< link rel="DCTERMS.replaces" href="http://trappedcivilservant.blogspot.com" > Aginoth's Retirement Ramblings: Nearly Yuletide

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Nearly Yuletide

Nearly Yuletide, nearly time for over-indulgence on an epic scale and time spent with family and friends to look forward to.

Finished the last of the present shopping today, got into town for as soon as the shops opened to avoid the heavig masses as much as possible, pushing around the double pushchair with LMB and LMD on board screaming, and Agi Junior running circles round us shouting and screaming at the top f his lungs "CAN I HAVE THAT?" at every toy, toy shop, and advert we go past...bribed them all into good behaviour with the promise of Pasta for Lunch, it amazingly it worked, they settled down, LMD went to sleep...Astounding !

Why Yuletide and not Christmas...well it was originally called yuletide before the christians stole it for their own ends. The yule feast would take place between the 21st of December and 26th December to celebrate the turning of the year at the Winter Solstice and the lengthening of days demonstrating that spring was on it's way.

Many of the symbols associated with the modern holiday of
Christmas such as the burning of the Yule log, the giving of gifts, the eating of ham, the hanging of boughs, holly, mistletoe, etc. are apparently derived from traditional northern European Yule celebrations. When the first missionaries began converting the Germanic peoples to Christianity, they found it easier to simply provide a Christian reinterpretation for popular feasts such as Yule and allow the celebrations themselves to go on largely unchanged, rather than trying to suppress them. The Scandinavian tradition of slaughtering a pig at Christmas (see Christmas ham), and not in the autumn, is probably the most salient evidence for this. The tradition derives from the sacrifice to the god Freyr at the Yule celebrations. Halloween and Easter are theorized to have been likewise assimilated from northern European pagan festivals.

English historian Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum ("Ecclesiastic History of the English People") contains a letter from Pope Gregory I to Saint Mellitus, who was then on his way to England to conduct missionary work among the heathen Anglo-Saxons. The Pope suggests that converting heathens is easier if they are allowed to retain the outward forms of their traditional pagan practices and traditions, while recasting those traditions spiritually towards the one true God instead of to their pagan gods (whom the Pope refers to as "devils"), "to the end that, whilst some gratifications are outwardly permitted them, they may the more easily consent to the inward consolations of the grace of God". The Pope sanctioned such conversion tactics as Biblically acceptable, pointing out that God did much the same thing with the ancient Israelites and their pagan sacrifices.

So as a member of the growing secular portion of society I am pleased to wish you all a Happy Yuletide with plenty of the traditional feasting and over indulgenge required by custom; And as for those of you mistaken in the belief that Jesus Christ was born in Late December then we will of course take pity on you and allow you to share in our pagan festivities. After all whoever heard of lambs born in December?

Aginoth's pre-Yule Calendar... December 11th

Yule / Winter Solstice Dawn at Stonehenge, Wiltshire, UK


Blogger margalit said...

Beautiful photo of Stonehenge.

Michele sent me.

Sunday, December 11, 2005 3:36:00 pm  
Anonymous Kat said...

I really liked reading about all the traditions "borrowed" by Christianity.

Sunday, December 11, 2005 3:51:00 pm  
Blogger CyberKitten said...

Oh, I don't think that Christianity has a single original idea - from The Flood, to Adam & Eve, to Jesus himself... all stolen from earlier mythologies........

Happy Yule Mr A, Mrs A and the Aginothlings........

Sunday, December 11, 2005 3:58:00 pm  
Anonymous Last Girl On Earth said...

I just like to say... HAPPY HOLIDAYS. That way you cover all the bases! Hope yours are wonderful. Love the pic! Michele sent me this morning.

Sunday, December 11, 2005 4:27:00 pm  
Blogger Sue Richards said...

Did you take this photo? I always wonder who lifted the top rocks up.

From m's.

Calendar Girl

Sunday, December 11, 2005 6:04:00 pm  
Anonymous Nikki-ann said...

Happy Yuletide!

Must be difficult to manouver a double pushchair!

Sunday, December 11, 2005 7:22:00 pm  
Blogger garfer said...

One of the reasons for Christianity's enormous success was it's habit of assimilating existing cultural practices and celebrations.

Sunday, December 11, 2005 7:59:00 pm  
Blogger kenju said...

Great photo; I sure do hope I get to see it in person sometime.

Sunday, December 11, 2005 9:56:00 pm  
Blogger Dave said...

Stonehenge is an awe inspiring place, I'm glad I can remember going there before the carpark and the obligatory 'visitor centre' and shops.

Sunday, December 11, 2005 11:04:00 pm  
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

interesting post Mr. A. Thanks. I couldn't help but snicker at your last line. (Being a bit of an agnostic I like to stick it to the holier than thou types). :-)

Many Yuletide blessing to your and yours.

Monday, December 12, 2005 4:05:00 am  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Gorgeous Gorgeous photo! Did you take it?

It's really spectacular, Mr. A.

I'm working on the project per your instructions...I've hit a snag, but I'm going to try again,sometime tomorrow..I mean today...later.

Monday, December 12, 2005 10:44:00 am  
Blogger Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

Happy Yule, Aginoth and Merry Feasting to you and yours!
Can I add another slant and say Yuletide in Australia makes just as much as it is hot and we're all weary from a long year's work and ready to kick back, eat too many prawns, drink too much wine and give way too many hugs to all those who got us this far, for another 12 months!
No Yule logs for us, but a very festive season indeed. Plus, at New Year we get to stay up late outdoors partying in the summer evening, swimming in the Harbour and waiting for the fireworks to start. Sigh. I love Sydney so much.

Monday, December 12, 2005 11:01:00 am  
Blogger Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

Ooops. Too much partying already for me. Sense, it "makes just as much sense...", ok?

Monday, December 12, 2005 11:02:00 am  
Blogger Stephen (aka Q) said...

"Yuletide" — I like it. And of course you're right about the church lifting pagan symbols and turning them to their own ends.

You'll be celebrating a few days early from now on: i.e. on the solstice?

Or maybe I can convince my fellow Christians to shift Christmas to March, which is closer to the date when Jesus was probably born.

Monday, December 12, 2005 8:33:00 pm  

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