Monday, December 25, 2006

Isn't There Anyone Who Knows What Christmas Is All About?

5 Comments:

At 3:46 AM, Anonymous A. Friend said...

Amen to that

 
At 1:20 PM, Blogger Space Cadet 'R' said...

Glad you asked, Jesus!

Via Bitchasaurus

During the winter months darkness seems to eat away at the daylight.

The daylight is at its minimum on December 21, the winter solstice (northern hemisphere). After the 21st the days slowly get longer and longer until the summer solstice. Each of these periods are celebrated in many cultures throughout history. However, the winter solstice is the more popular of the two.

In ancient Egypt, their god-man Osiris died and was entombed on December 21. Egyptian writings then recall the rituals would have the priests emerge from an inner shrine at midnight yelling “The Virgin has brought fourth! The light is waxing” and then held up the image of a baby to the worshipers. Hmm, sound familiar.

Ancient Greece had a lot of festival around the time of the winter solstice. One was the called Lenaea the Festival of the Wild Women. A man (representing the god of wine Dionysos) was sacrificed and eaten by nine women. Yummy Later in the ritual, after the cannibalism and a dance or two Dionysos would be reborn as a baby. Thankfully by classical times the human was replaced by a goat and the women’s role was changed to that of funeral mourners and spectators of the birth.

Romans are the first culture to perfect the melting pot concept. Because of the empires shear size many religions were being practiced within the empire. If the Romans were to popularize one over the other, they would risk rebellion. Thankfully most of the religions celebrated the birth of a god like man during the solstice (sound familiar). So they just blended them all to a single festival called the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun. Can you guess the date, yep December 25th.

The people of the region that is now Iran celebrated Shabe-Yalda. It is the birthday of the rebirth of the sun. People gathered around low tables, told stories, read poetry, and ate watermelons, pomegranates and special dried fruit.

 
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