Last year, while celebrating Thanksgiving, I had a strange encounter with Jehovah’s Witnesses who knocked at our door. I remember answering the door, and three members from the religious sect started preaching to me and persuading me to join.
Since I have extensive knowledge of Biblical studies, I disagreed with some of their beliefs respectfully and even asked them to join us for our Thanksgiving celebration.
They told me that they do not celebrate such holidays since it is based on the belief of other gods. This got me curious to learn more about their beliefs regarding holidays and celebrations.
I spent a few days after this encounter researching more about this topic and even visited a Kingdom Hall to get more insights from ministerial servants. I later came up with this article to share everything I learned with you.
So, what do Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrate?
Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrate the Memorial of Christ’s death to commemorate Jesus’ sacrifice for man. This belief is based on Luke 22:19, where Jesus asked his disciples to commemorate his death. When it comes to festivals, they celebrate weddings, anniversaries, and baptisms. Note that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate holidays like Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and other National holidays like Mother’s Day since they imply that these are not in line with Biblical principles.
I invite you to join me in this article as well delve into Jehovah’s Witnesses holidays and celebrations. Keep reading to find out what holidays and festivals Jehovah’s Witnesses can celebrate, what holidays they don’t celebrate, and much more!
What holidays can Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrate?
The only holiday that Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrate is the memorial of Christ’s death. They celebrate this holiday every year on Nisan 14 after sunset.
The religious group holds the service to celebrate this annual festival in Kingdom halls and even encourages their members to bring guests to the celebration.
They celebrate this holiday together as they share communion and commemorate the death of Jesus and the sacrifice that he made for humankind (Ephesians 5:2).
During this annual festival, they drink bread and wine in remembrance of the last meal that Jesus shared with their disciples. Jehovah’s Witnesses refer to the wine and bread emblems to signify their symbolism.
They celebrate this day because Jesus was involved in it, and he asked his followers to commemorate his death as noted in Luke 22:19: “He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.'”
What festivals can Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrate?
Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrate weddings because they believe that the Bible does not forbid them. They also argue that even Jesus attended weddings like at the Cana of Galilee (John 2:1-11).
They have very simple weddings officiated by a minister, and some couples choose to have a reception after that.
Jehovah’s Witnesses decide whether or not to celebrate their anniversary. If they choose to do this, they have private celebrations in the company of family and friends.
On the other hand, those who do not celebrate wedding anniversaries suggest that they find them too similar to birthdays, which they also do not celebrate.
Baptism is also very important to Jehovah’s Witnesses, and it is a requirement for one to join the denomination. They have baptisms three times a year, either within circuit assemblies or large regional conventions.
Jehovah’s Witnesses fully submerge people getting baptized in water and do not believe in infant baptism. They follow Jesus’ example since he was immersed in the River Jordan as noted in Matthew 3:13: “Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John.”
What holidays do Jehovah’s Witnesses not celebrate?
Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate Christmas since they suggest that Jesus did not tell his followers to commemorate his birthday.
Additionally, they argue that the day Jesus was born cannot be ascertained from the New Testament or any other source.
They also believe that Christmas is rooted in pagan customs and religions and argue that it promotes sinful behaviors like heavy drinking.
According to them, most Christmas customs are heathen customs that Churches tolerate.
Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t also celebrate Thanksgiving since they believe that the holiday honors other gods. They even quote Matthew 4:10, which reminds us that we should only worship and render sacred service to God.
Additionally, they imply that this holiday is rooted in ancient harvest celebrations.
This denomination also forbids its members from celebrating Easter since it implies that its customs have pagan origins. They also argue that there is no evidence in the Bible that shows that Jesus actually resurrected on Easter.
Additionally, they speculate that Jesus asked his followers to commemorate his death and not his resurrection.
Though this festival is usually celebrated as a Christian holiday, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate it. They speculate that the holiday has origins in festivals that propagate false ideas regarding death and life.
This religious group believes that Halloween customs are of pagan origins.
Jehovah’s Witnesses do not embrace holidays that honor individuals, like Mother’s Day. They link this holiday with pagan gods and speculate that giving special honor to mothers is a form of creature worship.
According to them, we should only worship God and not a creature.
What happens if a Jehovah’s Witness believer celebrates holidays they shouldn’t?
Though there is no clear record of this, the Jehovah’s Witness believer is likely to get in trouble since this denomination has very strict rules.
This is because Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that some of the holidays that other religious groups celebrate violate Bible principles.
Before celebrating holidays, Jehovah’s Witnesses encourage their members to assess whether a holiday is in line with Bible principles.
For instance, they argue that members should ask themselves whether the holiday is based on unscriptural teachings and whether it is rooted in the belief of other gods to avoid going against Biblical principles.
As a Christian, I have always been passionate about sharing God’s word with young people. This inspired me to pursue a Certificate in Christian Education, an Undergraduate degree in Religious Studies, and a Graduate degree in Theology. My knowledge in school and experience from dealing with the youth made me an expert at discussing Christian-related topics. I feel privileged working as the Coordinator of the Christian Youth Ministry at Christian Faith Guide. You can read more about me on the about us page.