Knowing the history, origins and meaning behind actions, words and events holds significant importance to God.
Throughout the Bible, God provides immaculate detail as to how and why He orders a thing to be done, and for these instructions to be carried on to future generations. Yet so few Americans, much less Christians these days, know the spiritual, social and political significance behind the May 1st event that has been celebrated across Europe for hundreds of years.
According to the Farmer's Almanac:
"May Day started as a pre-Christian holiday celebrated throughout Europe, especially among the Gaelic people, who called it Beltane. It was a holiday that marked the halfway point between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. Beltane was also about fertility—people hoped that by observing the holiday, they could ensure that their livestock and crops were fruitful over the coming summer. Bonfires were the centerpiece of Beltane celebrations, with people dancing around them and feasting long into the night."
These celebrations were performed by mostly Euro-centric cultures in the Northern hemisphere, as people living below the Equator in the Southern Hemisphere were getting ready for their winter months. Rituals included dancing around a "maypole," lighting bonfires and passing cattle through fire.
It is believed that Beltane, meaning "the fires of Bel," were referring to the Celtic sun god, Belenus.
As Christianity spread throughout Europe, many of the pagan rituals and holidays were done away with or became secular holidays that Christians would adapt for the purpose of glorifying God.
It was not until the latter half of the 1800s that May Day became an international symbol for worker's rights after the Haymarket Riot saw several police officers and protesters killed in the conflict. May Day was then picked up by communist and socialist movements across Europe as an guise in support of workers.
Sadly, it was those very workers who suffered under the heavy-handed regimes of countries like the communist USSR and Nazi Germany.
According to Encyclopedia Britannica:
"With the breakup of the Soviet Union and the fall of communist governments in eastern Europe in the late 20th century, large-scale May Day celebrations in that region declined in importance. In dozens of countries around the world, however, May Day has been recognized as a public holiday, and it continues to be celebrated with picnics and parties while serving as the occasion for demonstrations and rallies in support of workers."
Knowing the pagan roots of a holiday that are now coming back into social prominence is essential for Christians.
As people are drawn to the floral displays, creations of God meant for human enjoyment, there are spiritual doors being opened to the pagan gods of old that had been shut by the light of the gospel. The maypole itself is a fertility symbol that is prominently shown with women dancing around it and "worshipping" it in the hope of being fertile.
Spring is a wonderful season and time to celebrate that with which the Lord has blessed the earth. God is to be praised for the sustenance of His creation, not a false god Belenus.
The apostle John wrote in the Revelation that he heard "every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that are in them, saying: 'To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!'" (Rev. 5:13).
Christians have been warned about the growing paganism spreading throughout America, and the world, but too few are taking up prayer and fasting against it.
For Christ to remain at the head of a culture, His followers must act against the spiritual forces looking to deceive and eventually destroy those who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Let this May Day be a call to action. To pray and fast for the world, and that those who have yet to accept the saving truth and knowledge of Jesus do so, foiling the plans of the enemy while growing the kingdom of God.
To learn more about how paganism is infiltrating America today, get your copy of Jonathan Cahn's New York Times best-selling book, "The Return of the Gods."
James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.
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