Christmas is a festival of love, light and celebrations. It’s an occasion for cakes, garlic bread, wine, Christmas carol and evening get-togethers.
We all look forward to it eagerly. Amidst all the celebration, one does get a little curious to know the roots of the festival. Let us the browse over a concise summary of the origin of Christmas.
Origin of Christmas – Pagan History
There are many deductions and historical inferences than can be drawn here. Some of them are stated below:-
The early Romans who were mostly pagans use to observe a holiday known as the Saturnalia. This included lavish celebrations and festivities between December 17-25th. Here the Roman courts claimed that no one would be penalized for any damage caused to property amidst the weeklong celebrations.
Back in the 4th century, Christianity imported the festival of Saturnalia planning to take pagan masses with it. The leaders were successful in converting and hence Saturnalia thus came to be celebrated as a Christian festival.
Origin of the Christmas Customs
The origin of Christmas Tree
As the Christians appointed the Roman pagans by linking Saturnalia with Christmas, there was the Asheira cult that was given the charge of sanctioning the Christmas trees in the church. The pagans previously were nature worshippers. They devoted themselves to the forest gods and the other elemental gods. Later on, the people took the Christmas trees back at their home and decorated it. It was also covered with a Christian covering.
The Origin of Christmas Mistletoe
We all are now aware of the Christmas mistletoe and couples exchanging a kiss under it. This is what the modern adaptation has zeroed down to. This too has an ancient origin.
According to the history of Norse, it was god Balder, who was killed by a mistletoe arrow, by his rival god Hoder. They both were fighting for the love of a female deity named Nanna. The Druid ritual has been to use the mistletoe to poison their human who would be sacrificed. The modern tradition of kissing under the mistletoe has romantic connotations that have developed in the contemporary times.
Origin of Christmas Presents
Back in history the pre-Christian Romans, emperors use to force their subjects to get presents and offerings during this time. This treatment was basically for the citizens who the kings and emperors despised. Later on this ritual of gifts gained popularity amongst the population. The Catholic Church treated this custom much later gave it a Christian flavor. This was done by associating this with the Saint Nicholas’s gift giving.
The Origin of Santa Claus
One of the important and fascinating facts about the origin of Christmas is the advent of Santa Claus. There are many theories that considered in this regard. One of the most credible connections that have been traced is that of Saint Nicholas.
Saint Nicholas was said to be born in Parara, in Turkey and was later known as the Bishop of Myra. There were several who idolized him. Nicholas back in the year 1807 supplanted a women boon-giving idol known as the Grandmother. This grandmother used to fill the stalking and socks of children with fun-filled gifts. From here came the context of Santa Claus.
These are some interesting facts bordering around the origin of Christmas.
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