If you love Christmas, thank a Pagan

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by GQ, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. GQ

    GQ Guest

    If you love Christmas, thank a pagan
    By SUSAN GABLE
    Judging from recent columns and letters, it seems many readers believe
    Christians were the first to have the idea of a midwinter holiday.
    It's time to set the record straight.

    Many, if not most, early pagan cultures celebrated the winter
    solstice. The ancient Romans celebrated Saturnalia, in honor of the
    god of agriculture, in December. It was a time of masquerades in the
    streets, festive banquets, visiting friends, decorating with garlands
    of green accented with candles, and exchanging good-luck gifts.

    The upper-class followers of the Persian god Mithra celebrated his
    birthday on Dec. 25, the ''Birth of the Unconquerable Sun.'' Ancient
    Mesopotamians celebrated Zagmuk, when they believed their chief god
    Marduk would do battle with the forces of chaos for 12 days near the
    winter solstice.

    The Norse celebrated yule from the solstice into January, with the
    burning of the yule log and feasts. Germanic countries honored Oden in
    December. It was believed that he made nocturnal flights, checking up
    on his people and deciding who would prosper and who would perish
    during the coming year. Throughout Europe, people had ways of
    celebrating the return of longer days as the winter solstice passed.

    Around 350 AD, Pope Julius I was the first to declare Dec. 25 as the
    day to celebrate the birth of Christ. Earlier observances of the birth
    of Jesus had been solemn remembrances on different dates.

    Church leaders apparently hoped that the pagan holidays celebrated
    then would eventually be celebrated simply as Christmas. For the most
    part, they succeeded in transferring the customs from the old gods to
    the new one, though the custom of coming home from church to start a
    raucous, drunken celebration was probably not entirely what they had
    in mind.

    After the Reformation, some Protestant groups banned the celebration
    of Christmas altogether on the grounds that it was primarily a pagan
    celebration. The Puritans noted that the Bible gives no date for the
    birth of Jesus as part of their argument against observing Christmas.

    Celebrating Christmas was illegal in Boston from 1659 to 1681.

    Congress was in session on Dec. 25, 1789, the first Christmas under
    the new Constitution, a remnant of the Puritan rejection of the
    holiday. Christmas wasn't declared a federal holiday until 1870, after
    waves of new immigrants had arrived bringing their Christmas customs
    with them.

    In short, anyone who enjoys the traditions of the season - decorating,
    visiting with friends and family, feasting, exchanging gifts - should
    thank a pagan and wish him ''Happy Holidays.''

    Susan Gable lives in Mashpee.

    http://www.capecodonline.com/archives/7days/thurs/myview.htm
     
    Tags:


  2. X-No-archive: yes
    GQ wrote:
    > The upper-class followers of the Persian god Mithra celebrated his
    > birthday on Dec. 25, the ''Birth of the Unconquerable Sun.''


    There is very little if any evidence for this in the historical record,
    however.

    The idea that modern Christmas has pagan origins is not true, in our
    culture at least.

    All the best,

    Roger Pearse
     
  3. Peter Aitken

    Peter Aitken Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > X-No-archive: yes
    > GQ wrote:
    >> The upper-class followers of the Persian god Mithra celebrated his
    >> birthday on Dec. 25, the ''Birth of the Unconquerable Sun.''

    >
    > There is very little if any evidence for this in the historical record,
    > however.
    >
    > The idea that modern Christmas has pagan origins is not true, in our
    > culture at least.
    >
    > All the best,
    >
    > Roger Pearse
    >


    I have to disagree with you on this. The Christians were very good at
    co-opting earlier ceremonies and festivals, and almost all of the things
    associated with modern Xmas - evergreens, yule logs, gift giving - were part
    of pagan winter solstice ceremonies. It's actually more accurate to say that
    modern Xmas has no Christian origins. It was at best a very minor Christian
    holiday for centuries, and at worst was ignored or actively condemned by
    some Christian groups. Modern Xmas is more an invention of retailers and
    card merchants.


    --
    Peter Aitken
     
  4. I second the motion. My secular history textbook at a secular college
    said that the reason why the Roman Empire made such phenomenal conquests
    is that they would incorporate the pagan religious customs of each group
    into some Roman Catholic ritual(s) in order to more easily attract
    them so they could be more easily conquered. If you think about it, it
    was a really intelligent way to assimilate them.

    Peter Aitken wrote:
    >
    > I have to disagree with you on this. The Christians were very good at
    > co-opting earlier ceremonies and festivals, and almost all of the things
    > associated with modern Xmas - evergreens, yule logs, gift giving - were part
    > of pagan winter solstice ceremonies. It's actually more accurate to say that
    > modern Xmas has no Christian origins. It was at best a very minor Christian
     
  5. [email protected] wrote:

    > The idea that modern Christmas has pagan origins is not true, in our
    > culture at least.


    Without parsing that sentence down to it's split hairs, much of what
    combines to be modern Christmas has been brought into the whole thing
    from outside influences; pagan, cultural, social or whatever. For
    examples: the Romans and their Saturnalia festival timing, the northern
    "barbarians" and their trees, and the legends surrounding St.
    Nikolas/Sinterklaas/Santa Claus.

    The reverse position holds no strength, that Christmas is a purely
    Christian creation owing nothing to anyone else.

    Pastorio
     
  6. Ophelia

    Ophelia Guest

    "Bob (this one)" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > [email protected] wrote:
    >
    >> The idea that modern Christmas has pagan origins is not true, in our
    >> culture at least.

    >
    > Without parsing that sentence down to it's split hairs, much of what
    > combines to be modern Christmas has been brought into the whole thing
    > from outside influences; pagan, cultural, social or whatever. For
    > examples: the Romans and their Saturnalia festival timing, the
    > northern "barbarians" and their trees, and the legends surrounding St.
    > Nikolas/Sinterklaas/Santa Claus.
    >
    > The reverse position holds no strength, that Christmas is a purely
    > Christian creation owing nothing to anyone else.


    I think the OP was being disingenuous.

    O
     
  7. The Pagans I've encountered are just about the stupidest persons I've
    ever known...they fall into the "New Age" category and IMNSHO that
    should re - named the "Moron" category...

    --
    Best
    Greg "I think it's time to get re - birthed..."


    GQ wrote:
    > If you love Christmas, thank a pagan


    [SNIP idjit twaddle]
     
  8. Pan Ohco

    Pan Ohco Guest

    On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 08:14:35 -0800, Melinda Meahan - take out TRASH to
    send wrote:

    >I second the motion. My secular history textbook at a secular college
    >said that the reason why the Roman Empire made such phenomenal conquests
    >is that they would incorporate the pagan religious customs of each group

    This was done before Christianity. As in the Romans incorporating
    Greek gods and practices in to their religion.

    > into some Roman Catholic ritual(s) in order to more easily attract
    >them so they could be more easily conquered. If you think about it, it
    >was a really intelligent way to assimilate them.
    >
    >Peter Aitken wrote:
    >>
    >> I have to disagree with you on this. The Christians were very good at
    >> co-opting earlier ceremonies and festivals, and almost all of the things
    >> associated with modern Xmas - evergreens, yule logs, gift giving - were part
    >> of pagan winter solstice ceremonies.

    Agreed.

    >>It's actually more accurate to say that
    >> modern Xmas has no Christian origins. It was at best a very minor Christian

    Christmas is one of two core beliefs in christianity.
    The "x" was use as replacement for "Christ" during years of
    prosecution. Until modern times when it is being use, to remove the
    word "Christ" from Christmas.
     
  9. kevnbro

    kevnbro Guest

    >The Pagans I've encountered are just about the stupidest persons I've ever known...they fall into the "New Age" category and IMNSHO that should re - named the "Moron" category...

    Yet another fine example of "believe what I believe or you're a
    moron/evil/unpatriotic/going to hell/immoral/unethical/a liberal/a
    terrorst etc. etc. etc. etc. insert self-rightious accusation here".
    Kev
     
  10. On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 11:17:21 -0600, Pan Ohco <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Christmas is one of two core beliefs in christianity.
    > The "x" was use as replacement for "Christ" during years of
    > prosecution.


    > Until modern times when it is being use, to remove the
    > word "Christ" from Christmas.


    That bugs me. I don't consider myself a Christian at this point in my
    life, but have in the past.

    And never having been a Roman Catholic, I'm still offended by one
    church in particular, in the St. Paul area. It's called Presentation
    of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They refer to her as BVM. I think these
    things show a lack of respect.

    Keep the Christ in Christmas. I used to take a ceramics class. I
    made a music box that shows Santa on his knees, showing respect for
    the baby Jesus. I love that piece. It plays Silent Night.

    Carol
    --

    http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/head_trollop/my_photos
     
  11. kevnbro wrote:

    > >The Pagans I've encountered are just about the stupidest persons I've ever known...they fall into the "New Age" category and IMNSHO that should re - named the "Moron" category...

    >
    > Yet another fine example of "believe what I believe or you're a
    > moron/evil/unpatriotic/going to hell/immoral/unethical/a liberal/a
    > terrorst etc. etc. etc. etc. insert self-rightious accusation here".



    Yet you cannot refute the veracity of what I said - go ahead, TRY...

    --
    Best
    Greg
     
  12. jmcquown

    jmcquown Guest

    Gregory Morrow wrote:
    > kevnbro wrote:
    >
    >>> The Pagans I've encountered are just about the stupidest persons
    >>> I've ever known...they fall into the "New Age" category and IMNSHO
    >>> that should re - named the "Moron" category...

    >>
    >> Yet another fine example of "believe what I believe or you're a
    >> moron/evil/unpatriotic/going to hell/immoral/unethical/a liberal/a
    >> terrorst etc. etc. etc. etc. insert self-rightious accusation here".

    >
    >
    > Yet you cannot refute the veracity of what I said - go ahead, TRY...


    Thank you for calling me stupid.

    Jill
     
  13. Ophelia wrote:

    > "Bob (this one)" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > > [email protected] wrote:
    > >
    > >> The idea that modern Christmas has pagan origins is not true, in our
    > >> culture at least.

    > >
    > > Without parsing that sentence down to it's split hairs, much of what
    > > combines to be modern Christmas has been brought into the whole thing
    > > from outside influences; pagan, cultural, social or whatever. For
    > > examples: the Romans and their Saturnalia festival timing, the
    > > northern "barbarians" and their trees, and the legends surrounding St.
    > > Nikolas/Sinterklaas/Santa Claus.
    > >
    > > The reverse position holds no strength, that Christmas is a purely
    > > Christian creation owing nothing to anyone else.

    >
    > I think the OP was being disingenuous.



    Or merely stupid...

    --
    Best
    Greg
     
  14. Kate  B

    Kate B Guest

    "Melinda Meahan - take out TRASH to send" <[email protected]> wrote in
    message news:[email protected]
    > I second the motion. My secular history textbook at a secular college
    > said that the reason why the Roman Empire made such phenomenal conquests
    > is that they would incorporate the pagan religious customs of each group
    > into some Roman Catholic ritual(s) in order to more easily attract
    > them so they could be more easily conquered. If you think about it, it
    > was a really intelligent way to assimilate them.


    What are you talking about and please identify the "secular" college that
    had text books that taught that the Roman Empire was operating with the
    Roman Catholic church as its guiding light? Christianity was not exactly
    popular during the empire building era of ancient Rome. While I agree with
    what Peter Aitken said what you contributed is pure and utter BS.

    Kate
    >
    > Peter Aitken wrote:
    > >
    > > I have to disagree with you on this. The Christians were very good at
    > > co-opting earlier ceremonies and festivals, and almost all of the things
    > > associated with modern Xmas - evergreens, yule logs, gift giving - were

    part
    > > of pagan winter solstice ceremonies. It's actually more accurate to say

    that
    > > modern Xmas has no Christian origins. It was at best a very minor

    Christian
     
  15. In article <[email protected]>,
    Damsel in dis Dress <[email protected]> wrote:

    > On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 11:17:21 -0600, Pan Ohco <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > Christmas is one of two core beliefs in christianity.
    > > The "x" was use as replacement for "Christ" during years of
    > > prosecution.

    >
    > > Until modern times when it is being use, to remove the
    > > word "Christ" from Christmas.

    >
    > That bugs me. I don't consider myself a Christian at this point in my
    > life, but have in the past.
    >
    > And never having been a Roman Catholic, I'm still offended by one
    > church in particular, in the St. Paul area. It's called Presentation
    > of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They refer to her as BVM. I think these
    > things show a lack of respect.
    >
    > Keep the Christ in Christmas. I used to take a ceramics class. I
    > made a music box that shows Santa on his knees, showing respect for
    > the baby Jesus. I love that piece. It plays Silent Night.
    >
    > Carol


    Perhaps some music


    Silent Night.... Rotary Connection


    Minnie Ripperton alas no longer here.


    Bill

    --
    Garden Shade Zone 5 S Jersey USA in a Japanese Jungle Manner.39.6376 -75.0208
    This article is posted under fair use rules in accordance with
    Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, and is strictly for the educational
    and informative purposes. This material is distributed without profit.
     
  16. Curly Sue

    Curly Sue Guest

    On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 13:23:16 -0500, William Wagner
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >In article <[email protected]>,
    > Damsel in dis Dress <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 11:17:21 -0600, Pan Ohco <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    >> > Christmas is one of two core beliefs in christianity.
    >> > The "x" was use as replacement for "Christ" during years of
    >> > prosecution.

    >>
    >> > Until modern times when it is being use, to remove the
    >> > word "Christ" from Christmas.

    >>
    >> That bugs me. I don't consider myself a Christian at this point in my
    >> life, but have in the past.
    >>
    >> And never having been a Roman Catholic, I'm still offended by one
    >> church in particular, in the St. Paul area. It's called Presentation
    >> of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They refer to her as BVM. I think these
    >> things show a lack of respect.
    >>
    >> Keep the Christ in Christmas. I used to take a ceramics class. I
    >> made a music box that shows Santa on his knees, showing respect for
    >> the baby Jesus. I love that piece. It plays Silent Night.
    >>
    >> Carol

    >
    >Perhaps some music
    >
    >
    >Silent Night.... Rotary Connection
    >
    >
    >Minnie Ripperton alas no longer here.
    >


    My guess it was one of the high notes in "loving you" that did her in
    :)

    Sue(tm)
    Lead me not into temptation... I can find it myself!
     
  17. GQ

    GQ Guest

    On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 11:17:21 -0600, Pan Ohco <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 08:14:35 -0800, Melinda Meahan - take out TRASH to
    >send wrote:
    >
    >>I second the motion. My secular history textbook at a secular college
    >>said that the reason why the Roman Empire made such phenomenal conquests
    >>is that they would incorporate the pagan religious customs of each group

    >This was done before Christianity. As in the Romans incorporating
    >Greek gods and practices in to their religion.
    >
    >> into some Roman Catholic ritual(s) in order to more easily attract
    >>them so they could be more easily conquered. If you think about it, it
    >>was a really intelligent way to assimilate them.
    >>
    >>Peter Aitken wrote:
    >>>
    >>> I have to disagree with you on this. The Christians were very good at
    >>> co-opting earlier ceremonies and festivals, and almost all of the things
    >>> associated with modern Xmas - evergreens, yule logs, gift giving - were part
    >>> of pagan winter solstice ceremonies.

    >Agreed.
    >
    >>>It's actually more accurate to say that
    >>> modern Xmas has no Christian origins. It was at best a very minor Christian

    >Christmas is one of two core beliefs in christianity.
    >The "x" was use as replacement for "Christ" during years of
    >prosecution. Until modern times when it is being use, to remove the
    >word "Christ" from Christmas.


    LOLOLOLOL Actually, most people use the "x" just to shorten the word
    and nothing more. I am sure some use it to not use the word Christ but
    more often than not is for shortening the word and nothing more. Do
    you also see conspiracies in a can of corn?
     
  18. GQ

    GQ Guest

    On 17 Dec 2005 09:03:28 -0800, "Gregory Morrow"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >The Pagans I've encountered are just about the stupidest persons I've
    >ever known...they fall into the "New Age" category and IMNSHO that
    >should re - named the "Moron" category...


    Unfortuately that seems to be the case for a goodly portion of them
    but there are true Pagans that people would not even know because they
    just live their lives without belittling others and without bothering
    others.
     
  19. GQ

    GQ Guest

    On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 11:58:02 -0600, "jmcquown"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Gregory Morrow wrote:
    >> kevnbro wrote:
    >>
    >>>> The Pagans I've encountered are just about the stupidest persons
    >>>> I've ever known...they fall into the "New Age" category and IMNSHO
    >>>> that should re - named the "Moron" category...
    >>>
    >>> Yet another fine example of "believe what I believe or you're a
    >>> moron/evil/unpatriotic/going to hell/immoral/unethical/a liberal/a
    >>> terrorst etc. etc. etc. etc. insert self-rightious accusation here".

    >>
    >>
    >> Yet you cannot refute the veracity of what I said - go ahead, TRY...

    >
    >Thank you for calling me stupid.
    >
    >Jill
    >

    Just ignore it Jill.
     
  20. Peter Aitken

    Peter Aitken Guest

    "Melinda Meahan - take out TRASH to send" <[email protected]> wrote in
    message news:[email protected]
    >I second the motion. My secular history textbook at a secular college said
    >that the reason why the Roman Empire made such phenomenal conquests is that
    >they would incorporate the pagan religious customs of each group into some
    >Roman Catholic ritual(s) in order to more easily attract them so they could
    >be more easily conquered. If you think about it, it was a really
    >intelligent way to assimilate them.
    >


    I think you need to check out that history book again. The time of the Roman
    Empire's great conquests was well before christinity was accepted as their
    official religion.

    --
    Peter Aitken
    Visit my recipe and kitchen myths page at www.pgacon.com/cooking.htm
     
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