Jeroboam ordained a feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, like the feast that was in Judah, and offered sacrifices on the altar. So he did at Bethel, sacrificing to the calves that he had made. And at Bethel he installed the priests of the high places which he had made. So he made offerings on the altar which he had made at Bethel on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, in the month which he had devised in his own heart. And he ordained a feast for the children of Israel, and offered sacrifices on the altar and burned incense.
Because of the sins of King Solomon, God had decided to divide the 12 tribes of Israel into two nations. He promised 10 of the tribes to Jeroboam, and even promised to build him an enduring dynasty if he would “heed all that I command you, walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight” ( 1 Kings 11:38 ).
But Jeroboam, perhaps fearing that God’s festivals and His temple in Jerusalem would lure the people away from him, decided to create a counterfeit worship system! Instead of the temple at Jerusalem he set up golden calves and altars at Bethel and Dan. Instead of the Feast of Tabernacles in the seventh month, he set up a counterfeit feast one month later. Instead of God’s priests, he set up his own religious leaders.
God was greatly displeased by Jeroboam’s counterfeit religion. God has never given humanity permission to adjust and adapt His commands and His festivals.
For more about counterfeit holidays and God’s true and meaningful holy days, see From Holidays to Holy Days: God’s Plan for You.