Yess…Now that everyone’s done with their Christmas day celebration, I won’t have to be called a spoil-sport. I was doing this research for a school essay and this Christmas is the first time I realize it’s all about the food 🙂
How did the birth of Christ come to be celebrated on the 25th of December?
25th December being the date of the winter solstice, was used by the Romans to celebrate Dies Natalis Solis Invicti the birthday of the Roman sun god, Sol Invictus, who they believed to be the light of the world. Christians participated in the revelries involved, and the church wished to stop this happening and to possibly convert the pagans, giving them something else to celebrate.
Since Scripture (Malachi 4:2) supports that Jesus is the Sun of Righteousness, it was easy to change the feast from being of a celebration of the birthday of Sol Invictus to the birthday celebration of Christ.
Symbols of Christmas
To ‘carol’ means to sing or dance to something. Carols at winter were originally a dance of the Sol Invictus party. The people would dance around Stonehenge, in celebration of the sun, since Stonehenge helped them tell the time by reason of the sun’s rays.
The season of the winter solstice, as goes without saying, was the season of no plant life, except that of the evergreens, therefore, during this festive season, the Romans gave each other palms and evergreens, as a sign of good luck, and kept these branches in their homes as hope for spring and new life in the new year, and voila! Green became a Christmas color. Holly, Ivy, and Mistletoe were among the most common plants being shared. The red therefore represented the berries on the holly plant.
The concept of Father Christmas very much seems to have emerged from the life of Saint Nicholas, a generous and kind saint with a habit of secret gift-giving.
St. Nicholas was a legendary hero of the 4th century Church; archbishop of Myra in what is now Turkey. He was known for his generosity, and several miracles are attributed to his intercession.
However, St. Nicholas never rode on reindeer, and did not live in the North.
Father Christmas was a combination of the personae of both St. Nicholas and Odin.
The origin of the Christian gift-bringer figures in European folklore are clearly pre-Christian, more specifically connected with the Yule (midwinter) festival in Germanic paganism, and are often associated with the figure of Odin.
Odin was a the king of all the gods in Norse mythology. He was an old cloaked, blue-hooded, Norse god with a long white beard, and he rode an eight legged horse, Sleipnir.
This matches Santa’s fleet of eight reindeer.
Odin was very savage you see. 25 Savage in fact. According to mythology, he killed his grandfather and enjoyed filling rivers with the blood. Whenever he killed someone, his eight-legged steed Sleipnir would lick on the corpse of the dead and of course his nose would be red. Thus we have Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer.
Yeah. Finally found an explanation for this picture…
Prior to Christianization, the Germanic peoples (including the English) celebrated a midwinter event called Yule (Old English geola or giuli). With the Christianization of Germanic Europe, numerous traditions were absorbed from Yuletide celebrations into modern Christmas. During the Yuletide, ghostly occurrences such as the Wild Hunt were said to have increased in frequency. The Wild hunt was a ghostly procession through the sky, attested as being led by Odin.
Now this sounds more like our jolly ol’ Santa!
Yuletide is used to describe Christmas because of its link with this celebration.
The Bible does not reflect any celebration of Christ’s birth neither are we informed of the day on which Christ was born. Research shows that Christ was born around mid September or October.
December 25th is not Jesus’ birthday, and contrary to popular opinion, Santa Claus is not a form of God.
Christmas has gone through a lot of changes throughout the centuries.
One might seek to exalt the birth of Christ only on one day in the entire year, and of a truth, this might be the day many souls get saved.
However, the reason for every season is Christ and we must seek to exalt him through them all.
To Be Continued…