what is the history of christmas?

Reply Wed 11 Jan, 2023 09:58 am
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Reply Fri 13 Jan, 2023 11:19 am
@1225GMAIl COM,
Well, you can google it quite easily.

But as I've aged and look back, I can see that Christmas was often a time when families come together and are once again painfully reminded of the reasons for not getting together during the eleven non-magical months of the year.
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Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2023 03:13 am
Christmas has its roots in pre-Christian winter festivals held by Celtic and Germanic peoples. In many ancient societies, the winter solstice is the longest night of the year, signifying the return of the sun and the beginning of longer days. Many pagan beliefs associate the winter solstice with rebirth, growth, and renewal. Many pagan festivals were held on or near December 25th. For example, the ancient Romans celebrated Saturnalia, a week-long festival that began on December 17th. Saturnalia was a time of feasting and gift-giving. Another winter festival was held by the Germanic peoples, particularly the Norse, and was known as Yule. Celebrated from December 21st to January 1st. Early Christians capitalized on the popularity of these existing festivals, adopting December 25th as the day of Christ's birth, possibly as a way of Christianizing these pagan celebrations.

The Christmas tree has an interesting origin. Evergreen trees have been used as a symbol of life and rebirth in many cultures for centuries. The custom of decorating evergreen trees, however, may be more recent, with roots in sixteenth-century Germany. Germans began bringing decorated trees into their homes in the early 1600s. Over time, the Christmas tree became a popular holiday decoration and symbol of this holiday.

The tradition of Santa Claus came from the Dutch figure known as Sinterklaas. Sinterklaas was a bishop in the Catholic Church, and his feast day was celebrated on December 6. It was customary for Dutch children to leave a shoe by the fireplace to be filled with gifts by Sinterklaas. When Dutch settlers came to America, they brought this tradition and eventually, Sinterklaas became known as Santa Claus, a figure that has since become synonymous with Christmas.
Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2023 03:24 am
No mention of Sol Invictus, or the Holly King.

Santa Claus is a bastardisation of St Nicholas regardless of what language is used.

It wasn't just the Celts and Germans at all.

The Egyptian deity Horus was also born on 25th December.

This is a typical response about history from someome who majored in Physics, half complete and full of holes.

You should really stick to what you know.
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2023 05:39 am
Santa Claus" has its origins in the figure of Saint Nicholas, as izzy says.
In his honour, children have always been given presents on 6 December since the 14th century.

In the figure of Saint Nicholas, two historical persons are merged. One is Nicholas of Myra: he lived in the third century and was the bishop of a town in what is now Turkey. The other historical person merged into the figure is Nicholas of Sion from the sixth century, who lived in a town near Myra. The legends about the lives of the two men interwove to form the figure of Saint Nicholas of Myra, who, according to the traditional stories, performed numerous miracles: He calmed a storm, brought the dead back to life and saved three young women from prostitution by throwing gold pieces through their father's window at night. This selfless act gave birth to the myth of the merciful helper and protector who, unrecognised, gave gifts to children in the night.

But then came Martin Luther, the reformer, who did not think much of the veneration of saints.
He propagated: away from the cult of individual persons, back to faith, to Jesus. The custom of St. Nicholas on 6 December still exists today (in the Netherlands it is Sinterklaas). But with the Reformation in the 16th century, the great gift-bringer was to become someone else. Around 1530, Luther established the "Holy Christ" as the gift-bringer, who had nothing to do with consecrated bishops. According to Luther's wishes, the gift-giving would no longer take place at the beginning of the month, but at Christmas.

In the end, the figure of Father Christmas is the amalgamation of those two. customs, increasingly detached from the Christ Child and the original Saint Nicholas in the course of the 19th century and becoming more and more secular.

In the search for the origins of the Christmas tree tradition, one finds less in the Bible and more in the Koran: Maryam - Arabic for Mary - is surprised by labour pains and leans against a tree. And there, under the shade of the (Christmas) tree, Isa - Arabic for Jesus - is born. The tree, however, was a palm tree.

The Christmas tree we are familiar with today probably has its origins in pagan tradition. At the time of the winter solstice, people brought so-called winter mai into their homes. These green branches were a sign of life, were supposed to drive away winter spirits and promised protection and fertility.

In the late Middle Ages, paganism was mixed with Christianity.
From the Middle Ages onwards, the church began to depict biblical scenes in order to teach the uneducated people. The story of Adam and Eve in paradise was popular. For the paradise story, of course, a 'paradise tree' was needed. This had to be evergreen - the fruit of knowledge, on the other hand, was initially a red apple.
So a coniferous tree was needed: the birth of the later Christmas tree.

The green tree with the apple was therefore not originally used to tell the Christmas story - but that of Adam and Eve and the serpent. In the course of time, the "tree of paradise" developed a connection to the Christmas story - and can therefore be regarded as the archetype of the Christmas tree that was later decorated with golden nuts, biscuits and baubles.

Incidentally, the first mention of a decorated Christmas tree is in connection with a bakers' guild in Freiburg in 1419.

From 1730, the trees were also decorated with candles for the first time.
At first, however, the Christmas trees were only found in the homes of Protestant families. The fir tree conquered living rooms across denominations during the wars of liberation against Napoleon at the beginning of the 19th century. At that time, the tree became a symbol of Germanness and was recognised as a part of Christmas, regardless of denomination.

Driven by the family ties of German noble families to the courts abroad, the Christmas tree gradually spread throughout Europe. Emigrants and especially German soldiers who fought in the American War of Independence also made it popular in the USA in the course of the 19th century. In 1891, a "Christmas Tree" stood in front of the White House in Washington for the first time.
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Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2023 12:21 pm
I read that Christmas was just a minor holiday until Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Leastways, in England.
Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2023 12:45 pm
You should read e.g. about the 'Twelfth Night' during the Medieval Ages - that would change your mind.

Oh, and King Albert and the Christmas tree. And the origin of the name "Boxing Day".
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Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2023 01:10 pm
It was different.

Dickens made Christmas forever Victorian.
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Reply Sat 16 Sep, 2023 01:13 pm
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