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==== ==== PREFACE: From Somervell’s abridgement of Toynbee’s “A Study Of History”, volumes 7-10 page 236: “An air of failure or, where there is not positive failure, futility surrounds practically all the examples of Archaism that we have that we have been examinin, and the reason is not far to seek [should be “to be sought”]. The archaist is condemned, by the very nature of his enterprise, to be for ever tryin to reconcile past and present…. If he tries to restore the past without takin the present into consideration, then the impetus of life ever movin onward will shatter his brittle construction into fragments. If on the other hand, he consents to subordinate his whim of resuscitatin the past to the task of makin the present workable, his Archaism will prove a sham. Greetins, o Child of Wotan! RU fed up with bein treated like a 2nd-class citizen in your own land? Discover that, which the ancient sources prescribe for our victory! Check out THE BOOK OF WOTAN! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0065QN8KW/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=4faskidstorem20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789 ==== ====

The history and origin of this most popular holiday of the year, Christmas, can be traced to something above 4000 years back in time, and is associated with the early Mesopotamians. It is widely believed that many traditions and ceremonial aspects of Christmas can be found at a time long before Christ was born, the time when the early Mesopotamians lived. The history of Christmas is, therefore, way back in centuries. The Mesopotamians had a twelve day-long New Year's festival called the Zagmuk, which was celebrated to help their chief god Marduk in his battle against the monsters of chaos. Each year in winter, the Mesopotamian king traditionally visited Marduk's temple and at the end, the custom was to kill the king who would then go with Marduk in the battlefield. However, the real king was spared and a mock king (who was almost always a criminal dressed in royal robes) was slain. Sacaea was a similar celebration of the Persians and Babylonians where roles were reversed for a day--slaves became masters and masters slaved about as servants. Much in the same street as Zagmuk and Sacaea, the ancient Greeks had a festival to help their god Kronos in his battle against Zeus and his Titans. The Scandinavians had a festival called Yuletide which celebrated the return of the sun after a long, lightless, chilly winter. Special feasts were held around big bonfires made with the Yule log. Romans were no exception either. They had their god Saturn to celebrate. Starting mid-December and ending January 1, the Roman festival Saturnalia, featured boisterous shouts "Jo Saturnalia", elaborate masquerades, exchanging gifts, holding special feasts, decking up halls with laurel wreaths and putting up candles on evergreens. This Saturnalia festival has a close similarity with today's Christmas celebrations and hence the history of Christmas is heavily linked to this ancient Saturnalia. But the Christians refused to honor the pagan Roman god Saturn. The early Christians


couldn't come to terms with such a frantic Christmas celebration, and wanted to observe the birthday of their Lord with devout offerings and sincere devotion. However, as time went on and Christianity spread to every nook and corner of the world, the Church slowly loosened up a little, and came to accept the merry-making during Christmas. Today, Christmas is really incomplete without those decorations of tinsel and streamers, the lights and candles, the piping hot turkey with pies around, the decked halls, the mistletoe on the doorway, the holly, and the stockings over the fireplace, the bells on the Christmas tree and the colorful greetings and gifts. Now ever wondered why Christmas is celebrated on December 25 ? Is it the day when Jesus Christ was born ? Well, nobody knows for sure exactly when Christ was born. There had been a lot of dispute over fixing December 25 as Christmas. In the 2nd century A.D, Hippolytus claimed this day as Christ's birthday. Then January 6 was declared by the Eastern Church as the day of His birth. Finally, in 350 A.D, the Bishop of Rome, Pope Julius I, fixed December 25 as the official day for Christmas. This date, the day of the winter solstice, was wisely chosen with the intention to outweigh the popular pagan Roman holiday of Saturnalia. Story Of Christ Jesus Christ's coming to this world was predicted by the prophets years before His birth. The Old Testament has in it, over 300 such prophecies. And, you'll be truly surprised to know that all of these proved true-from Christ's miraculous birth, His sinless life, His atrocious death to His astounding resurrection. Now, if you want to know the complete story of Christ, read on. There lived in the village of Nazareth a carpenter called Joseph, who married a young virgin named Mary of the same village. Mary once had a beautiful dream in which an angel came to her and said that she had been chosen to bear the Divine Child, Jesus, the Son of God. But the young couple was forced to leave Nazareth and return to their towns of birth following a whimsical declaration of the emperor there. And so, they set off for Bethlehem. It was a very long journey spanning several days and nights. Mary, who was bearing Jesus at the time, was carried by a donkey, and Joseph walked beside her. After some days, they reached Bethlehem. Desperately looking for shelter, they were turned down by every potential host. At last, the fatigued couple chanced upon a cave in the hills, with a stable in it. Joseph made a bed of hay for his weary wife. The next night, Mary gave birth to the Son of God and named Him Jesus, as was instructed by the angel in her dream. The birth of Jesus was marked by the appearance of a bright star over Bethlehem, which could be seen from miles around. In the hilly fields nearby, some shepherds were managing their flocks, when an angel appeared before them and told them that a Savior was born in Bethlehem. The shepherds were also told that they were to find the babe in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes. They soon reached the place where Jesus was born to Joseph and Mary. Also, following the shining star in the sky, came the Three Wise Men from the east, who are more popularly known as the Magi. Bowing before the newborn, they offered gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to Him. These gifts had a special symbolic significance. The gold symbolized Kingship- that He would be a King. Frankincense symbolized His Divine nature, and myrrh stood for a life of suffering and sacrifice.


Do you know where the word 'Christmas' sprang from ? Christmas is derived from the words 'Cristes Maesse', meaning Christ's Mass. It is also sometimes referred to as Xmas. This 'X' in the word stands for 'Xristos', and means Christ in Greek. Xristos Mass is shortened to Xmas. However, this shouldn't be looked upon as a move to bump off Christ's name from Christmas. It's simply another way of referring to Christmas. So wish a 'Merry Christmas' to your loved ones and dive into celebrating the holidays !

Sean Carter writes on holidays, Christmas Day and world events. He also writes on family, relationships, Christmas, religion, love and friendship. He is a writer with special interest in ecard industry and writes for 123greetings.com. He is an active blogger at Christmas Blog

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sean_Carter

==== ==== PREFACE: From Somervell’s abridgement of Toynbee’s “A Study Of History”, volumes 7-10 page 236: “An air of failure or, where there is not positive failure, futility surrounds practically all the examples of Archaism that we have that we have been examinin, and the reason is not far to seek [should be “to be sought”]. The archaist is condemned, by the very nature of his enterprise, to be for ever tryin to reconcile past and present…. If he tries to restore the past without takin the present into consideration, then the impetus of life ever movin onward will shatter his brittle construction into fragments. If on the other hand, he consents to subordinate his whim of resuscitatin the past to the task of makin the present workable, his Archaism will prove a sham. Greetins, o Child of Wotan! RU fed up with bein treated like a 2nd-class citizen in your own land? Discover that, which the ancient sources prescribe for our victory! Check out THE BOOK OF WOTAN! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0065QN8KW/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=4faskidstorem20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789 ==== ====


Scandinavian Gods - Christmas History