Ho Ho Ho! Happy Holidays!
The holiday season has a history that goes back a very long way. It’s said that Constantine adopted Christianity, then integrated it with other popular celebrations to gain wider acceptance. That continued as it spread.
Celebrations often began around the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year when the sun seems to stand still. Stonehenge marks it. In N and W Europe, they knew the solstice as Yule or Jul.
Yule’s eve was known in parts of Scandinavia as Mother’s Night (Freya, the Pear Tree) with Yule celebrated as Daughter’s Day (Sunna, known as Sophia or Eve in other areas)(Transcendent mother, manifest daughter).
A few days later, the Sun visibly begins to rise again in the sky. We celebrate Christmas eve and day in a similar pattern. Transcendent Father’s night and manifest Son’s Day (Jesus, Emmanuel).
Similarly, the 12 days of Christmas. Originally the first day was the Solstice, the 5th day Christmas (gold rings), and the 12th day New Year.
Many of our celebratory details come out of the Yule traditions, like feasting, bringing a tree indoors and decorating it, elves, flying reindeer, Yule logs, carols, mistletoe, jingle bells, and more.
Gift-giving Santa is more recent, based on a 4th century bishop, St Nicholas. However, Santa also picked up elements of the Germanic Wodan and those elves and flying reindeer.
Drawing together many traditions, we celebrate our rebirth and the coming of another year.
Have a very festive season!