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Holidays to Observe and Avoid
By Shlomo Phillips © 12.29.10 (last updated 09.02.2013)


Days To Observe

Shabbat
Rosh Hashanah
Yamim Noraim
Yom Kippur
Sukkot

Days To Observe

Shemini Atzeret
Simchat Torah
Chanukah
Tu B'Shevat
Purim

Days To Observe

Pesach
Lag B'Omer
Shavu'ot
Tisha B'Av
Rosh Chodesh

Our Calendar

      
      
      
      
      
Days To Avoid

Christmas
Imbolc
Valentine's Day
Easter
May Day
Summer Solstice:

Days To Avoid

Lughnasadh:
Michaelmas
Halloween


      
      
      
      
      
Days Of Pause

Birthdays
New Years day
4th of July
Thanksgiving Day
Superbowl Sunday

Holidays to Observe

Shabbat: (Shabbos, The Sabbath, The Seventh Day):

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Note: * The following dates are (mainly) from the Hebrew lunar calendar. To determine the dates for the present year on your calendar go Here (to Chabad.org).

Rosh Hashanah: New Year:

Yamim Noraim: Days of Awe or Days of Repentance:

Yom Kippur: Day of Atonement:

Sukkot (Festival of Tabernacles, Festival of Booths):

Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah:

Chanukah: Festival of lights:

Tu B'Shevat:

Purim:

Pesach (Passover), Feast of Unleavened Bread::

Lag B'Omer:

Shavu'ot: Pentecost: (the Festival of Weeks, Hag ha-Bikkurim -- the Festival of First Fruits), Hag Matan Torateinu -- Festival of the Giving of Torah).

Tisha B'Av: the Fast of the Ninth of Av

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Rosh Chodesh: "Head of the Month"

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The Calendar HaShem Gave The World

HaShem's Day

Day of the Week

Pagan Days

Yom Rishon First DaySunday: Day to worship Sol Invictus (sun gods)
Yom Sheini Second Day Monday: Day to worship the Moon (moon gods)
Yom Shlishi Third DayTuesday: Day to worship Tiew (Mars)
Yom R'vi'i Fourth Day Wednesday: Day to worship Wodan (Mercury)
Yom Chamishi Fifth Day Thursday: Day to worship Thor (Jupiter)
Yom Shishi Sixth Day Friday: Day to worship Fria (Venus)
Yom Shabbat Sabbath DaySaturday: Day of Saturn:

HaShem's Months Month Number Month Length Pagan Months
Nissan 1 30 days March-April: Months to honor of Mars and Aphrodite, goddess of love, beauty and sexuality.
Iyar 2 29 days April-May: Months to honor Aphrodite and Maia, Italic goddess of spring
Sivan 3 30 days May-June: Months to honor Maia and Juno, Roman goddess of marriage and queen of the gods
Tammuz 4 29 days June-July: Months to honor Juno and Julius Caesar
Av 5 30 days July-August: Months to honor Julius and Augustus Caesar
Elul 6 29 days August-September: Months to honor Augustus Caesar / Septem: seventh
Tishri 7 30 days September-October: September: seventh and Octor: eighth
Cheshvan 8 29 or 30 days October-November: Octo: eighth and Novem: ninth
Kislev 9 30 or 29 days November-December: Novem: nine and Decem: ten
Tevet 10 29 days December-January: Decem: ten and Janus, Roman god of beginnings
Shevat 11 30 days January-February: Months to honor Janus and Februus, an old-Italian god
Adar I (leap years only) 12 30 days February-March: Months to honor Februus and Mars, Roman god of war
Adar (called Adar Beit in leap years) 12 (13 in leap years) 29 days February-March: Months to honor Februus and Mars, Roman god of war


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Holidays To Avoid

Note: As our desire is to harmonize our will with HaShem's Will with emunah (active faith) and to honor Him alone, holidays that are not scripturally based and/or that bring glory to other gods or creatures are best avoided.
Modern culture is filled with Pagan religious and secular customs. It is often difficult to avoid them all completely. Most Christian holidays are based directly on earlier Pagan and/or Heathen holidays. Cloaking a Pagan practice with Christian symbolism does not make it holy! The dates of the following holidays are not always the same as their original Pagan dates however the symbols and traditions of the holidays confirm their Pagan connections. Each of us must decide how we will deal with invitations to Yule/Christmas parties etc. We should however at the very least understand where these observances come from so we can make informed decisions. This is the purpose of the following list. For information on various holidays see my studies here.
Holidays of the Winter Solstice: December
See my six part study of Christmas Here.
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Imbolc: Cross-quarter day: February 2

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Vernal Equinox: March 20/21

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Arbor intrat: April

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Beltane: Cross-quarter day: May 1

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Summer Solstice: June 21

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Lughnasadh: Cross-quarter day: August 1

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Autumn Equinox: September 21

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Samhain: Cross-quarter day; October 31/ November 1:

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Days of Pause

Note: As our desire is to harmonize our will with HaShem's Will with emunah (active faith) and to honor Him alone, holidays that are not scripturally based and/or that bring glory to other gods or creatures are best avoided. Modern culture is filled with Pagan religious and secular customs. It is often difficult to avoid them all completely. The Days of Pause are observances that are not religious in nature nor specifically forbidden, but that for one reason or another some religious people decide to avoid. Each of us must decide how we will deal with the occasions. We should however at the very least pause to understand where these observances come from so we can make informed decisions. This is the purpose of the following list. For information on various holidays see my studies here or see above. How to deal with these Days of Pause are your decision to make. The following therefore are offered as food for thought.
Birthdays:
    The Bible neither specifically forbids nor condones the recognition/celebration of birthdays however consider the following accounts of birthday parties recorded in the Bible:
    Genesis 40:18 Yosef answered, "Here is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days.
    19 Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head from off of you -he will hang you on a tree, and the birds will eat your flesh off you."
    20 On the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, he gave a party for all his officials, and he lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his officials.
    21 He restored the chief cupbearer back to his position, so that he again gave Pharaoh his cup.
    22 But he hanged the chief baker, as Yosef had interpreted to them.
    And from the Christian New Testament:
    Matthew 14:6 However, at Herod's birthday celebration, Herodias' daughter danced before the company and pleased Herod
    7 so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked.
    8 Prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me here on a platter the head of Yochanan the Immerser."
    9 The king became deeply upset; but out of regard for the oaths he had sworn before his dinner guests, he ordered that her wish be granted,
    10 and sent and had Yochanan beheaded in prison.
    Nothing good ever comes from birthday parties in the Bible!
    Another strike against birthday observances as practiced today is that we are commanded to avoid greed and gifts of flattery (Proverbs 15:27). Birthdays are the second most greed-based, gift receiving holiday we have after Christmas.
    Also consider the origin of Birthday Cakes. The first known birthday cakes were religious cakes used by the ancient Greeks. These ancient Pagans made moon shaped (round) honey cakes or breads and took them to the temple of Artemis (goddess of Moon: lunar deities are the most commonly condemned in the Bible). The candles on the cake are clearly blown out as acts of prayer that our wishes will be fulfilled. These prayers are generally made to some non-specified birthday wish granter.
    For these reasons and others many godly people do not celebrate nor acknowledge birthdays at all. As in so many cases balance may be determined the wisest course to follow: for instance remembering the day with a modest meal of favorite foods and some special treat while avoiding birthday cakes and the giving of so many gifts can be a wonderful way to demonstrate our love for one another while avoiding non-Torah traditions. Birthdays can be joyful events, especially for children, however we should pause and consider how and if we should observe them.
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Secular New Year's: December 31/January 1:

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4th of July and Similar National Observances:

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Thanksgiving Day:

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Superbowl Sunday etc.:

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Be the Blessing you were created to be

and

Don't let the perfect defeat the good.