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Q: World's oldest holiday ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: World's oldest holiday
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: dho1115-ga
List Price: $12.00
Posted: 05 Apr 2006 10:11 PDT
Expires: 05 May 2006 10:11 PDT
Question ID: 715750
Does anybody know what is the world's oldest holiday that is still celebrated?
Subject: Re: World's oldest holiday
Answered By: tutuzdad-ga on 05 Apr 2006 11:58 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear dho1115-ga;

Thank you for allowing me to answer your interesting question. There
is actually some dispute about the answer to this question. According
to some Jewish authorities, Passover is the oldest celebrated holiday
on the face of this earth. Other claims are that Halloween can be
traced back to ancient Egypt, some 4,500 years ago when (what is now)
October 31 supposedly marked the end of the harvest season and the
beginning of the barren winter. The claim is that this originated in
the ancient myth of the murder of the god Osiris by his evil brother
Set and in commemoration people put food, or "treats out on porches
and windowsills to appease the homecoming ghosts. There is, in fact,
no supporting evidence that this celebration resulted in what is known
in modern times as Halloween and may have been confused with the
Festival of Opet which is actually (as it ironically turns out) one of
the most ancient forms of New Year celebrations. (nore in that in a

Of these claims, the claim of Passover being the oldest celebrated
holiday is the most supported. However, this claim may be exclusive to
?religious? holidays only. Most experts seem to agree that the oldest
celebrated holiday still in existence today in it?s various forms, is
clearly New Year. The passage of time has long since been a valid
reason for celebration and the practice is believed to have begun in
ancient Babylon about 4,000 years ago (which means that it predates
the holiday of Passover that dates back only to about the 1400?s BC).


(Note that the life of Moses is believed to date from the mid 1500?s
BC to the mid 1400?s BC, so the Passover could not have come about
until some time during Moses? life or sometime following his death in
the mid 1400?s BC).
Prior to Passover it is widely accepted that the Chinese started to
compute time from 2696 B.C., during the reign of the Yellow Emperor,
Huang Ti. The Emperor introduced the cycle of the zodiac and named
each year after an admirable creature. This is believed to be the
origin of the Chinese New Year, which, if accurate, predates Passover
by some two centuries. Likewise it is known that ancient Egyptians
celebrated the Festival of Opet in the 1500's BC.



It wasn't until 46 BC that Julius Caesar established the Julian
Calendar and declared Jan. 1 to be the beginning of the new year so
prior to that many cultures (both civilized and uncivilized)
celebrated the new year at various times and in various ways based
largely on seasonal changes. In modern times the New Year is
celebrated by multiple cultures on dozens of different calendar days.

?The celebration of the new year is the oldest of all holidays. It was
first observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago. In the years
around 2000 BC, the Babylonian New Year began with the first New Moon
(actually the first visible crescent) after the Vernal Equinox (first
day of spring).?

I hope you find that my answer exceeds your expectations. If you have
any questions about my research please post a clarification request
prior to rating the answer. Otherwise I welcome your rating and your
final comments and I look forward to working with you again in the
near future. Thank you for bringing your question to us.

Best regards;
Tutuzdad-ga ? Google Answers Researcher


"The Chinese calendar predates the international calendar by
centuries, which makes Chinese New Year one of the oldest new year
celebrations on the planet."

"Historians say the New Year has been celebrated in some form for
approximately five thousand years. Many New Year celebrations are
linked to ancient midwinter festivals that honored the sun for
bringing more light each day after the winter solstice. The winter
solstice occurs around December 21 or December 22, when the sun rises
higher in the sky and the days get longer. One of the oldest New Year
celebrations was held in the ancient Middle Eastern city of Babylon in
about 2600 B.C. It was a springtime festival in honor of the chief
god, Marduk.

The ancient Egyptians marked the beginning of the year with the
twenty-fourday Festival of Opet, held when the Nile River overflowed
its banks. Scholars say Indian people probably began celebrating New
Year, or Diwali (pronounced dih-WAH-lee), about 1500 B.C. They placed
torches around their houses and courtyards to purify them and keep
away evil spirits."



Google ://





dho1115-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.00
Very informative. Thanks for the great answer.

Subject: Re: World's oldest holiday
From: magnesium-ga on 05 Apr 2006 12:15 PDT
I'd bet on the Winter Solstice as the oldest holiday. The claims made
for Hallowe'en are Wiccan propaganda. ;)

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