding a festival AT HARVEST TIME goes back over two thousand years. THE LAST DAY OF THE YEAR ON THE OLD PAGAN CALENDAR OCTOBER 31, served the TRIPLE PURPOSE of bidding good-bye to summer, welcoming winter AND REMEMBERING THE DEAD. (1964, pps. l25-126).
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:
THANKSGIVlNG is a holiday of pleasant aromas. Every home is pungent with the commingling odors of APPLES AND APPLE CIDER, PUMPKINS AND PUMPKIN PIE, brown sugar in the baking, autumn leaves and mountain herbs, and the slightly gamey odor of turkey roasting. It is a day for people with good appetites.
In many rural areas the holiday begins with a solemn church service, followed by a great feast at home, and ending with dances and games in some community center or a barn. If the REVELRY is held in a barn, THE PLACE IS DECORATED WITH autumn leaves, fox grapes, APPLES AND PUMPKINS. (Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1953, p. 162).
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:
The honor of living for a short time in the character of a god and dying a VIOLENT DEATH in the same capacity was not restricted to men in Mexico; women were allowed, or rather compelled, to enjoy the glory and to share the doom as representatives of goddesses. Thus, AT A GREAT FESTIVAL IN SEPTEMBER, WHICH WAS PRECEDED BY A STRICT FAST of seven days, they sanctified a young slave girl of twelve or thirteen years, THE PRETTIEST THEY COULD FIND, TO REPRESENT THE MAIZE GODDESS CHICOMEOOHUATL [just like the Harvest Queen?!]. They invested her with the ornaments of the goddess, putting a mitre on her head and MAIZECOBS round her neck and in her hands, and fastened a green feather upright on the crown of her head to imitate an ear of maize....
In the evening all the people assembled at the temple, the courts of which they lit up by a multitude of lanterns and candles. There they pass the night without sleeping, and at midnight, while the trumpets, flutes, and horns discoursed solemn music, a portable framework or Palanquin was brought forth, bedecked with festoons of maize-cobs and peppers and filled with seeds of all sorts. This the bearer set down at the door of the chamber in which the WOODEN IMAGE OF THE GODDESS stood. Now the chamber was adorned and wreathed, both outside and inside, with wreaths of maize-cobs, peppers, PUMPKINS. roses, and seeds of every kind, a wonder to behold....Then they made her mount the framework, where she stood upright on the maize and peppers and PUMPKINS with which it was strewed, her hands resting on two banisters to keep her from falling....And the end of the festival was this. The multitude being assembled, the priests solemnly incensed THE GIRL WHO PERSONATED THE GODDESS; then they threw her on her back on the heap of corn and seeds, cut off her head, caught the gushing blood in a tub, and sprinkled the blood on the WOODEN IMAGE OF THE GODDESS, the walls of the chamber, and the offerings of corn, peppers, PUMPKINS, seeds, and vegetables which cumbered the floor ...
This girl clearly personified the maize goddess:
In the foregoing custom THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE YOUNG GIRL WITH THE MAIZE GODDESS appears to be complete. The golden maize-cobs which she wore around her neck, the artificial maize-cobs which she carried in her hands, the green feather which was stuck in her hair in imitation (we are told) of a green ear of maize, ALL SET HER FORTH AS A PERSONIFICATION OF THE CORN-SPIRIT..the practice of beheading her on a heap of corn and seeds and sprinkling her blood, not only on the image of the Maize Goddess, but on the piles of maize, peppers, PUMPKINS, seeds, and vegetables, can seemingly have had NO OTHER OBJECT but to quicken and strengthen the crops of corn and the fruits of the earth in general by infusing into their REPRESENTATIVES the blood of the CORN GODDESS herself (The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion, Abridged Version. MacMillan Company, N.Y. 1951, pps. 682-685).
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:
Meat, vegetables and sauces were all prepared in impressive array, but the truly distinguishing feature of the Thanksgiving feast, and the task that OCCUPIED HOUSEWIVES FOR DAYS BEFOREHAND, was the variety of pies to be baked and served; for pies are the CROWNING GLORY of New England cuisine.
Thanksgiving really began on that morning, ten or more days before the feast itself, WHEN MOTHER BEGAN TO CHOP MINCEMEAT for the pies. Young members of the family were drafted to seed the raisins, shell the nuts, PEEL THE APPLES AND MINCE THE BEEF. These ingredients were turned into a huge wooden bowl, and THE WOMENFOLK TOOK TURNS CHOPPING UNTIL EACH FELT SURELY HER ARM COULD LIFT THE CHOPPER NO MORE (ibid., p. 71).
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:
How Nimrod died, Scripture is entirely silent. There was an ancient tradition that he came to a VIOLENT END....Then, in regard to the death of NINUS [Nimrod under another name], profane history speaks darkly and mysteriously, although one account tells of his having met with a VIOLENT DEATH SIMILAR TO THAT OF PENTHEUS, LYCURGUS, AND OPHEUS, who were said to have been TORN IN PIECES. The identity of Nimrod, however, and the Egyptian Osiris, having been established, we have thereby light as to Nimrod's death. OSIRIS MET WITH A VIOLENT DEATH, and that violent death of Osiris was the CENTRAL THEME OF THE WHOLE IDOLATRY OF EGYPT. If Osiris was Nimrod, as we have seen, that VIOLENT DEATH which the Egyptians so pathetically deplored in their annual festivals WAS JUST THE DEATH OF NIMROD.
The death of Nimrod was observed in many countries:
The accounts in regard to the death of the god worshipped in the several mysteries of the different countries are all to the same effect. A statement of Plato seems to show, that in his day the Egyptian Osiris was regarded as identical with TAMMUZ; and Tammuz is well known to have been the same as ADONIS, the famous HUNTSMAN, for whose death Venus is fabled to have made such bitter lamentations. As the women of Egypt WEPT FOR OSIRIS, as the Phoenician and Assyrian women WEPT FOR TAMMUZ, so in Greece and Rome the women WEPT FOR BACCHUS, whose name, as we have seen, means "The bewailed," or "Lamented one." And now, in connection with the Bacchanal lamentations, the importance of the relation established between NEBROS, "THE SPOTTED FAWN," and NEBROD, "THE MIGHTY HUNTER," will appear. THE NEBROS, OR "SPOTTED FAWN," WAS THE SYMBOL OF BACCHUS, AS REPRESENTING NEBROD OR NIMROD HIMSELF. Now, on certain occasions, in the mystical celebrations, THE NEBROS, or "SPOTTED FAWN," WAS TORN IN PIECES, expressly, as we learn from Photius, AS A COMMEMORATION OF WHAT HAPPENED TO BACCHUS, whom that fawn represented. THE TEARING IN PIECES OF NEBROS, "the spotted one," goes to confirm the conclusion, THAT THE DEATH OF BACCHUS, EVEN AS THE DEATH OF OSIRIS, REPRESENTED THE DEATH OF NEBROD, whom, under the very name of "The Spotted one," THE BABYLONIANS WORSHIPPED. (The Two Babylons, pps. 55-56).
Now Hislop earlier mentions that Osiris, or Nimrod, was represented under the form of a YOUNG BULL OR CALF. Notice:
The ordinary way in which the favourite Egyptian divinity Osiris was mystically represented was under the FORM OF A YOUNG BULL OR CALF -- the calf APIS -- for which the golden calf of the Israelites was borrowed. There was a reason why that calf should NOT commonly appear in the appropriate symbols of the god he represented, FOR THAT CALF REPRESENTED THE DIVINITY IN THE CHARACTER OF SATURN, "THE HIDDEN ONE," Apis being only another name for Saturn. The COW OF ATHOR, however, THE FEMALE DIVINITY corresponding to Apis, is well known as a "SPOTTED COW," and it is singular that the DRUIDS OF BRITAIN also worshipped "a spotted cow." Rare though it be, however, to find an instance of the DEIFIED CALF OR YOUNG BULL REPRESENTED WITH THE SPOTS, there is evidence still in existence, THAT EVEN IT WAS SOME TIMES SO REPRESENTED (ibid., pps. 45-46).
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:
On the whole we may perhaps conclude that both as a goat AND AS A BULL Dionysus was essentially a god of vegetation. The Chinese and EUROPEAN CUSTOMS which I have cited may perhaps shed light on THE CUSTOM OF RENDING A LIVE BULL or goat at the rites of Dionysus. THE ANIMAL WAS TORN IN FRAGMENTS, as the Khond victim WAS CUT IN PIECES, in order that THE WORSHIPERS MIGHT EACH SECURE A PORTION of the life-giving and fertilising influence of the god. THE FLESH WAS EATEN raw AS A SACRAMENT, and we may conjecture that some of it was taken home to be buried IN THE FIELDS, or otherwise employed so as to convey to the fruits of the earth the quickening influence of the god of vegetation. The resurrection of Dionysus, related in his myth, may have been enacted in his rites by stuffing and setting up the slain ox, as was done at the ATHENIAN BOUPHONIA. (The Golden Bough, p. 543).
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.
YOU ARE DOING EXACTLY THE SAME THING AT THANKSGIVING WHEN YOU SIT DOWN AND EAT A MINCE PIE!!
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:
The Egyptians say, that the grand enemy of their god [Shem] overcame him, not by open violence, but that, having entered into a conspiracy with seventy-two of the LEADING MEN OF EGYPT, he got them into his power, put him to death, AND THEN CUT HIS DEAD BODY INTO PIECES, and sent the different parts to so many different cities throughout the country. The real meaning of this statement will appear, if we glance at the JUDICIAL INSTITUTIONS of Egypt. Seventy-two was just THE NUMBER OF THE JUDGES, BOTH CIVIL AND SACRED, who, according to Egyptian law, were required to determine what was to be the PUNISHMENT OF ONE GUILTY OF SO HIGH AN OFFENSE AS THAT OF OSIRIS....
In Egypt two tribunals were necessary in determining the punishment for someone committing such a crime:
In determining such a case, there were necessarily TWO TRIBUNALS concerned...As burial was refused him, both tribunals would necessarily be concerned; and thus there would be exactly seventy-two persons, UNDER TYPHO THE PRESIDENT [SHEM] to condemn Osiris to die AND TO BE CUT IN PlECES....when the DISMEMBERED PARTS OF OSIRIS were sent among the cities by the seventy-two "conspirators" -- in other words, BY THE SUPREME JUDGES OF EGYPT, it was equivalent to a solemn declaration in their name, that "whosoever should do as Osiris had done, so should it be done to him; SO SHOULD HE ALSO BE CUT IN PIECES " (The Two Babylons).
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:
Many centuries before a day for nationwide thanksgiving and prayer was established in this country, THE JEWISH PEOPLE OBSERVED SUCH A CUSTOM. One of the most important Jewish festivals is that of the "Feast of Tabernacles," also called the "Feast of Ingathering" or "Succoth," which begins on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, the month of Tishri -- that is sometime between the last week of September and the middle of October. It marks the END OF THE HARVEST "after that thou hast gathered in from thy threshing floor and from thy wine press" (Deut. xvi, 13,l6, RV) and is a season of joyousness and gratitude for the bounty of nature in the year that has passed. (Foreign Festival Customs and Dishes, American Council for Nationalities Service, N.Y. 1974, p. 53).
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!
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.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
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