Still time to celebrate

Many people are taking down their lights and decorations, saying the season is over.  No, it is not!  The Christmas Shopping Season is over, but the celebration of the Winter Solstice, Yule Tide, is in full swing.  Even Christmas has a few more days to go, if you believe in the ’12 Days of Christmas.’

Perhaps you have not noticed, but up until just a few days ago, the nights were getting longer.  This is what the ancient Yule celebration recognized, the end of the advance of Night.  Even as it is getting colder, and Spring is months away, we can be assured that Winter will end, night will retreat, and Light will return.  For people of northwestern Europe, this is a major celebration, because the nights get so long there.

So important was this celebration that the Christian church could not get people to stop observing it.  There was much revelry, drinking, and feasting during this time, and the church wanted to curtail that behavior.  In spite of not having any idea when Christ would have been born, the leaders of the church decided to set the celebration of the birth of their savior on December 25th, the day the Yule Tide celebration began.  They relented an allowed New Year’s Eve to be a secular celebration, as the mass celebrating the birth of Christ had changed the Yule Tide celebration into a more religious event.

This is why there are so many Pagan symbols and traditions associated with Christmas, they are holdovers from the times when Yule Tide was the big celebration, long before Christ was born.  And gift giving was not one of those traditions; that was all introduced much more recently.  And it is the practice of exchanging gifts that led to the materialism of modern Christmas, and the prolonged media blitz during the months of Autumn.

So rejoice, the days are getting longer, night is no longer advancing!  Spring will come again!


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