As we approach my favorite holiday(Day of the Dead) followed be a couple more popular ones, I want to know where other Atheist stand on the subject.
I know the dead are not coming back to visit us and I think even most Theist don't believe that either but I still enjoy the celebrations and the reminder of loved ones who have past. I like dressing up, wandering the streets, handing out candy, "visiting" my grandparents, and sharing stories about them with my family. Thanksgiving gives me an excuse to drive half way across the country to spend time with my brother and enjoy a fantastic meal. Christmas forces me to get something nice for my godchildren(please excuse the term if you know a better one let me know) who deserve it. By force I don't mean because of the holiday but because it's a "pay it forward" thing. I did not grow up with much but I was fortunate to have a well off godmother growing up who always gave me the best gifts. I remember how much joy those gifts brought me and how much a few of them still do. It only seems fair if I could do that for a few children who will probably be the closest I will ever have to my own.
Although I find the history of these holidays to be disturbing and sometimes interesting, my personal history of these holidays means more to me.
Nearly all Christian holidays are pagan in origin. All the things people really enjoy about Christmas - family, food, gifts. decorating - existed in festivals and celebrations that existed before Christianity or before Christianity co-opted them
Halloween in particular is not well regarded by some parts of Christianity. Christians rather celebrate things like All Saints Day around the same time
So no, holidays are what people make of them and there are plenty of secular aspects to them
My parents raised me agnostic, but they themselves grew up Catholic. Even though they questioned the faith they had been brought up with, we still celebrated Christmas every year, Santa still came down the chimney and left half eaten cookies along with presents. Even now as an atheist adult, who has long since realized that Santa and God had a lot in common, I'm still excited to get presents for my friends and family and see relatives that live on the opposite side of the country. For me the holiday season is all about celebrating the past year and looking forward to the next one.
I don't enjoy holidays at all. Just a huge disruption to everyone's lives. At work, everybody has to work themselves to a frenzy to get everything done before the "holiday". The most wonderful time of the year? Most stressful time is more like it. And you can't get any personal matters sorted out during the holiday because everything is closed (unlike when you take days off from your vacation days).
I guess it does help reunite families in highly mobile societies like the US and ensures that families and loved ones are free at the same time. You don't need to be religious to enjoy that aspect of it all.
Do you have to believe women were created from the rib of a man in order to appreciate the beauty and warmth of a woman?
To celebrate the holidays with gifts etc. while not believing in God is sacrilege, which is where the fun comes in for the atheist.
Listen, we can't help it now that the many holidays we celebrate now came about during a time when a belief in God was necessary to explain so many things. I see nothing wrong in celebrating all holidays and the tradition around each of them even if you yourself think they are based on myths, not truths. Plus, Christmas existed before Jesus was born anyway as a Pagan holiday so light it up!
All current religious holiday are just hijacked pagan holidays and peasant rest days repackaged so I have no problem enjoying them.
shit no, you don't have to believe. i haven't believed in almost 15 years and still open the shit out of some presents come the winter solstice.
Best part about being atheist? Who's to tell us what we can and can't celebrate?
I mean, Fundies can't go trick-or-treating because they'll go to Hell. Eff that, I say. I'll trick, I'll treat, and I'll pass out presents! Besides, it's not like Hallowe'en is the only day of the year I dress in a ridiculous costume and eat too much candy. There's ComicCon, too. ^_^
Now, I'm not big on Easter, but that's not the same day every year, and I'm not going to track down the lunar calendar every March just to figure it out.
My biggest beef? Christmas. I mean, I was at the local Big Box store a few weeks ago and they already had trees and tinsel for sale. It was the beginning of fucking October! You want a war on Christmas? I'm about to declare one if the damned holiday takes up any more of the calendar!
With a big resounding NO!
Party till the yearly family argument breaks out then go to bed knowing "it was a good year I survived again".
Enjoy them, have fun, and most of all love your family and friends because there your most precious belongings. :)
Besides I found the scariest history Ever was with christmas check this out.....
Ok I'm not 100% sure of all of it but its scary enough to tell at all hollows eve...