Seems like most of the world's religions have something to celebrate in December and for the most part the politically correct media strives to include them all. Sadly, they manage to omit yuletide greetings for the pagan population. Pagans of all traditions celebrate the winter solstice. In pre-christian Rome they celebrated Saturnalia as their winter holiday, the Nordic peoples celebrated Yule in honor of Thor, the Druids also welcomed the return of the light in December. Celebrating the end of darkness is recongnized in almost all religions many of them hundreds and thousands of years older than the Catholic church and Christianity. So, why not give Pagans their due as well?
Pope Gregory I recognized that the best way to bring Christianity to the pagan people of Britain was to align the Christian holidays with those already in practice by the natives. Pagan celebrations are harvest and livestock related as well celebrations of certain gods and goddesses. Keep in mind that Pagan translated simply means "country dweller". The adoption of pagan practices into Christian rituals and what are now largely secular traditions are still very prominent today. The Christmas tree for instance is a pagan symbol, pagans would bring evergreen boughs into their homes as part of the winter solstice celebration.
Yuletide for pagans is the end of the long dark days of winter as the days slowly begin to grow longer, we feast on what's left from the last harvest at Samhain. Pagans recongize this as the returning of the light to the world; in Christianity, Jesus Christ is sometimes called the Light of the World, so one could make the argument that his birth is symbolic of the light coming back into the world just as winter gives way to spring. In the Catholic church you will be hard pressed to find consensus that December 25th marks the actual day of Jesus Christ's birth but you will find consensus among pagans that the solstice occurs each year around December 22.
Christmas has become more and more a secular holiday; Santa Claus didn't wear red and white until Coca-Cola used him as a marketing tool and adapted the slender German Father Christmas in his green robes to the plump jolly Santa Claus we see in malls across America today and read about in "A Visit from St, Nick" by Clement C. Moore.
You see Christmas has become as universal to the winter holidays as Kleenex is to facial tissue, a Coke is to a soda and Xerox is to a photo copy. I will say Happy Christmas, I will also say Bright Blessings on this Yuletide. I will bring a Christmas tree into my home and deocrate it, I will exhcange gifts with my friends and family on Yule and on December 25 as part of my pagan and family's traditions.
I do not wish to detract from anyone's celebration of the holiday, I attend and sometimes host my family's Christmas day brunch or dinner and I do so out of respect for the secular American tradition that Christmas has become. I recongize it as a day of family gathering and celebrating and feasting and giving gifts. I celebrate the solstice in my home with a gathering of friends for a feast, a bonfire to bid the return of the light and a preparation for the upcoming season of work, planting crops, mating livestock etc...
I recognize that these holidays are a conglomeration of events that occured because a few men tried to control the masses. I celebrate my holiday and respect my fellow man and his traditions and celebrate their holidays with them.
To all I bid, Bright Yuletide Blessings, a Happy Christmas, a happy Chanukah, joyous Kwanzaa and a peaceful Eid.
WORLD - CULTURE
Copyright © 2010 Ivan Homeless
It's Christmas Time Again?
Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Eid, what about Yule?
Copyright © 2010 Ivan Homeless
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