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Forum LockedOrigins of Chirstmas???

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The Canadian Guy View Drop Down
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    Posted: 26-May-2009 at 07:39
I did I bit of research just bout now and I saw a page that has death in Chrismas. I didn't continue this research becuase I am on an ancient PC and too dam slow for my sanity to use allot. I read bout Roman Celebrations on the week of Chrismas that ended in death or misery. Liek i say, i didn't read it all, so don't give me any trouble for lack of evidence, but was there killings in the origins of the holiday? If so, why do we even celebrate it? Plz don't tell me "it brings humans together and peace on earth" crap. I don't celebrate it becuase I have better things to do on that day and saves me a bit of coin. Also it is 0238 and I am very tired. Plz can anyone give me some light on this matter? Here is the siite: unasked.com/question/view/id/2467
Any info would be a great help...Wink
Hate and anger is the fuel of war, while religion and politics is the foundation of it.
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Styrbiorn View Drop Down

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-May-2009 at 08:42
Well, much of the facts are correct, but his conclusions seems like the work of a victimizing Jew with quite a big horn in the side towards Christians and Pagan. Calling the Christmas traditions...
Quote ...modern incarnations of the most depraved pagan rituals ever practiced on earth.

..and comparing Christmas with a fictual "Hitlerday" kind of ruins all his credibility.

But yes, modern Christmas does have roots in Pagan traditions.

Anyhow, taking a look at some of his statements.
For example this:

i. In 1931, the Coca Cola Corporation contracted the Swedish commercial artist Haddon Sundblom to create a coke-drinking Santa. Sundblom modeled his Santa on his friend Lou Prentice, chosen for his cheerful, chubby face. The corporation insisted that Santa?s fur-trimmed suit be bright, Coca Cola red. And Santa was born ? a blend of Christian crusader, pagan god, and commercial idol.

Though this is true, it might also be noted that Santa Claus was red before Coca Cola. Sundblom was Swedish, and the Coca Cola santa looks very much like his Swedish equivalent. Compare eg with these late 19th century postcards.

He mingles truth with nonsense - a sign of good propaganda. The Romans did celebrate the Saturnalia in what we today would call decadent way, but that had more to do with Roman society as such and not with the actual holiday. Romans singing naked on the street can NOT be seen as a precursor to caroling for example. Neither was killing Jews an ancient celebration connected to Saturnalia as he states. The riots in Warsaw in 1881 were anti-semitic, but had nothing to do with Christmas. They just happened to occur on the same dates. The author shows his bigotry when he tries to imply that this was connected to the Christmas holiday.
Originally posted by Wikipedia Wikipedia wrote:

A contemporary Jewish-Russian historian, Simon Dubnow, gives details of this event: on Christmas Day 1881 the outbreak of panic after a false warning of fire in the crowded Holy Cross Church resulted in the deaths of twenty-nine persons in a stampede. It was believed that the false alarm was raised by pickpockets, who used the ruse to allow them to rob people during the panic. A crowd gathered on the scene of the event and some unknown persons started to spread a rumour, which subsequently proved to be unfounded, that two Jewish pickpockets had been caught in the church.

The mob began to attack Jews, Jewish stores, businesses, and residences in the streets adjoining the Holy Cross Church.[1] The riots in Warsaw continued for three days, until Russian authorities (who controlled the police as well as military in the city) intervened, arresting 2,600 people.

But yes, Christmas has roots from Saturnalia, while the Northern European christmas is very much connected to the old Midwinter. It has nothing to do with anti-Semitism though.

Edited by Styrbiorn - 26-May-2009 at 08:56
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Flipper View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-May-2009 at 09:18
Originally posted by Styrbiorn Styrbiorn wrote:

Nu är det jul igen och nu är det jul igen, och julen vara in till påska! LOL

Så nu tar jag fram (k)niven va!
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edgewaters View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-May-2009 at 10:51

Originally posted by The Canadian Guy The Canadian Guy wrote:

I read bout Roman Celebrations on the week of Chrismas that ended in death or misery.

The Roman celebration was called Saturnalia. It wasn't about death - it was a pretty festive holiday and not at all unlike the way we celebrate Christmas.

The social hierarchy, during Saturnalia, was temporarily suspended. Everybody was egalitarian during this holiday, with beggars and slaves being well-treated for the duration. Sometimes, slaves and masters even reversed roles during the holiday. 

There were big feasts, followed by exchanges of gifts. It was the one time of year when a master or patronus might condescend to show some appreciation for his slave or cliente by giving him a gift.

During the feasts, everyone wore a pileus which was a hat worn when a slave won his freedom. Since you're Canadian, I'm sure you're familiar with this practice:

There were even trees featured during Saturnalia - at least among the followers of the cults of Cybele and Attis. Not pine trees, though. But guess what they stuck on top? An image of Attis:

Originally posted by Styrbiorn Styrbiorn wrote:

 Romans singing naked on the street can NOT be seen as a precursor to caroling for example.

No, but this can:

"This festival teaches even the little children, artless and simple, to be greedy, and accustoms them to go from house to house and to offer novel gifts, fruits covered with silver tinsel. For these they receive, in return, gifts double their value, and thus the tender minds of the young begin to be impressed with that which is commercial and sordid."
--Asterius, Bishop of Amasea, in "Oratio 4: Adversus Kalendarum Festum" (written c. 400 AD).

Whether they sung or not I don't know (though it would hardly be surprising if they did), but, according to Asterius, the men did:

"This is misnamed a feast, being full of annoyance; since going out-of-doors is burdensome, and staying within doors is not undisturbed. For the common vagrants and the jugglers of the stage, dividing themselves into squads and hordes, hang about every house. The gates of public officials they besiege with especial persistence, actually shouting and clapping their hands until he that is beleaguered within, exhausted, throws out to them whatever money he has and even what is not his own. And these mendicants going from door to door follow one after another, and, until late in the evening, there is no relief from this nuisance. For crowd succeeds crowd, and shout, shout, and loss, loss."

I expect that the "shouting and clapping" Asterius refers to was probably some sort of singing, with a clap keeping time.

The human sacrifice of the "Lord of Misrule" is, of course, nonsense. At least, in historical Rome. Maybe if you went back to the prehistoric origins of the celebration there might have been, but not in the recorded history of the late Republic or the Imperial period. The Romans did not tolerate human sacrifice, at least not in the historical period. It was a reviled practice, to the degree it made for good propaganda against foreign enemies like Druids and Carthaginians (and Jews - not that this has any particular connection with the holiday, the antisemitic practices during that week of December are more a phenomena of Christian Rome). 

There were some lurid elements, though. Initiates to the priesthood of Attis would publicly castrate themselves during Saturnalia, and apparently had some sort of parade during which the mutilated genitalia were tossed about, sometimes into open windows. People got drunk, there was nakedness and so on. But as you say, all this has to do with Roman society, not the holiday per se. Just the context. 

... okay, there was some human sacrifice. Wink But, it wasn't in Rome. There's some evidence that during Saturnalia, some Roman soldiers - probably Germanic auxiliaries - appointed a Lord of Misrule or temporary king and at the end of the holiday, sacrificed him on an altar of Saturn. The evidence for this comes exclusively from outposts on the Germanic or Belgic frontier, and isn't found anywhere else. My guess? Some sort of Germano-Celtic practice that has nothing really to do with the Romans themselves. The only connection to Saturnalia is syncretism.

Edited by edgewaters - 26-May-2009 at 11:23
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Akolouthos View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-May-2009 at 15:11
Originally posted by Styrbiorn Styrbiorn wrote:

..and comparing Christmas with a fictual "Hitlerday" kind of ruins all his credibility.

Does this mean I should shave the goofy little mustache I've always grown around the winter solstice? And here I thought I was just trying to be historically accurate.

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