Author Topic: Celebrating the Winter Solstice  (Read 71940 times)

Scott6373

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Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
« Reply #40 on: December 20, 2007, 04:21:06 pm »
No problem...long as there's plenty of whiskey and o one talks about whatever may happen, I'm cool with it...LOL

Offline serious crayons

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Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
« Reply #41 on: December 20, 2007, 05:41:27 pm »
Yes, friends, let's gather round the campfire on the Yule.




And we won't freeze our asses off when the fire dies down!





Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
« Reply #42 on: December 20, 2007, 07:00:55 pm »

And we won't freeze our asses off when the fire dies down!


Better off sleeping in the tent, anyway.  ;D
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline delalluvia

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Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
« Reply #43 on: December 20, 2007, 08:29:23 pm »
The Ancient Romans used to have a large festival around the winter solstice called The Saturnalia. It was actually celebrated on December 17 which is tomorrow.  So it wasn't exactly on the date of the Winter Solstice.

I had a Saturnalia party theme as I was tired of the same old Christmas thing.  Instead of evergreen, I decorated the place with some laurel leaves, gilded a few wreaths, stuff like that. 
I had read previously that the early Christians had co-opted the Saturnalia for Christmas.  It now seems that idea is disputed per the article in wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturnalia

So Happy Saturnalia! :)

It's Io Saturnalia!  ;)  I'm a reconstructionist, so I celebrate Saturnalia.  I've decorated, put up and untied my statue of Saturn, did the proper ritual and I'm sending out presents left and right, making sure I gift someone with the traditional gifts of silver and candles.  By the time it ends, on the Solstice, my holiday is over.

I just read the Wikipedia article.  I think it's right and wrong.  The Christians hijacked the birthday of Mithra and Sol Invictus so they could justify celebrating.  They made it a birthday, but they didn't hold the solemn religious rites associated with that day like the pagans did, they used it as an excuse to join the pagans partying.

Offline Meryl

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Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
« Reply #44 on: December 20, 2007, 09:15:12 pm »
Here's a nice, crackling fire for your enjoyment.  Happy Solstice, Friends!  :-*

(1:59)

[youtube=425,350]http://youtube.com/watch?v=Vf-4lCsLlpg[/youtube]
Ich bin ein Brokie...

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
« Reply #45 on: December 20, 2007, 11:26:17 pm »
I just read the Wikipedia article.  I think it's right and wrong.  The Christians hijacked the birthday of Mithra and Sol Invictus so they could justify celebrating.  They made it a birthday, but they didn't hold the solemn religious rites associated with that day like the pagans did, they used it as an excuse to join the pagans partying.

Hunh? You never heard of Christmas Mass? The whole name of the Christian holiday comes from that, "Christ's Mass."
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline delalluvia

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Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
« Reply #46 on: December 21, 2007, 12:16:26 am »
Hunh? You never heard of Christmas Mass? The whole name of the Christian holiday comes from that, "Christ's Mass."

EARLY Christians...circa 70 c.e. to 300 c.e.?  Those in 70 c.e. didn't have an official church, much less such rituals as Mass.

Offline southendmd

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Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
« Reply #47 on: December 21, 2007, 09:52:58 am »
Happy Solstice, everyone!

Here's a great holiday song:  Dar Williams singing "The Christians and the Pagans" live (3:19).

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_Xdk4PujOE[/youtube]
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
« Reply #48 on: December 21, 2007, 10:21:09 am »
EARLY Christians...circa 70 c.e. to 300 c.e.?  Those in 70 c.e. didn't have an official church, much less such rituals as Mass.

I wouldn't be too sure about either of those points. I don't have a Bible or my Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church with me here at work. However, clearly the ritual commemoration of Christ's last supper with his disciples had begun to take shape as early as Apostolic times; this is why some churches actually quote Paul, in I Corinthians, for the Words of Institution at Holy Communion, rather than quoting the Gospels. And I think I remember the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church stating that the church at Rome had begun to celebrate the feast of Christ's nativity by the mid-200s, but my memory could be mistaken.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline delalluvia

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Re: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
« Reply #49 on: December 21, 2007, 09:02:43 pm »
I wouldn't be too sure about either of those points. I don't have a Bible or my Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church with me here at work. However, clearly the ritual commemoration of Christ's last supper with his disciples had begun to take shape as early as Apostolic times; this is why some churches actually quote Paul, in I Corinthians, for the Words of Institution at Holy Communion, rather than quoting the Gospels. And I think I remember the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church stating that the church at Rome had begun to celebrate the feast of Christ's nativity by the mid-200s, but my memory could be mistaken.


From a Google search:

EARLY CELEBRATION

Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church. Irenaeus (b.. 2nd century; d. end of 2nd/beginning of 3rd century) and Tertullian (ca. 160–235) omit it from their lists of feasts; Origen (ca. 185–ca. 254), glancing perhaps at the discreditable imperial Natalitia, asserts (in Lev. Hom. viii in Migne, P.G., XII, 495) that in the Scriptures sinners alone, not saints, celebrate their birthday; Arnobius (died c. 330 A.D.) (VII, 32 in P.L., V, 1264) can still ridicule the "birthdays" of the gods.


http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03724b.htm


The earliest known Christian writings are the epistles of Paul, composed between 48 and 58 A.D. Some of these are of doubted authenticity (and were even in antiquity), but the debate is too complex to summarize here. The other letters...are of even more uncertain authorship and date. They are presumed to have been written in the same period or later (1 Peter, for instance, may have been written, some scholars say, as late as 110 A.D.).  The Gospels cannot really be dated, nor are the real authors known. It is based on speculation that Mark was the first, written between 60 and 70 A.D., Matthew second, between 70 and 80 A.D., Luke (and Acts) third, between 80 and 90 A.D., and John last, between 90 and 100 A.D. Scholars advance various other dates for each work...but all dates are conjectural. It is supposed that the Gospels did not exist before 58 simply because neither Paul nor any other epistle writer mentions or quotes them, and this is a reasonable argument as far as things go.

All the Gospels except John contain possible allusions to the destruction of Jerusalem, which was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., and thus it is likely they were all written after that date.


http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/NTcanon.html

and


II. THE MITHRAIC SACRAMENTS.

The principal rites of the worship of Mithras bore a very curious resemblance to those subsequently established in the Catholic church; they likewise furnished a model for the initiatory ceremonies observed by the secret societies of the Middle Ages, and by their professed descendants in modern times. The Neophytes were admitted by the rite of Baptism; the initiated at their assemblies solemnly celebrated a species of Eucharist...

The two distinguishing Rites, or "Sacraments" (to use the technical term) are thus alluded to by Justin Martyr (100–165 c.e.) (Apol. II) in the earliest description which has been left us of their character. "The Apostles in the Commentaries written by themselves, which we call Gospels, have delivered down to us that Jesus thus commanded them: He having taken bread, after that He had given thanks, * said: Do this in commemoration of me; this is my body. Also having taken a cup and returned thanks, He said: This is my blood, and delivered it unto them alone. Which things indeed the evil spirits have taught to be done, out of memory, in the Mysteries and Initiations of Mithras. For in these likewise a cup of water, and bread, are set out, with the addition of certain words, in the sacrifice or act of worship of the person about to be initiated: a thing which Ye either know by personal experience or may learn by inquiry."


http://www.sacred-texts.com/gno/gar/gar18.htm

To me, what this all says, is the religion of Mithra came first, imported from other lands.   Christians didn't start their writings about Jesus - let alone create a religion about him - until after the fact of Mithraism's presence/practice in Rome.  Paul was still preaching in private houses, writing to chastise early followers about pagan things in their worship, hence his 'letters to'.  Early Christian writers all the way to the 4th century c.e. mock celebrating of birthdays of gods.  Certainly they wouldn't be doing that if they had their own celebration of Christ's supposed birth.  IMO, this all means masses were not yet formalized and Christmas wasn't celebrated in early Christian history in any form recognizable to modern times.  On the History Channel's "Christmas Unwrapped" it shows where the Cromwellian Reformers put a halt to Xmas, because the celebrations resembled Carnivale rather than a solemn religious event.  I kinda think the earliest Christians - without an organized Church to institutionalize the solemnity of the event - celebrated the same way pagans did.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2007, 07:25:54 pm by delalluvia »