Pagan Definition

The word pagan is a term that holds a special presence at the behest of the religionsince formerly and in this way, Christians, called those believers of other religions, different from their own, and especially to refer to those who believed in polytheistic proposals.

Denomination that Christians attributed to those who believed in other gods

The origin of the term dates back to 4th century, approximately, in the Roman Empirewhere it was used precisely to refer to who in those times worshiped various gods at the same time, and then as a consequence they did not believe in a single God like Judaism or Christianity.

Likewise, the pagans of these times did not accept religious texts and used to deploy rituals around figures and images.

Roots in the peasantry

It should be noted that at the indicated historical time, paganism was firmly rooted in rural areas and therefore was the sector that was most fiercely opposed to Christian evangelization.

The peasants of these times were very attached to their rites, traditions and cults that came from many centuries ago and that were linked to gods of nature, livestock and agriculture, to whom they rightly attributed the benefits achieved in these fields, and of course they entrusted themselves to them to be successful in these aspects.

The fact of living from these activities meant that they occupied a key place and that they had to be protected and watched over by divine creatures with special powers.

Christianity proposed, for example, an enormous evangelization that had the objective of converting the pagans.

At present it is possible that we find ourselves in the Christian religion with some rituals that come from early paganism, even more, many of the traditional rites of Christianity are linked at some point to pagan practice and this undoubtedly has to do with the close link between both issues, paganism and Christianity, in the past.

As the intention was to convert as many pagans to Christianity, what was done was to include many of the rituals they practiced in religion.

For example, Christmasis a festivity that would have a pagan origin, since the Pope Julius Iwith the mission that the Romans would convert to Christianity, allowed them to continue celebrating some festivities, such as that of Saturn, in the week of the solstice, and which reached its climax on December 25, to later also establish that day the celebration of birth of Christ.

unbaptized person

Another use that was also given to the term in the past was to designate the individual who was not baptized.

What is not religious

And on the other hand, the word is also used to account for that which is presented away from religion, that is, that is not religious.

pagan festivals: the carnival

For their part, pagan festivals consist of celebrations that have no interference from monotheistic religions behind them.

They imply rituals and ceremonies that had nothing to do with those imposed by the Catholic Church, or the Judaic and Islamic cults.

In pagan celebrations, music played a crucial role, and many of these festivities remain in force to this day, while they lost their superstitious attributes and sacrifices over time, and have been integrated into popular folklore.

Among the most emblematic, Carnival stands out.

It originated in the Greek and Roman cultures, meanwhile, in Rome it was called Saturnalia, and its mission was to honor and worship Saturn, the Roman god of agriculture.

The men spent the party drunk, offered a sacrifice to the god, and then participated in a great banquet.

The celebration coincided with the current date of Christmas, although, over time, the Catholic Church imposed its change for a few months later, so that it does not mix with the celebration of Christmas, which is so important to Christians because it is celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ.

Depending on where in the world you are, the carnival presents variations in its celebration to this day.

In Brazil, which is one of the most popular squares for this celebration, the music of samba and the parade of colorful floats through the city of Rio de Janeiro stand out.

Meanwhile, in Venice it is common to wear period masks and costumes that date back to the 17th century.