18
   

What Is Wrong With Christmas Customs?

 
 
anthony1312002
 
  0  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 09:39 am
It is interesting to note that at one time, Christmas was banned in both England and by some of the founders of the United States in the city of Boston. The attached link, which is one of many, provides some interesting reading.

http://m.livescience.com/32891-why-was-christmas-banned-in-america-.html
djjd62
 
  3  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 09:44 am
What Is Wrong With Christmas Customs?

The lines are two long and the duty free sucks

on the plus side, with the cavity searches being conducted by elves, one doesn't need to bend over
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 09:57 am
@Ionus,
Ionus wrote:
I have doubts about every source. However, I have two sources that say trees were attached to ridge polls. One I provided that said it was to celebrate a house building and another (I am still looking for) that said the practice continued into early Christian conversion times for the celebration of Christmas. Then the tree went inside the house.


I was taught tree /branches at the top to celebrate reaching the roof on a build as well. We did it in our German community in Canada when we worked on cottages etc. I learned it in school in history as well as from my dad and uncle and their buddies (all from different parts of Germany). I'll have to poke around in the books I took when we cleaned out my parents' house and see if there are any written references/clues.

slate talks about topping out ceremonies here

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_eye/2013/12/19/why_do_construction_workers_top_building_sites_with_undecorated_christmas.html

as does the NYT back in 1984

http://www.nytimes.com/1984/10/21/realestate/the-hoary-tradition-of-topping-out.html

Quote:
As with many pieces of folklore, some aspects of the topping-out ceremony's origin are unexplained, and some of what is explained varies in detail, depending on who is doing the explaining. But along with Mr. Kelly, many people connected with the construction business believe that the custom of the fir tree - which is common in North America and Western Europe - originated in Scandinavia, perhaps symbolizing bringing life to the building.

''We do have solid evidence that about 700 A.D., the Scandinavians were the first to be using trees to symbolize the topping-out,'' said William M. Lawbaugh, editor of Ironworker Magazine, the publication of the ironworkers' union. ''There was a pantheism, a spirit within the wood. The mythology in Scandinavia suggests that man might have originated from a tree, and the soul of man returns to the tree after death.''

In a 1931 essay in a magazine called ''Pencil Points,'' one author, William Collins, theorized that the custom, then widespread and known in New York as a ''roof-tree'' or ''roofbush raising,'' began with early man's gesture ''to propitiate the outraged tree spirits.'' He also credits the Scandinavians.

Carl A. Morse, a director of Morse Diesel, the construction firm, believes that the custom came here from Norway, and has a different explanation of the significance of topping out. ''Once it's topped out, you'd at least be able to work under shelter,'' he said. ''But who the heck knows? Folklore's a funny thing.''

A few sources put the origin further back into Classical times, when eggs and other objects may have been used. But some of the earliest rooftop ceremonies appear to be connected not so much to the building as to the fertility of the animals and women who would live inside - presumably not Marriott's chief concern.

VESTIGES of folklore endure even in high-tech businesses. When the A. H. Robbins Company, a major drug manufacturer, topped out a new plant in Horsham, England, earlier this year, executives tied a yew branch to a chimney ''to ward off evil spirits,'' according to the Pharmaceutical Journal.

At the Norwegian Embassy in Washington, Per Aasen, the press officer, said that he was aware of the custom here, but added, ''I didn't know we had exported it.'' In Norway, he said, the custom is prevalent not only for major buildings, but also for private homes.

''When my parents built our home in the 1930's, this tradition was there,'' he said. The building owner's obligation was to provide a festive meal for the construction workers at such a time, he said, or, if they did not plan to host a party, to mount a scarecrow on the roof instead.


this link has some interesting bits

http://www.infoworks.laingorourke.com/industry/2014/apr-to-june/topping-out.aspx

Quote:
Dating back to pagan days, the topping out ritual has been observed by builders for many centuries. Architect William of Wykeham attended one of the earliest ceremonies on 28 March 1393 for the Winchester School, while English poet Geoffrey Chaucer, who died in 1400, referred to topping out ceremonies in his writing.

In the 14th century, it was customary to put a yew tree branch at the highest point of the building to keep evil spirits at bay. Today, ceremony organisers continue this long-held tradition using sprig of yew or, more sustainably, by presenting an evergreen sapling, to be planted in the landscape.

Medieval records show that the personal flag of the structure’s owner would be hoisted to the top of the building once the shell was complete. According to other historical documents, a weathercock or vane was placed at the summit.

While constructing great mansions, builders would fly coloured flags from the roof to show they needed more materials. Different colours were used to represent stone, brick and timber.

Around the world
There is evidence to suggest that in 2700 AD, the Egyptians used a live tree in a topping out ceremony for the country’s first stone building. Elsewhere, the story goes that a man was buried in the Great Wall of China’s foundations, after builders completed one of the sprawling structure’s sections in 200 BC. According to an ancient legend, 10,000 people had to be buried beneath the wall but rather than meet with this grim requirement, one person was named "Workman 10,000" and sacrificed accordingly.

The topping out ceremony is celebrated around the world. In Brazil, branches and leaves are attached to the building and the workforce eat, drink and dance as part of a ritual known as Fiesta da Cemieira. Meanwhile, in Germany, laurels are hung around the chimney and the builders whilst the Danish decorate the roof of the building with evergreen garlands, while in Jordan, builders hold a religious ceremony followed by a feast.


I'm not familiar with its connection to Christmas though I can see how it might be possible.
ehBeth
 
  4  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 09:58 am
@djjd62,
djjd62 wrote:
with the cavity searches being conducted by elves, one doesn't need to bend over



wait!

they're not supposed to be removing gold fillings?
0 Replies
 
George
 
  6  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 10:18 am
Yet another Christmas Custom that is wrong

Santa was very cross. It was Christmas Eve and NOTHING was going right.

Mrs. Claus had burned all the cookies. The elves were complaining about
not getting paid for the overtime they had worked making toys, and were
threatening to go on strike. The reindeer had been drinking eggnog all
afternoon. To make matters worse, a few of the other elves had taken
the sleigh out for a spin earlier in the day and had crashed it into a tree.

Santa was furious. "I can't believe it! I've got to deliver millions of
presents all over the world in just a few hours, and all of my reindeer are
drunk, the elves are walking out, and I don't even have a Christmas tree! I
sent that stupid little angel out HOURS ago to find a tree and he isn't
even back yet! What am I going to do?"

Just then, the little angel opened the front door and stepped in from the
snowy night, dragging a Christmas tree. The angel said, "Yo, fat man!
Where do you want me to stick the tree this year?"

And thus the tradition of angels atop the Christmas trees came to
pass . . .
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 10:34 am
@George,
Did you write that? It's wonderful...
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 10:39 am
@George,
Oh!
That is just WRONG!
WRONG! WRONG!

I thumbed up by mistake. . .
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 10:44 am
@George,
http://geekxgirls.com/images/doctorwhoxmas/doctor-who-christmas-01.jpg
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 10:47 am
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:

I'm not familiar with its connection to Christmas though I can see how it might be possible.


on looking at more topping out references I see that a lot of (sloppy) writers said the trees were Christmas trees. I suspect that's where the ideas morphed.
0 Replies
 
George
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 10:48 am
@ossobuco,
ossobuco wrote:
Did you write that? It's wonderful...
I can't claim it. I have linked to the original site.
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 11:29 am
@anthony1312002,
You know what
Puritans have always had tendency to make life grey and sad.
Whatever religious, politically, how to dress, what to read, preferable no music
the list is long.

Many politicians have been against religion because they thought it would take away from their power and prestige.
George
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 12:01 pm
@saab,
When it comes to holidays and observances,
I do not look to the New England Puritans for guidance.
saab
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 12:10 pm
@George,
Not in daily life either - watching what thee neighbours are doing.
George
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 12:14 pm
@saab,
But on the plus side, they did observe Harvard Commencement Day as a
holiday.
0 Replies
 
anthony1312002
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 12:41 pm
@saab,
What you say is true. And in no way am I putting them up as a guide. But it is interesting that Protestants also took this same position based on the origin of the customs involved. It was only due to pressure from the financial sector that eventually the holiday was reinstated as a regular practice both hear and in the British Empire.

Its really something how powerful the influence gaining profits can be even in the face of knowledge.
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 12:49 pm
@saab,
saab wrote:
You know what
Puritans have always had tendency to make life grey and sad.
Whatever religious, politically, how to dress, what to read, preferable no music
the list is long.
Many of the 'puritan' persuasion are likely to ignore the fact that Jesus changed water to wine at a wedding feast. Consider Psalm 104:14:15
Quote:
14 He is making grass grow for the cattle
And vegetation for mankind’s use,
To grow food from the land
15 And wine that makes man’s heart rejoice,
Oil that makes the face shine,
And bread that sustains the heart of mortal man.
saab wrote:
Many politicians have been against religion because they thought it would take away from their power and prestige.
I would think, on the contrary, that politicians rely on religion to control the masses and the clergy to deliver cannon fodder. Google 'Konkordat'
saab
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 01:01 pm
I would think, on the contrary, that politicians rely on religion to control the masses and the clergy to deliver cannon fodder.

Who is against religion? Kim Jong-un . Stalin, Mao, almost any dictator in modern as well as old days.
Many modern politician do not want to talk about religion in any form - it might not be political correct. And then s/he would loose votes.
Politics can make people just as intolerant as religion.
Stilll it is perfectly all right to discuss politics. But theology - most people know too little and find it something one makes fun of.
On the other hand there are plenty of very good thelogical jokes especially the Jewish. Jews really can tell good jokes about themselves. Good ones also come from Cahtolic and Lutheran side.
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  0  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 10:41 pm
@neologist,
Quote:
Jesus changed water to wine at a wedding feast
What he actually did was to allow the peasants to come in from the outside where they were drinking water and join the main celebration of snobs drinking wine. This was a level of egalitarianism that upset the Pharisees, and the double meaning of it was suppressed by the Roman empire. Anyway, miracles encourage peasants to ooh and ahhh at religion. Someone has to fill the pews.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2015 12:05 am
@George,
That's the best Christmas story I ever read. Educational too!
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2015 12:41 am
@Ionus,
Before the reformation churches had no pews
 

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