“History of Christmas Pagan Religions”

#AceHistoryNews says according to ChristianPost every holiday has a past. Christmas is no different. The day now known for manger scenes,

English: Thomas Nast's most famous drawing, &q...

English: Thomas Nast’s most famous drawing, “Merry Old Santa Claus”, from the January 1, 1881 edition of Harper’s Weekly. Thomas Nast immortalized Santa Claus’ current look with an initial illustration in an 1863 issue of Harper’s Weekly, as part of a large illustration titled “A Christmas Furlough” in which Nast set aside his regular news and political coverage to do a Santa Claus drawing. The popularity of that image prompted him to create another illustration in 1881. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Santa Claus, and gift-giving during the peak of winter was not always celebrated in said manner.

Many of the traditions connected to the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ have nonChristian origins. Items like the Yule log, the Christmas tree, and the very placement of the observance during the darkest time in the calendar year stem from pre-Christian religious observances.

Bruce Forbes, professor of religious studies at Sioux City, Iowabased Morningside College explained to The Christian Post in an earlier interview that many current Christmas rituals emerged during the difficult winters pagans often encountered.

Candlelight conquered darkness and evergreens were prized for remaining green in even the brutal winters. Festive activities like drinking and dancing reduced isolation and kept people positive, noted Forbes.

Some in the modern-day still adhere to the pagan meanings of the pre-Christian aspects of the Christmas holidayreported Jefferson Calico of kentucky.com.

“Groups of people who follow contemporary pagan religious traditions will be gathering to celebrate the old/new holiday of Yule: the Festival of Light in contemporary pagan nature religion,” wrote Calico.

“Groups of people who follow contemporary pagan religious traditions will be gathering to celebrate the old/new holiday of Yule: the Festival of Light in contemporary pagan nature religion,” wrote Calico.

“In Pagan spirituality, December is the transition to the new year and is thought of as a time of upheaval as well as new beginnings.”

Scholars attribute the usage of pagan celebratory aspects to Christianity’s spread throughout Europe and the Roman Empire. Christian missionaries sought to convert non-Christian populations and were willing to adapt certain festive attributes to their own observances.

“Christians of that period are quite interested in paganism,” said Philip Shaw, researcher of early Germanic languages and Old English at Leicester University to LiveScience.

“It’s obviously something they think is a bad thing, but it’s also something they think is worth remembering. It’s what their ancestors did.”

Another reason in pagan characteristics entering into the Christian holy day was the sense by most in the early Church that the birth of Jesus was not an important holiday to observe.

READ MORE: CP

 

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