When and why did Christmas become so main stream?

December 25, 2015 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Society

Biz-find christmas tree

Since the Bible really has no mention to the date or time of the birth of Jesus. I began to do some research into when and why we celebrate Christmas the way we do today.

Seems that as far back as 4,000 years ago we have been celebrating the winter solstice in the Northern hemisphere, where we would rejoice in the time of year when it would actually start getting lighter each day and signal the end of winter, although it was still cold for another two months at least.

Biz-find winter-scene

Biz-find winter-scene

Europeans are quite a rowdy lot at this time of the year, maybe we are trying to keep warm, and history has not changed much, the Germanic peoples prayed to Oden, and the Scandinavians had their Yule (yes and I thought it was part of a tree as well, see you do learn from my blogs).

The Romans honoured Satrnalia Juvenalia and Mirthra the sun God. Saturnalia was a celebration of the reversal of the rulers, as in for a day; the servants run amok, much to the hilarity and dismay of the house masters.

300 Years after the death of Jesus Christ; Pope Julius I “arbitrarily” chose December 25th as the day for the “Feast of the Nativity”, why he chose the 25th of December as the official birthday of Christ no-one is really sure, but an educated guess was that many Europeans were already celebrating this time of year anyway with their Gods, why not introduce Christianity into the mix, a bit late, but you never know. It took a good 400 years for the nativity to become widespread throughout Europe, but seems the late entry to the season was a runaway winner.

The middle ages saw Christmas as an excuse for revelry as people would attend ‘Christ Maas’ (sic) and then afterward grab a beggar and dress him up and he would become the ‘lord of misrule’ heading the mob door to door of the well-heeled at the time, demanding food and drink.

This was a metaphorical demonstration of the righting of wrongs by the opulent. Any excuse for free ale if you ask me! There was a heavy forfeit by the mob for refusing; I am starting to see the makings of Halloween trick or treat here are you?

Enter Oliver Cromwell, the great party pooper of the 1640’s and he outright banned Christmas parties, and he had a point; he actually read the Bible, and no-where does it say go out threaten your neighbours and get stinking drunk! Neither does the good book even allude to when Christ was born, so it was all outlawed.

Biz-find Cromwell

Biz-find Cromwell

You would be going to work as normal in the dark winter hours of mid-December if you were living under Cromwell’s rule.

Things really did not start to look like Christmas as we know it today till the 1800’s really and the great Charles Dickens, a fighter for reform and one of the world’s most adored writers and Philanthropists wrote a Christmas Carol, which really changed people’s perception of Christmas to a time of goodwill for all men and a bonus of the boss ‘Thank you Sire’.

Many other influences came to be the norm like; the Christmas tree, which stems from the Egyptians and Hebrews all wanting to see some greenery in the barren season putting a tree up in their homes. Martin Luther the Christian reformer in the 1600’s added candles to his tree.

Later in the mid 1800’s Queen Victoria and Albert had a tree at Christmas time, soon after that, followed the illustrated book ‘The Christmas tree’ and newspaper reports of the Royal family having a tree at Windsor where they all sat around during Christmas, all came to be part of modern culture in the modern age.

Biz-find Victorian Christmas tree

Biz-find Victorian Christmas tree

The truth is Pagans were celebrating the winter solstice many centuries before Christianity jumped on the bandwagon.

If you are a conspiracy theorist, then you may say; well there had to be something to stop the working class from being too miserable and drinking themselves stupid or even topping themselves  during the long dark cold nights, I mean where would the rich be without the poor, sadly whips don’t work anymore so we have to keep them alive somehow?

Biz-find hopes you find comfort at Christmas, and try to remember many just want it to be over as the pain of the people not there, can be too much to bear some times.

Christmas with Biz-find

Christmas with Biz-find

RIP; Mum, Mel, and Tommy xx

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