I was just curious if holiday celebrations like Christmas and Easter were written in the Bible, not merely mentioned but specifically indicating that people should celebrate them. It seems to me that celebrations like Christmas and Easter come from older, pagan traditions like Yule and the vernal equinox. For Easter, for example, Wikipedia states:
Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. In many European languages, the words for "Easter" and "Passover" are etymologically related or homonymous.
It occurred to me that our holidays may be nothing more than pre-Christan pagan traditions (not that such is a bad thing). However, I did a little research and it seemed to me that God of the bible, at least in some ways, thinks that our Christmas celebrations are largely worthless. At the very least, he made it clear that it's not useful to have Christmas trees:
Jeremiah 10 NIV
1 Hear what the LORD says to you, people of Israel. 2 This is > what the LORD says:
“Do not learn the ways of the nations
or be terrified by signs in the heavens,
though the nations are terrified by them.
3 For the practices of the peoples are worthless;
they cut a tree out of the forest,
and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.
4 They adorn it with silver and gold;
they fasten it with hammer and nails
so it will not totter.
5 Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field,
their idols cannot speak;
they must be carried
because they cannot walk.
Do not fear them;
they can do no harm
nor can they do any good.”
While the above passage doesn't actually mention Christmas, it mentions a common thing done on Christmas. Some people think that the passage does not mention Christmas trees, but rather idols. This only partially true. It is quite clear that the passage describes a Christmas tree, but it's referring to the worship of this tree as an idol as a worthless thing, not necessarily the tree itself as being worthless. So it's OK to have Christmas trees—just don't worship them! There is some debate about this, but that is for another question. :) I just included the passage to show the Bible does possibly mention this aspect of how many people currently celebrate Christmas.
My question is really just asking for a bit more than a "sidelong mention" of Christmas trees. Specifically:
Are there other passages which specifically mention Christmas (or some close equivalent, like "Christ's Birthday", etc.), Easter, and other Christian holidays, and which also indicate that we should celebrate them?