Thursday, December 15, 2011

Io, Saturnalia!

Origin of Yule RE: The War on Christmas™ and the real reason for the season.
In order to convert the masses, no pun intended, the Church and the Christian leaders took the practice of the people and "bastardized" them into Christian observances. Hence the old Yule practices of the immortal evergreen, the holly, mistletoe, the Sun God being born of the Goddess, were converted to the Christian teachings.
Back in the day, the Winter Solstice was on December 25th. But when putting Christmas on the 25th didn't quite stamp out all the other celebrations, the Catholic Church re-engineered the calendar and just happened to move the solstice to the 21st.

It isn't the only celebration they co-opted.
Imbolc, Feb. 2, was originally the goddess Brigit’s day, not to be confused with the Church’s St. Bridget, and Feb. 2 was changed into the Feast of the Presentation of Mary. May 1 is the Pagan celebration of Beltane, and Samhaim, or Halloween, was changed to All Hallows Eve, the eve of the Feast of All Saints.
While I'm not Wiccan, I think it crazy to forget that not everyone celebrates your holidays. Wishing them a Merry Christmas isn't offensive, or it shouldn't be, but interrogating them to see if they have their tree decorated or their shopping done is either just plain stupid, or in poor taste. (Almost as bad as pretending observe Hanukkah, but not actually waiting for Hanukkah to begin to do the observing. "Can you image the worldwide rage if the Obamas played fast and loose with a Muslim holiday?")


Graybeard said...

It seems to me that virtually all of today's Christians know the story about how winter solstice celebrations were turned into Christmas, and that Christ was actually born in the spring.

What bothers me is stupid political correctness. It doesn't offend me in the least to be wished a happy Hannukah, or anything else - isn't the person wishing you happiness? How can that be a bad thing (unless you're a stupid goth kid)? And I've never met a Jew who objected to being wished a Merry Christmas.

Speaking as a cranky, old, dude, of course ;-)

Zendo Deb said...

The whole idea of Hanukkah Bushes was because Jews wanted to blend in and not draw attention to themselves. Because every hundred years or so, when attention did swing their way, there was a pogrom. Or their homes/temples would be firebombed.

(It wasn't that long ago that "covenant restricted" developments meant "no Jews." Even today, it can mean "No Hasidim." It just has to be phrased carefully.)

And you never a met a Jew who objected in an overt fashion to your holiday greeting. I'm willing to bet there were some who had plenty to say about it to their families and friends later.