Merry Christmas, again!

Some parts of the world celebrate Christmas today, January 7th.  The Eastern Orthodox Church apparently uses a different calendar than the West, and January 7th corresponds with December 25th.  Russia is one country which observes Christmas today.

For our ancestors, January was the time of celebration.  For one thing, there wasn’t much to do, and sharing resources helped to stretch them out.  Often times, it was difficult to tell if the days were actually getting longer, because of bad weather.  Yule Tide celebrations would go on for weeks after the Winter Solstice, as people traveled around to visit friends and relatives.

On February 2nd, the festivities would be renewed, with the celebration of Imbolc, or Brigid.  The Christian church eventually had to bring this holiday into their belief, and so called it Candlemas.  This is a celebration of light, a reaffirmation of the return of the Sun.  For some reason, people took the concept of the world sliding into eternal night very seriously.

Western society has been drastically altered by the Industrial Revolution, such that long celebrations are frowned upon.  What had been a month of partying was squeezed down to 12 days, then a week, until now it is a brief interlude on December 25th.  I am fighting back!  I say “Merry Yule Tide” for much of January, burning my pretty lights from December 25th all the way until late January.  Hey, some people start burning theirs right after Thanksgiving.  To me, they are not Christmas lights, they are Yule Tide lights.  So there!

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