Paganism is a term that refers collectively to the Indigenous, pre-Christian cultures and spiritual traditions of Europe, some of which have survived into the present, while others are being reconstructed or revived in modern times. In fact, Pagans were represented at the recent Parliament of the World's Religions.
The most important date in the festive season for Pagans is the winter solstice which always takes place around December 21. Called Yule, it is one of the traditional Celtic fire festivals and marks the return of the light after the longest night of the year.
The term of Pagan covers Wiccans, followers of the Northern Tradition who base their beliefs on Norse and old northern European beliefs, and also Druidism.
The occasion of Christmas falling on 25 December was in fact a hijacking of a Roman Festival, that of Sol Invictus, the celebration of the Sun. Christ was called the Son of Justice, so the early Church moved the feast of the Epiphany (manifestation of God) to 25 December to celebrate the birth of the Son of Justice.
The Christmas Tree comes from a pre-Christian tradition in Germany, and is called the Yule Tree. A roaring fire is often shown at Christmas. A roaring fire is a great way to celebrate Christmas, but the Yule log is really a Wiccan tradition. The Yule log is a traditional representation of the rebirth of the God by the Goddess.
Wiccans celebrate Christmas in many of the traditional ways. Many of them meet and stand in a circle, cast the four directions and give thanks to The Goddess. Then they cast spells and light candles of various colours for health, happiness, safety and just about every other worthy thing. Then they give each other gifts.
- The Pentacle, symbol of Paganism