Christmas in Former Times

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capt_buzzard
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Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 12:00 pm

Christmas in Former Times

Post by capt_buzzard »

Apart from the mulled wine,present giving, mince pies, Christmas is berried holly and mistletoe.

Mistletoe was a favourite Christmas decoration in ancient Ireland. It is named after the missel thrush. Sometimes called 'Druids Tears' from the days when the Druids cut the plant from trees with golden knives and always kept a pice in their homes to ward off sorrow and evil spirits.

HOLLY, taken from the Old English word 'holen', has been a favourite winder plant for thousands of years. It is believed that good spirits lived in its branches and sprigs were taken into homes for luck and prosperity.

To indulge in the Christmas traditions of going out to collect cuttings of holly for the festive decorations can be fun, and of course, preparing the traditional door wreath with red-berried sprigs of holly and the' mistletoe Kiss' when a berry is plucked after each kiss for good luck.
A Karenina
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Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 8:36 am

Christmas in Former Times

Post by A Karenina »

Very nice :)
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

Aristotle
gmc
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2004 9:44 am

Christmas in Former Times

Post by gmc »

Course you do know all these are pagan symbols and festivals taken over and sanitised by the christians as they gave up trying to stop people celebrating the change of the seasons. (I'm not trying not offend anybody especially christians) I'm not a pagan but if you are away in the wilds at this time of year you do get a real sense of the change in the seasons, especially up north as the days begin to get longer again. I always think there must have been a real sense that you had survived another winter and things were about to get better so let's celebrate. there's an almost palbable sense of change. Same with easter, they could not stop the fertility rites so made it in to a christian festival.

New year has always been the more important celebration up here-don't know about ireland. Don't know if it the same nowadays but scottish food stores used to take in more between christmas and new year than they did before christmas as people got ready to welcome the new year and relatives gathered at the family home.

The first foot being tall dark and handsome supposedly dates back to viking times when if he was tall and blonde with a battleaxe you were in serious trouble. I doubt it but like the theory.

The decorating of the evergreen chrismas tree is a german tradition imported with the hanoverians. Allegedly the draping of the tree was a throwback to when they would drape the entrails of animals they had just killed as an offering to the gods of the forest. Being cynical if you were hungry enough you would eat everything and not waste it giving it to the gods.

I have seen it suggested that both christianity and islam are both desert religons, which explains the harshness of the old testament, and have no place in northern europe but then what would be the alternative?
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capt_buzzard
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Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 12:00 pm

Christmas in Former Times

Post by capt_buzzard »

gmc wrote: Course you do know all these are pagan symbols and festivals taken over and sanitised by the christians as they gave up trying to stop people celebrating the change of the seasons. (I'm not trying not offend anybody especially christians) I'm not a pagan but if you are away in the wilds at this time of year you do get a real sense of the change in the seasons, especially up north as the days begin to get longer again. I always think there must have been a real sense that you had survived another winter and things were about to get better so let's celebrate. there's an almost palbable sense of change. Same with easter, they could not stop the fertility rites so made it in to a christian festival.

New year has always been the more important celebration up here-don't know about ireland. Don't know if it the same nowadays but scottish food stores used to take in more between christmas and new year than they did before christmas as people got ready to welcome the new year and relatives gathered at the family home.

The first foot being tall dark and handsome supposedly dates back to viking times when if he was tall and blonde with a battleaxe you were in serious trouble. I doubt it but like the theory.

The decorating of the evergreen chrismas tree is a german tradition imported with the hanoverians. Allegedly the draping of the tree was a throwback to when they would drape the entrails of animals they had just killed as an offering to the gods of the forest. Being cynical if you were hungry enough you would eat everything and not waste it giving it to the gods.

I have seen it suggested that both christianity and islam are both desert religons, which explains the harshness of the old testament, and have no place in northern europe but then what would be the alternative? 2 true
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Bill Sikes
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Christmas in Former Times

Post by Bill Sikes »

Here is one link from a Google "Christmas tree custom origin":

http://www.stavacademy.co.uk/mimir/christmastree.htm

There are many others!

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