My dear readers,
I thank you for taking this journey with me by reading my blog and sharing your comments, you know how much I love hearing from you. I hope that the year 2011 will bring each and every one of you health, wealth, happiness with your loved ones. Merry Christmas!!
Real History of Christmas
History of Christmas is full of controversies. Real History of Christmas aims to extract the actual story behind it. The word Christmas is derived from the word Cristes Maesse or the Mass of Christ. According to the Gospel of Matthew Christ was born in the time of king Herod I between 6-4 BC. According to the True History of Christmas during the first two centuries after Christ’s death Christmas was not celebrated. During the Cromwellian period in England Christmas was completely banned by the Puritans. In 349A.D Pope Julius formally selected December 25 as the day of Christmas.
There were numerous pagan festivals that occurred in the middle of winter. Winter Solstice became the “birthday” of several gods: Attis, Frey, Thor, Dionysus, Osiris, Adonis, Mithra, and so on. They influenced Real History of Christmas greatly. The Roman citizens observed the birthday of the sun god Mithras on December25. In Scandinavia, the Norse celebrated Yule from December 21. In recognition of the return of the sun, fathers and sons brought home large logs, which they would set on fire. The people would feast until the log burned out. In Germany, people honored the pagan god Oden during the mid-winter holiday. Oden made nocturnal flights through the sky to observe his people, and then decided who would prosper or perish.
The Real History of Christmas also refers to The Jewish festival of Lights known as Hanukkah that took place on the 25th day of the Hebrew month approximately in December by the Roman calendar. Mistletoe is an old Celtic symbol of regeneration and eternal life. The Romans valued it as a symbol of peace and this led to its usage as one of the common Christmas symbols in the pages of Real History of Christmas.
Christmas Celebrations are incomplete without the Christmas Tree. Christmas Tree its Origin and History dates back to the 16th century, as during this period the people of Germany brought the Christmas Tree, which was then known as the ‘Paradeisbaum’ (paradise trees) into their house to celebrate the feast of Adam and Eve on 24th December. Martin Luther is believed to have strong connections with the Christmas Tree its Origin and History. The story goes that Martin Luther, who was a monk in Germany while returning home was amazed at the sight of the stars that twinkled through the branches of the tree. In order to arouse among his family members the feeling of delight which he felt on seeing that sight, went to the forest and cut down a small fir tree. He brought the fir tree home and decorated it with candles, which were symbolic of the stars of the night sky. From then onwards the fir tree has become an integral part of the Christmas Therefore it can be said that the Christmas tree has its roots in Germany.
Many legends and stories are related to the Christmas tree. According to history, St. Boniface went to Germany to make people aware of the teachings of God. He got furious when he saw that some pagans were worshipping an oak tree. Out of his anger he cut down the oak tree. As soon as the oak tree got cut, St. Boniface noticed that from the very roots of the oak tree a fir tree had sprung up. St. Boniface made this fir tree a symbol of the Holy Trinity made up of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
The origin of Santa Claus begins in the 4th century with Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, an area in present day Turkey. By all accounts St. Nicholas was a generous man, particularly devoted to children. After his death around 340 A.D. he was buried in Myra, but in 1087 Italian sailors purportedly stole his remains and removed them to Bari, Italy, greatly increasing St. Nicholas’ popularity throughout Europe.
His kindness and reputation for generosity gave rise to claims he that he could perform miracles and devotion to him increased. St. Nicholas became the patron saint of Russia, where he was known by his red cape, flowing white beard, and bishop’s mitre.
In Greece, he is the patron saint of sailors, in France he was the patron of lawyers, and in Belgium the patron of children and travellers. Thousands of churches across Europe were dedicated to him and some time around the 12th century an official church holiday was created in his honor. The Feast of St. Nicholas was celebrated December 6 and the day was marked by gift-giving and charity.
After the Reformation, European followers of St. Nicholas dwindled, but the legend was kept alive in Holland where the Dutch spelling of his name Sint Nikolaas was eventually transformed to Sinterklaas. Dutch children would leave their wooden shoes by the fireplace, and Sinterklaas would reward good children by placing treats in their shoes. Dutch colonists brought brought this tradition with them to America in the 17th century and here the Anglican name of Santa Claus emerged.
A native Mexican plant, poinsettias were named after Joel R. Poinsett, U.S. ambassador to Mexico who brought the plant to America in 1828. Poinsettias were likely used by Mexican Franciscans in their 17th century Christmas celebrations. One legend has it that a young Mexican boy, on his way to visit the village Nativity scene, realized he had no gift for the Christ child. He gathered pretty green branches from along the road and brought them to the church. Though the other children mocked him, when the leaves were laid at the manger, a beautiful star-shaped flower appeared on each branch. The bright red petals, often mistaken for flowers, are actually the upper leaves of the plant.