Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

“The festival of the son

“It was in the fourth century that the Church adopted the winter solstice as a Christian celebration, turning the ‘festival of the sun’ into the ‘festival of the son’. Traditional pagan practices were either phased out by the Church or turned into Christian traditions. For example, Pope Julius I chose 25 December as the date for Christmas in an attempt to ‘Christianise’ the pagan celebrations that were already held at this time of year.”


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The word merry can be used in British English as a synonym for “tipsy”, and historically, the Christmas season was a time of intemperate revelry. Those aspects of the holiday were among the reasons it was banned by 17th- and 18th-century Puritans in both England the New England colonies, and they concerned the Victorian temperance movement as well. The success of the campaign for “Happy Christmas” in England may explain the greater popularity of that phrase in the British Isles to this day. From Happy Easter to Happy Halloween to countless Happy Birthdays, our felicitations hardly vary from one celebration to the next. Christmas is the not
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