December 16, 2015, by Ken, in Uncategorized
Looking at the calendar brings back so many memories of Holidays past. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanakkah, Kwanzaa or another tradition, there are sure to be memories of childhood wishes and delight, celebrating with family and friends, then perhaps with your own
Our family loves Christmas and all the joy, promise and hope that the birth of Christ brings to us.
The word Christmas comes from the Mass of Christ. The "Christ-Mass" service was the only one in olden times that was allowed to take place after sunset and had to be before sunrise, so people had it at Midnight. Over the years, the celebration was shortened to Christmas.
Instead of the 19th Century St. Nicholas of Dutch origin, have the current red-suited fellow.
We also hang stockings by the fireplace. New Amsterdam children long ago set their shoes on the chimney corners on St Nicholas Eve.
It's said the fireplace is symbolic of happiness and good luck. Indeed there's a legend that St. Nicholas dropped bags of gold into the stockings of a poor man in order to deliver his girls from a dreadful life.
The Romans, Babylonians, Egyptians and Druidic cultures have a long history of using greenery in celebration, symbolic of fertility and regeneration. The early 19th century Pennsylvania Dutch took on the spreading European tradition of using an evergreen tree. Instead of hanging toys and gifts on the tree, we now place more symbolic, or ornamental, items on the tree and the gifts underneath.
Did you know that Christmas used to be celebrated on January 6th and is still celebrated on the 7th by many Orthodox churches? Hanukkah's Festival of Lights also starts on the 25th of Kislev (the month in the Jewish calendar that occurs at about the same time as December). It's believed that the more likely date of Christ's birth was during the Roman census during "Sukkot" or the Feast of the Tabernacles, which in 2015 was September 27th through October 4th. Many would travel to Jerusalem for the "tent" festival. Mary & Joseph would have then taken the 6-mile journey to Bethlehem where they planned on seeking shelter at an inn, but of course there was no room!
Many years ago the "Roman" or Julian Calendar was used but it was replaced by the Gregorian calendar. Because of that, the dates October 5-14, 1582 did not exist! The day after October 4th was October 15th!!
Also, the year "0AD" does not exist. In fact, the first Christian Roman Emperor, Constantine, celebrated the first Christmas ever recorded in the year 336AD. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on the 25th of December.
We can thank the English for the custom of picking a berry and kissing under the Mistletoe ("dung" "twig"). After the berries are gone under this parasitic plant, no more kissing! The Norse mythologists believed it was a symbol of love and friendship.
Long ago, Constantine believed that in order to get along, many be
liefs had to be merged so that more of the community was represented by national traditions.
While some resisted, such as the early American Puritans, who worked hard and banned celebration on Christmas, our past has a great influence on our present and our future.
Be sure to bring the knowledge of the past along with you on your journey through the holidays this year. We can forge a much brighter future with the great stories and wisdom of our elders.
The times will change, styles will change, and time wears away at the old and ushers in the new. Mount Corrick can help you update the look with some old fashioned dedication to you, our customers. Without you, our Christmas, our Holidays, would not be as merry or bright.
We wish all of you the very best this season.
Peace, love, comfort and joy too all.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!