Christmas Themed Post

Christmas time is just so wonderful. You can go around wearing ridiculous sweaters and colorful beanies even if it’s seventy degrees outside because Santa is coming.

Christmas Day was decided by Pope Julius I to accomadate the many different celebrations during the winter season. Some of these celebrations include the winter solstice, Saturnalia, Three Kings Day, and Norse celebrations of Yule. The bible didn’t specify the actual date of Jesus’s birth, but it was placed on the day of Dec. 25th in hopes that proximity to the winter solstice would encourage participation. Many of these different celebrations all contribute something to the modern traditions.

To begin this history of Christmas, I’ll start with the carol we all know as “The Twelve Day of Christmas“. Hearthfire is a Norse tradition that occurs on December 20th and for twelve more days afterwards. This time is known as the darkest time of the year in which the family must gather all of the crops they have saved all year and put together a bountiful amount of wood to burn for twelve days and feast. Also, while I was looking at the Norse website (I included it at the end of the post), I noticed a poem called “Offer to the Outdwellers”:

You on the borders, Ettins, thurses,
Rises, trolls, all of giant kin
Take this offering this night, now
And trouble not the work of my Folk.

Is this kind of similar to the cookies we put out to Santa or am I just making random connections?

Odin, the  germanic god, gave Santa his signature white beard and reindeer, although odin originally rode an eight legged grey horse.

in germanic traditions, the norse pagan god odin has been said to have contributed to some parts of the appearance of santa claus / father christmas.  during the germanic holiday, yule, odin would lead a hunt through the sky on his eight legged horse sleipner — today’s eight reindeer and their ability to fly are said to have been derived from this tale.<br />Hunt through the sky. Eight legged Sleipner. Sure, whatever. But then Coca Cola gayed it up a notch.

It was said that he would fly over the heads of his people and observe their behavior (aka naughty or nice). The people were deathly afriad of him though so they usually stayed inside.

There were many, many more christmas traditions that came to play in the holiday we have today.

This is a great source of LOTS more information on christmas! http://www.history.com/topics/christmas/page2

On Norse traditions and Hearthfire: https://www.adf.org/rituals/norse/yule/hfg-yule-98.html

Yes, I know, I used wikipedia, but it tells you alot about Santa Claus, Stuff I couldn’t even fit! : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus

I couldn’t fit much information about Saturnalia, but we get the tradition of wreaths, Christmas trees, and the general air of celebration and eatery from this Roman celebration. You can read about it here if you’d like! http://www.novaroma.org/religio_romana/saturnalia.html

Have an incredibly Merry Christmas!

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