December 12, 2018
Xmas Chronicles – The History
Whether you consider Christmas as a sacred, religious holiday or simply a cultural and commercial phenomenon, it still remains as one of the favourite times of the year! Like seriously, who would dare miss out on some freshly baked Choco cookies, the way we like it with some spice-seasoned delicacies in cold winter evenings? If you know someone like that, that person has answers to give!
Have you had those days when you’re admiring the bling of Christmas decorations or checking out a cute nativity set, and you wonder… “Oh! How did we start celebrating Christmas…? Why do we celebrate it?” You might have asked yourself the question when you are constantly shopping for gifts… but in a different, more dull tone, like “Why… seriously… WHY we should celebrate Christmas?!” Well, Give Back Bingo is here to answer your questions. Voyage back in time and explore the stories of how Christmas came to be as we know it today!
The roots of Christmas can be traced back to Ancient Pagan Celebrations. The coming of December 25th would mean that those following pagan traditions would clearly be engrossed in some exceptional festivities. This period would be the ideal time to join hands with families and pay respect to Gods of Food and Winter. How? By filling their tummies with delicacies, premium feasts and sharing gifts.
Long before Christmas trees took over our homes for the holidays, the evergreens were revered by the Pagans. According to the folklores, they represented eternal life and rebirth. Believers would grab beautiful flower garlands and adorn their trees to make them the prettiest. Oh la la… the evergreens did follow a fancy fashion back in the days!
When the Christian Church took over most parts of Europe, they disapproved of such practices. Yet, the feel that such practices brought over to families was noticed, for sure! The Church co-opted for the holidays and came forward to declare the 25th of December as the birth day of Christ. Happy Birthday Jesus!
Traditions were already here… and the peeps did not really like leaving behind their feasts and gifts! Which is why, many communities decided to combine the rules of the Church along with their pagan festivities. That was the stepping stone of Christmas as we know today!
The Middle Ages’ Christmas was way too different from the Christmas we know today! Celebrations was known to be rowdy and wild, including colourful displays, lots of eating and drinking and raucous merry-making; pretty much like today’s Mardi Gras Parties.
Families would still throw feasts to celebrate union, love and compassion against each other and the evergreens would become Christmas trees. But one thing is for sure! Christmas is not the product of only one or two cultures. It combines the style of numerous superstitions, tales, stories and legends to create a Merry Christmas!
We all might be familiar with the ringing of the bells at Midnight to announce the birth of Christ, right? Well, some cultures believe that it has another significance. In Ireland, it is said that when the saviour was born, the devil died and to announce its death, the bell was rung! This was known as Devil’s Knell.
Mistletoes! The romance of Christmas! Well, even if the rest of the year, mistletoes are a scourge to the forest, being a parasitic plant that entangles trees and feeds upon them (we know some people like that, right?) it turns into a symbol of love and passion for one day! (yep, we know some like that as well!) In 18th Century, stealing a kiss under the mistletoe became a common practice amongst British Servants. This tradition quickly spread and is still existent till date. To top it off, it was considered bad luck to refuse a kiss under the mistletoe. Usually, the kissing couple should pick a berry from the plant and consume it until no more berries are available. The plant is then useless! Planning to get yourself some mistletoes? Make sure there’s plenty of berries!
Gifts, Christmas trees, decorations and more… all these add up to the magic of Christmas. Whether it has a divine significance or is THE moment to have fun, it remains the day of celebration, the day that the world celebrates! On this note, Merry Christmas, folks!