One staple of any culture is the holidays they celebrate and how they choose to celebrate them. In the West, these holidays consist mainly of Christian holidays and holidays commemorating the achievements of the government. Of course, as Satanists we are free to celebrate any holiday in any way we choose. Personally, I am looking at my calendar to see when I need to insert an invented holiday. But it can be difficult for many young Satanists to celebrate the holidays they wish to, or to ignore those which he or she finds unimportant. Holidays, both those we choose to enjoy and those we do not, become times of both joy and concealment for many. While on the surface it would seem that joy wouldn’t come to us around those times, I find that it is best to find joy in those times.
Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter can leave one feeling a bit removed from family and friends. What was once an anticipated time of the year quickly becomes a holiday celebrating something you do not feel deserves to be recognized. Many Christians take these times of the year to become extra vocal. I find I am asked if I know about Christ far more often during the Easter and Christmas seasons than any other time of the year. Many Christians develop a persecution complex around these times. They cry that there is a social war against Christians and their holidays. I hear all of these things as a Satanist and find myself angry. Where are the Christians on trial because they were accused of being Christian? The task forces trained to spot “Christian Ritual Abuse?” This frustration, combined with a newfound sense of alienation around holidays like these leaves one dreading these holidays. Rather than spend every year of my adolescence looking forward to the ending of these holiday seasons, I choose to find a reason to celebrate. In the Easter season, I do not celebrate the rising of Christianity’s lich. I celebrate the end of Lent. Lent is a time of increased abstinence for those of many Christian denominations, particularly Catholicism. On Easter, great joy is had by all as indulgence once again becomes the norm. The weather is taking a turn for the better at this time, and I am better able to enjoy nature because of it. I also am fortunate enough to spend time with family that I cherish, and the holiday brings joy to many of my beloved friends. In the Christmas season I choose to celebrate the unity of family and friends, enjoy the gifts bestowed upon me as well as those I take delight in giving to those few I deem worthy, and take in the still fresh and beautiful winter landscape. I celebrate the warmth and beauty of a fire in the hearth and enjoy all the delicious peppermint treats offered to me. I find something to love about that which I would otherwise hate.
Satanic holidays present an alienation in the opposite way. Unless you know a Pagan, you will be hard pressed to find someone who cares about the changing of the seasons. Unless you know a Satanist personally, good luck finding someone who even recognizes the word Walpurgisnacht. let alone gives a shit about it. In adolescence you have little chance of celebrating your birthday the way you want to, be it because of financial trouble, family obligations, or age restrictions. The Satanic holidays often become a source of loneliness to the young Satanist. As with Christian holidays, this does not need to be the case. You can have a gathering of friends to mark the occasion without everyone seeing it as a holiday. Perhaps you are more solitary in nature. Take yourself out to a nice dinner, buy yourself a good book, or simply retreat to your bedroom and play videogames or read all day. Does your family monopolize your time on your birthday? Celebrate your way on a different day! I certainly will this year, as I plan on making a trip to Massachusetts this summer, with every aspect only being in accordance with my will. While life is not completely in my hands at my age, I don’t need to surrender it completely.
Now I did leave out one holiday intentionally. Halloween is a time of spooky fun and very dear to me. The night of October 31st brings joy in people of all ages and nearly all faiths. I take delight in watching both children and adults let loose their wild side, and I have no shortage of freedom to celebrate the day however I want. For many this is the one day the Baphomet can remain untucked, as it is the one holiday both Satanists and non-Satanists choose to celebrate. For me Halloween is a bit like Christmas is for Christians. I spend weeks delighting in decorating my bedroom, my car, and my house. I am able to celebrate with my friends the way I choose. It is for that reason I will get more joy out of Halloween than my birthday until that time I am in my own lair.
Never lose sight of the purpose of holidays, whether they “belong” to you or not. The purpose is delight, and there is reason to delight in every holiday. These are days where the marrow should be sucked out of life just as much as any other day. Hail Christmas, Walpurgisnacht, Easter, Veteran’s Day, Halloween, and today! It would be foolish and a waste to do anything else.