I continue with my endeavor to set the record straight on Holidays that have been warped by the status-quo.
I realize I may tick off a bunch of people with this trip down history lane of logic, lore, and reason, But…then again…No one is really reading this blog so I’m probably okay.
My book series is about casting light on many of the Holidays and where the origins and traditions originated and giving credit where credit is due. The phrase that I hear and see erroneously spewed and posted over and over again during this festive season is like nails on a chalkboard to me or babies wailing in wet diapers. It makes me want to light things other than farts on fire, breathe acid clouds into rainbows, and push old people down the stairs or run them off the road (okay, I want to do that anyway…they’re too slow. Seriously, let me get by you’re holding me up). What’s the phrase I’m bitchin’ about? JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON.
JEEEEESUS…is NOT the reason for the Season! SHUT YOUR HOLE! I’ll slap your lips into Easter morning (oh, that will be another blog!).
That inaccurate repetitive phrase prompted this blog to shed some Christmas Starlight on the subject. In short: PAGANS ARE THE REASON FOR THE SEASON…or at the very least…PROPAGANDA!
Many cultures celebrated the birth of a sun god on December 25th! There is the Egyptian god AMUN-RA. MITHRA of Persia. The Hindu god BUDDHA. QUETZALCOATL, a Mesoamerican deity, was born of a virgin and crucified. This list isn’t meant to be exhaustive. However, there is also debate on these lists. Meaning: dates get the shell-game shuffle when we are talking about the birth of gods. So why should JESUS be an exception to the machinations of those jockeying to get their deity to the top of the metaphoric SEARCH ENGINGES of the day.
Coming up with a sun god born on December 25th was THE ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE of the time. Everybody else was doing it so why not the Christian Church too. They decided to participate in THE SUN GOD CHALLENGE as well.
Some quick facts:
a.) The New Testament does not give a year or date of Jesus’ birth.
b.) Early Christians did NOT celebrate anyone’s birth because it was a PAGAN custom.
c.) All of the popular customs associated with Christmas today were celebrated at pagan
mid-winter festivals thousands of years before the alleged Messiah was born.
Let’s look a little closer at the time of Jesus’ birth.
If you go by the Bible—you know that book written by PEOPLE that many act as though GOD dictated, that same book too many shake in people’s faces judging them all the while ignoring their own transgressions, that same book that people feel is for them to sanctimoniously interpret and infer in order to discriminate against others, that same book that should just be bare pages since it is often used as just a fill-in-the-blank reason for pushing one’s own agenda and beliefs onto others, that same book that is used to base (hypocritically) our societies laws (Personally, if we are going to go by bestsellers, my vote is for a society based on TOLKIEN or DR. SEUSS)—then let’s take a look at the gospels that discuss the time of Jesus’ birth.
I will just briefly quote directly from WIKIPEDIA from the topic CHRONOLOGY OF JESUS:
“Both Luke and Matthew associate Jesus' birth with the time of Herod
the Great. Matthew 2:1 states that ‘Jesus was born in Bethlehem of
Judaea in the days of Herod the king’ and implies that Jesus could have
been as much as two years old at the time of the visit of the Magi,
before Herod's death. Luke 1:5 mentions the reign of Herod shortly
before the birth of Jesus, but places the birth during the Census of
Quirinius, ten years later. Most scholars believe Luke made an error in
referring to the census. As a result, they generally accept a date of birth
between 6 and 4 BC, the year Herod died.”
“As the census took place in 6 CE, and Luke's second marker is the reign
of King Herod who died in 4 BCE, the gospel is inconsistent with the
historical evidence. Most modern scholars explain this as an error, but
the authors of the Gospels were ignorant on many points about the
early life of Jesus, and both the Gospel of Luke and Gospel of Matthew
put Jesus' birth in Bethlehem in order to match a prophecy in the Book
of Micah that the messiah was to come from that place.”
“Neither gospel account mentions the time of year during which the
events they describe takes place. However, the Gospel of Luke
reference to shepherds grazing their sheep in the fields has been taken
to imply a birth during the springtime, summer or early fall.”
What we can simply take away from all this is that the GOSPELS ARE INCOSISTENT with HISTORICAL EVIDENCE! I’ll move on while that soaks in.
There are other sources that speculate Jesus’ birth as March 28th, November 18th and even September 11th. The reality is we don’t know when Jesus was born.
So why is everybody trying to get their god’s birth moved to December 25th? WHY GO THROUGH ALL THIS MANIPULATION? What is the big deal about December 25th?
December 25th is the time of the Winter Solstice. The 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS that we know so well from carols actually BEGINS on December 25th. Winter Solstice festivities date back to Egyptian times. The Romans celebrated Saturnalia. And the Pagans, of course, celebrated Yule.
As winter sets in the days grow colder, the daylight abates, and the land becomes barren. This might be a good time to point out the significance of Evergreen trees. They were seen as magical as they do not lose their leaves in the winter. They would not die!
From the Solstice, the hours of sunlight slowly begin to lengthen. The Sun is reborn! (back then winter was considered to have begun right after Samhain "summer's end.")
The celebration of Yule gave people hope. It was the celebration of the Sun. The Sun was given back to the earth and people. The light and warmth would return. To keep this hope alive, homes were decorated with pines as symbols of everlasting life. Mistletoe, the herb of love and protection, was hung. The Yule log (usually oak) was burned. The ashes or small piece of that log would be saved for next year’s fire. The burning of the Yule log was to protect the home in the coming year, especially against fire and lightning. Songs were sung and we now know these as Christmas Carols (although, the Roman celebration of Saturnalia consisted of binge drinking, sexual indulgence and running through the streets singing naked, so that could be an origin of Chistmas Carolling door-to-door).
Remember, Samhain marked the end of the harvest. People had gathered what they needed to carry them through the winter. Part of the Yule festivities was expressing confidence that they would survive to the next planting season and that they had an abundance from the harvest to share with others. This is the reason for gift exchange.
Now, don’t let my vehemence for that misnomer of a phrase convince you that I am against Christmas. I enjoy the Yule season. I am a fan of the Christmas Spirit. No matter your spiritual outlet the Universal message of Yuletide is hope, renewal, giving, and sharing.
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!