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Tony Grist

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Happy Holidays [Dec. 21st, 2005|04:24 pm]
Tony Grist
The Winter Solstice has been THE big seasonal festival in the Northern hemisphere since prehistoric times.

Stands to reason: This is when the sun starts coming back. Who wouldn't want to celebrate?

Very few of the trimmings of Christmas are specifically Christian. Fir trees, holly, mistletoe, fat beardy men in fur-coats, reindeer- not many of any of these were to be found in the neighbourhood of Bethlehem in the good old days of Caesar Augustus.

The early Church worked on the sound principle "if you can't beat 'em join 'em". Finding they couldn't stop people decking their halls with boughs of holly, the fathers co-opted the festival by declaring it the birthday of their own Sun-god.

Cool.

Come on in, Jesus, and meet the gang. The guy in the mask is Horus and that's Dionysus presiding over the punch-bowl and the Japanese lady in the shiny dress is Amaterasu.....
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: forestdweller
2005-12-21 09:29 am (UTC)
*CHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER*

Hear hear. Huzzah. Ya. ^_^

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-12-21 12:21 pm (UTC)
We need to spread the word. Christmas/the Winter Solstice/Yule belongs to everyone.

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[User Picture]From: zoe_1418
2005-12-21 09:33 am (UTC)

Happy to you too!

I just love the Winter Solstice. One year when I was feeling particularly depressed, back when I was living in Seattle, I happened to go for a walk around Green Lake (3 miles on a paved path) just at sunset on the solstice. I focused on the fact that the days would now start to become longer, and it gave me comfort. It happened to be a Tuesday. So every Tuesday after that, at about the same time, I took that walk, and gradually I could see the difference in the light (that is, there was more and more), until, months later, it was actually *afternoon* on my walks. I loved that ritual.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-12-21 12:17 pm (UTC)

Re: Happy to you too!

What a brilliant thing to do!
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[User Picture]From: solar_diablo
2005-12-21 10:11 am (UTC)
The winter solstice doesn't quite have the same significance for me, living as I do in a desert (after all, the sun shines here about 330 days a year). If anything, I get excited more around the summer solstice, because it means the sun's fury will begin to wane.

That being said, for the last two years now I've saved a 12" section of the Christmas tree trunk, which then serves as next year's Yule log. The fire is started with a splinter from the previous year's log, which has sat on the lintel of the front door all year. It's a nice little ritual my daughter enjoys and the three of us can do together as a family.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-12-21 12:19 pm (UTC)
It's no accident that most of the Christmas traditions that have stuck were dreamed up in the far north.

I like your Yule log ritual. I wish we had an open fireplace.
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[User Picture]From: besideserato
2005-12-21 01:06 pm (UTC)
And a joyous summer wish from your friend in the Southern Hemisphere!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-12-22 03:12 am (UTC)
It must be really odd celebrating Christmas at midsummer.
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[User Picture]From: besideserato
2005-12-22 09:36 am (UTC)
I have lived in the tropics so long that it doesn't really weird me out. At least here they don't wrap palm trees with lights and sprinkle sand everywhere like it's snow! LOL
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From: minnesattva
2005-12-21 01:52 pm (UTC)
Man, that Dionysus makes some excellent punch, doesn't he?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-12-22 03:12 am (UTC)
The best!
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