Ugly history of Christmas celebrations
Posted: 24 December 2016 08:32 AM   [ Ignore ]
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The piece gets its digs at atheists, as you would expect,  but also shows that atheists were by far not the only nor the first nor the most far reaching in expressing negative opinions about Christmas celebrations.


The Saturday Essay

By Gerry Bowler

For 2,000 years, believers and nonbelievers alike have fought over the meaning and traditions of a repeatedly reinvented holiday
For most of the last two millennia, people have been arguing about Christmas—struggling to adopt it, abolish it, reform it, marginalize it, appropriate it or suppress it. The earliest Christians were at first indifferent to any sort of celebration. They were more interested in the imminent return of Jesus than in his obscure earthly origins. Only pagans, they told themselves, marked the birthday of their rulers or heroes.

But pressure from those who denied that the Christ had taken a physical body—or who denied that he had ever existed—prompted the Church to take the events of the Nativity more seriously. No sooner had the faithful decided to invent a Christmas festival than they were disagreeing about when it should be: Rome and Western Europe had decided on Dec. 25; the great eastern cities of Alexandria, Jerusalem and Antioch fought a losing battle for Jan. 6.

The choice of a midwinter date created a new problem: how to keep the holiday free from the customs of the pagan celebrations that were going on at the same time. For centuries, the Church would rail against the greenery, gift-giving, drunkenness, dancing, cross-dressing and nighttime disorder of Saturnalia and the Kalends of January (the Roman New Year).

Some of these battles would be won (few of us mark Christmas anymore by dressing in animal skins), and some harmless practices, such as the use of candles and greenery, were sanctified and found a lasting place in the holiday.

For centuries, the lower clergy nurtured a number of bizarre customs in the spirit of turning the familiar social order upside down—an idea at the heart of the Christmas story. In the Feast of Fools, rowdy young clerics in medieval France would mock sacred ceremonies, play dice at the altar, caper about dressed as women or minstrels and stink up the church with the smoke of burning shoes. Popes and kings eventually outlawed such practices.

By 1500, Christmas was well-established as a beloved festival, a time of deep piety but also of sanctioned merrymaking. It was the season of charity and, in the figure of St. Nicholas, European children had a magical gift-bringer, an avatar of generosity. The Protestant Reformation soon engulfed the continent in religious controversy, however, and celebration of the Nativity became a victim.

In many countries, the abolition of the Catholic cult of saints drove St. Nicholas away, and Christmas itself disappeared in some places. The authorities in 16th-century Scotland arrested people for baking seasonal treats, offering hospitality to neighbors and, in the words of officials in Aberdeen, “playing, dancing and singing of filthy carols on Yule Day,” while ministers equated carol-singing
with fornication.

More at:  Wall Street Journal http://www.wsj.com/articles/christmas-embattled-from-the-beginning-1482501600

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Posted: 24 December 2016 07:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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LoisL - 24 December 2016 08:32 AM

The choice of a midwinter date created a new problem: how to keep the holiday free from the customs of the pagan celebrations that were going on at the same time. For centuries, the Church would rail against the greenery, gift-giving, drunkenness, dancing, cross-dressing and nighttime disorder of Saturnalia and the Kalends of January (the Roman New Year).

Some of these battles would be won (few of us mark Christmas anymore by dressing in animal skins), and some harmless practices, such as the use of candles and greenery, were sanctified and found a lasting place in the holiday.

Well that quote doesn’t do anything for this guy’s legitimacy.

Christmas was placed at the winter solstice precisely because those were long established religious practices.

I think this is more an advocacy piece than any objective historical review.

For the other side of this argument:

The Shocking Pagan Origin of CHRISTMAS!
http://www.hope-of-israel.org/cmas1.htm

Now this one takes the opposite position, although in an early paragraph they pull a most dishonest intellectually slight of rhetoric.

The answer is no. The arguments for the supposed pagan origins of Christmas are overblown, and even where there are some tinges of pagan roots in our practices, that doesn’t mean we are practicing paganism.

I can’t think of anyone claiming anything that.  The point is that pagan holidays were usurped by Christians, and blasted over with their religious beliefs.

And some bubble gum to finish up with.

http://www.livescience.com/25779-christmas-traditions-history-paganism.html

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Posted: 24 December 2016 09:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 24 December 2016 07:17 PM
LoisL - 24 December 2016 08:32 AM

The choice of a midwinter date created a new problem: how to keep the holiday free from the customs of the pagan celebrations that were going on at the same time. For centuries, the Church would rail against the greenery, gift-giving, drunkenness, dancing, cross-dressing and nighttime disorder of Saturnalia and the Kalends of January (the Roman New Year).

Some of these battles would be won (few of us mark Christmas anymore by dressing in animal skins), and some harmless practices, such as the use of candles and greenery, were sanctified and found a lasting place in the holiday.

Well that quote doesn’t do anything for this guy’s legitimacy.

Christmas was placed at the winter solstice precisely because those were long established religious practices.

I think this is more an advocacy piece than any objective historical review.

For the other side of this argument:

The Shocking Pagan Origin of CHRISTMAS!
http://www.hope-of-israel.org/cmas1.htm

Now this one takes the opposite position, although in an early paragraph they pull a most dishonest intellectually slight of rhetoric.

The answer is no. The arguments for the supposed pagan origins of Christmas are overblown, and even where there are some tinges of pagan roots in our practices, that doesn’t mean we are practicing paganism.

I can’t think of anyone claiming anything that.  The point is that pagan holidays were usurped by Christians, and blasted over with their religious beliefs.

And some bubble gum to finish up with.

http://www.livescience.com/25779-christmas-traditions-history-paganism.html

Saturnalia was also celebrated at the end of December. I like Saturnalia and would like to celebrate it. It gives me the opportunity to be nice to my slaves. I found a picture online of Romans celebrating Saturnalia. The words across the top said,“KEEP SATURN IN SATURNALIA”. ☺️

Lois

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Posted: 25 December 2016 03:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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LoisL - 24 December 2016 09:11 PM

Saturnalia was also celebrated at the end of December. I like Saturnalia and would like to celebrate it. It gives me the opportunity to be nice to my slaves. I found a picture online of Romans celebrating Saturnalia. The words across the top said,“KEEP SATURN IN SATURNALIA”. ☺️

Lois

Sad to admit, I’ve heard of it, but didn’t know, or forgot, about it.

Gotta give them Romans credit, they knew how to party.
preview-6160.jpg?v=1481729771

But would you have really wanted to invite that guy?
display-6159.jpg
He looks like he could be a real downer.

But, they say it’s his party.  Hand me another goblet of wine and we’ll figure this out.
            tongue wink

Image source: http://www.ancient.eu/Saturnalia/
Ancient History Encyclopedia

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Posted: 26 December 2016 01:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Here is the real history of winter holidays, so take advantage of using our blog and reading this post! Note that our blog delivers only positive news and comprehensive knowledge: [URL removed. Sorry but this is too close to spamming, which is against the rules. dougsmith—Admin]

[ Edited: 26 December 2016 11:36 AM by dougsmith ]
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Posted: 26 December 2016 09:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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DavidBowie - 26 December 2016 01:57 AM

Here is the real history….... our blog delivers only positive news

Welcome to CFI.
But I hope you don’t mind me pointing out this may seem like an oxymoron to many of us.

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Posted: 26 December 2016 09:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Hmmm.
[Thanks for pointing this out CC but please do not do their work for them by reposting spammy URLs. dougsmith—Admin].

“Our services are exclusive in a way, that none of the other companies provides services of such a wide range. We can perform writing, rewriting, editing, revision and proofreading of your paper. We can handle the assignment of any academic level (High School gulp , College surprised , University grrr , Master’s ohh, PhD smirk  ). You can choose the items, which are the most suitable for you.”

What do they do other’s homework for a fee?

[ Edited: 26 December 2016 11:38 AM by dougsmith ]
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