In this post, I'll try to dispel some of the common myths about Christmas.
Much of what we are doing during Christmas, has very little to do with the birth of Jesus and everything to do with the celebration of Yule and the change of the seasons.
In Denmark, Sweden and Norway, they don't call it Christmas. They call it JUL, which is basically the same as Yule. Just spelled a little different.
If you ever meet someone from a Nordic country, try having him or her say Christmas Eve in their own language and you can easily hear it.
When you hear the ringing Christmas bells, you probably associate it with bells on a sledge or reindeer with bells on them.
The whole bells tradition, comes from an ancient Pagan ritual, where the bells were used to drive away evil spirits.
The same goes for the tradition of lighting candles. They were used to drive away the forces of the cold and dark.
Okay, so this one is could easily get you into some heated discussions around the Christmas table, so beware...
But the fact is, that it's very unlikely that the 3 wise men (if there even were 3) would bring gifts to a newborn baby during that time.
On the other hand, what is common knowledge, is that up until the 1800s, it was common to give each other gifts around new years eve.
It was a way of wishing each other prosperity in the new year to come.
If we go even longer back, Pagans would give "gifts" to the gods by offerings, during the Yule rituals.
Long before Christianity, people used to worship the plants and trees that remained green all year long. Like the pine tree.
Back then, people would take some green leaves and hang them over their doors and in the windows.
But in the 16th century, Germans started to cut down pine trees and take them inside to decorate them. It would take more than 200 years before Christians accepted them as a part of the Christmas ritual (around 1840).
Before that, it was considered a Pagan tradition and very few Christians had a Christmas tree.
No where in the bible does it say that Jesus was born in December!
If you study the bible and do some research, you'll most likely come to the conclusion that Jesus was born in the summer. Not in the winter.
For example, in Luke 2:7-8 It tells us that shepherds were in the fields, but shepherds wouldn't be in the fields watching their flock in december.
Also, Jesus' parents came to Rome to register in the Roman census (counting the entire population). But censuses wasn't taken in the winter, because it was too cold and the roads would often freeze and be in real bad conditions. No way, they were doing a census in such conditions.
To conclude, Christians were very smart in their "marketing" of their religion. They knew that there was NO WAY, people would convert if it meant that they had to give up on their celebrations.
So, they blended everything together.
And I think that Christmas is where it's most obvious.
I mean, think about it. Why would you put a tree in your living room, decorate it, put a star on top, light candles and give gifts...
...all why singing songs about some dude who were born thousands of years ago (and probably not even on that day).
No, the reason we celebrate Jesus' birthday in December, probably has much more to do with the fact that there already was a holiday there (Winter Solstice). So to make it easier for everyone, the Christian Holidays were put on dates where we already had some celebration going.
If you aren't convinced yet, try taking the other Christians holidays and notice how they are at the same time as the Pagan ones. It's not a coincidence.
Happy Holidays!Let me know what you think. Leave a comment :)