Christians all over the world celebrate Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25th, but there are some religions that do not celebrate it. Curious to find out what they are? Then read on and let’s take a look at 10 religions that don’t celebrate Christmas, in no particular order. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, you should help others on this blessed day.
Shinto, or the way of the gods is the faith of the people of Japan and the country’s major religion (alongside Buddhism). As is the case with Hinduism, Shinto does not have a founder, not does it have sacred scriptures. There is no propaganda, nor is there preaching. Kami are what the Shinto gods are called, they are sacred spirits that manifest themselves in the form of things and concepts. In Shinto, nobody is perfect and there is no absolute wrong and right; this religion believes that all people are intrinsically good and that evil can be kept at bay by rituals of purification and prayers.
Jainism draws from Hinduism and it is divided into two sects: Digambara and Śvētāmbara. Its believers hold that through self-control and non-violence one can obtain liberation. Jin in Sanskrit means to conquer and it refers to the conquering of the passions and pleasures. Those who manage to win this battle are viewed as Jina or conquerors. One of the principles of this religion is that people cannot grasp the complexity of objects and things, because the human perception is finite. This can be better illustrated by the parable of the blind men and the elephant in which several blind men are made to touch and feel several parts of an elephant (an ear, tusk, tail, leg) and each claims to understand the appearance of the elephant, but obviously they do not. Only omniscient being, the Kevalis can understand everything, but no human view can comprehend the absolute truth.
Scientology is the newest religion in our list. It was created by L. Ron Hubbard, who was a science fiction writer, in 1952. For scientologists, people are immortal beings who are no longer in touch with their true selves. A type of counseling, called auditing will help people to return to their natural state. Being so new, not many states recognize it as a religion, some call it a cult (France) and others a commercial enterprise (Switzerland).
There is only one God in Judaism. Abraham is the father of the Jewish people and he was promised by God that his son, Isaac, would inherit the land of Israel. When Jacob and his children were enslaved in Egypt, God told Moses to lead the Exodus and at Mount Sinai they received the Torah, the sacred book of Judaism. Judaism does not recognize Jesus as being the son of God (thus making it a religion that doesn’t celebrate Christmas) and because of this the Jews have been persecuted time and time again.
Tao means the principle, the way and those who practice Taoism try to live their life in harmony with the Tao. Another important concept in Taoism is Wu-Wei – the common translations are non-action and action without intent and it refers to the way Taoists should try and live their life – not imposing their will upon the earth, because the Universe works well according to its own laws and once someone imposes their will, they disrupt the fine harmony. Living passively and avoiding violence is the way. Also, the Yin and Yang is probably the most well-known Taoist symbol in the world and it represents the tension between good and bad, positive and negative, as one cannot exist without the other.
Islam is one of the three monotheistic religions that exist in the world aside from Christianity and Judaism. Islam basically means submission to the will of God. Mohammed was the founder of Islam, who in 610 A.D. at the age of forty started getting revelations from the angel Gabriel, he then recorded these messages, which became the Qur’an. It can be said that in principle the Christians and the Muslims worship the same God, because at the time when Mohammed began writing Islam’s holy book, he was doing so to try and combat the polytheism of the time, and he believed that there only was one true God, but the Christian God and the Muslim God are very different: basically Jesus Christ is the one who made the Christian God much more lenient.
Wicca is a witchcraft religion and was developed and introduced to the public in 1954, just two years after Scientology. The two Gods are based on gender bipolarity and they are the mother goddess and the horned god, the divine feminine and the divine masculine, they are lovers and equals. Wiccans believe in reincarnation and sorcery (many practice it).
Buddhists do not believe in God, they follow the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) who is not a God, but an enlightened person. Basically for Buddhists this life that people are living is suffering and the sole goal in Buddhism is to reach Nirvana which is a profound peace of mind that is acquired with the liberation achieved when one has managed to let go of all desires, cravings, ignorance and attachments. Until one has reached Nirvana, they will be reborn, according to their karma, into any of the 31 planes of existence.
Hinduism, some believe, is the oldest religions in the world and it has no founding figure and cannot be traced as to when it appeared. The term Hinduism includes many traditions which are related but do not constitute a unified set of practices. Some Hindus worship Shiva or Vishnu, while others focus on the divine Self, which is called the Atman, but most respect the Vedas, which are a collection of sacred texts and the class of priests which are called the Brahmans (keep in mind that others do not recognize either). It is a complex religion and if you want to know more, than we urge you to start reading more about it.
1. Jehova’s Witnesses
This religion is the only Christian religion on our list that does not observe Christmas. While Jehova’s Witnesses believe in Jesus, they feel that Christmas is of pagan origins and thus, choose not to celebrate it. They consider their body of beliefs as the only truth and think modern society is under the influence of Satan and try to limit their social interaction with people who are not Witnesses.
Any thoughts on these religions that don’t celebrate Christmas? Are you someone who doesn’t celebrate it? If you are, drop us a line and tell us what are your favorite winter holidays, we would love to find out what other religions celebrate in the winter time!