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Guest MistyCat

What About Christmas? - Do Pagans celebrate?

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fizzyclare1

To eclegma and Tas: thanx for your warm words. :wub:

 

fizz

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Pomona

 

To pomona:  no, I have heard this too (doesn't necessarily make it true) and it wasn't intended as a joke.  Here's what I heard: when christians were converting folks way back whenever they 'nicked' our sacred sites, special dates and so on so as to make christianity more palatable to ordinary folks.    I have heard of the tale of eoster just can't remember where.

 

fizz

199333[/snapback]

 

 

I should have edited the post I was quoting from better, my bad B)

 

I've heard the "they nicked all ours!" stuff and I've got mixed views on that - I don't subscribe to the wholesale "it was all pagan to start with" - I'd rather take each occasion individually and discuss rather than just dismissing all Christian festivals as originally pagan :)

 

No, I meant the Goddess turning the poor ickle biwdie into a fwuffy, bunny wabbit that still lays eggs in honour of its previous bird-form... :wub: :D

 

It just seems a bit... what's the word? Sickly sweet. Okay, nauseating to just confine it to one word, sorry!

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fizzyclare1

What Pomona said:

 

No, I meant the Goddess turning the poor ickle biwdie into a fwuffy, bunny wabbit that still lays eggs in honour of its previous bird-form... :wub: :D

 

It just seems a bit... what's the word? Sickly sweet. Okay, nauseating to just confine it to one word, sorry!

 

Yeah, get what you mean - if it had been a duck billed platypus it probably would have been more convincing story. B)

fizz

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Guest Tas Mania

Plat-billed ducky-puss - LOL!

 

Scrambled wabbit anyone? Or sunny side up? :wub:

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Guest Eclegma

It must be more than coincidence that so many major Christian festivals fall on or near the significant ancient seasonal dates of the wheel. Especially as the Christian events celebrated rarely fall on or near the dates they use to signify them. But who cares who nicked what, I still believe that if we look within ourselves, trust our soul and our spirit rather than pages of a book, our own truth will reveal to us all we really need to know.

Edited by Eclegma

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Guest TheAceOfWands
This pagan celebrates whatever the hell she likes, especially if it involves chocolate and time off work.

158314[/snapback]

 

Classic!

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Guest Swanhild

Yule is a Norse word. It is mostly Heathen/pagan (especially anything to do with bringing in greenery and hanging shiny things on it).

 

Eostre is recognised as a real goddess by many modern heathens and Eostre/Ostara is one of our most popular festivals.

 

She is only mentioned in Bede with no description of her attributes. Many folk have written their own Eostre myths going back to Victorian times. Some of these are now very well established and are urban myths. Especially her links with the Hare.

 

The hare connection makes sense from the timing of her festival - but look to the real wild creature and not a Disneyfied fluffy critter with a basket of plastic Kinder eggs. Yuck!

 

Skegga :)

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Guest Red Kite

This is the way I see it. The reason why we celebrate at this time of year is because of the rebirth or return of the sun. It's probably fair to say that all the pre-Christian peoples of Europe marked the Winter Solstice in some way. Yule I believe was orginally a Germanic celebration brought here by the Germanic peoples and was originally celebrated on the first full moon after the Winter Solstice so it has always been celebrated following the solstice. I'm not sure how the Britons and Irish marked it in pre-Roman times, but there's no doubt that the solstice itself was celebrated. Because we celebrated the birth of the sun at this time of year and it was one of the biggest festivals in northern Europe, the Church said that we could continue to celebrate at this time of year and retain our traditions as long as we celebrated the birth of Christ instead - it has nothing to do with the actual date that Christ was born which is thought to be nowhere near December 25th.

 

December 25th became fixed in Roman times as the day of celebration because it was the first day after the solstice that there was a noticable lengthening of the day.

 

So given the Pagan origins of our winter festival I think there is every reason for Pagans to celebrate at this time of year. I just say that I celebrate Yule not Christmas and in the future when I have my own house you won't find anything associated with the Christian festival so no angels or nativity scenes! A lot of the other stuff associated with this time of year though is either Pagan in origin (decorating the tree has its origins in the ancient Pagan tradition of tree-dressing, decorating your home with holly, mistletoe and other things from nature that is all associated with Paganism, putting up colourful decorations and lighting candles is associated with celebrating the rebirth of the sun) or neutral in its meaning (i.e. anything associated with winter), so I think there's no excuse for Pagans not celebrating at this time of year! ;)

Edited by Red Kite

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Guest Red Kite

At the end of the day, it's a matter of personal choice as to whether you want to celebrate at this time of year or not - just don't let the fact that it has been Christianized for more than 1500 years put you off.

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Guest Red Kite
Hi Misty,

 

One of the great things about stepping out of the Christian world and following your own path is just that, its your own path, there is no right or wrong.

 

Celebrate Xmas, or dont, keep the tree or not.. its entirely up to you, you dont need others to give you a step by step guide to the year.

 

When it comes to "that time of year" this is what I do. I celebrate yule. In the sense that I have a few friends over, we toast the year and I do a few wee personal things just for me. I also celebrate Xmas.. note not Christmas.. Xmas for me is a day with my family, decent food, terrible films and getting together with the people I love and care for when we all put our anxt to the side and chill.

 

Do whatever feels right for you. Thats the best way.

158224[/snapback]

 

The X in Xmas still has Christian meaning though - I can't remember what it is but it is still a Christian name for it.

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TheWyseWoman

Dear All,

 

As has been said by so many, Christmas fits in nicely with Yule so you can celebrate the new sun on the Solstice with your own altar, ritual and or meditation then have the time of your life living it up with the family and friends for the rest of the alloted span! I bought a small potted conifer and it serves as a christmas tree on my altar and will be planted out next spring and I have an artificial one in the front room with all the trimmings for the family when they come to call. This way I do not feel guilty by being responsible for the felling of a tree! I can also celebrate the Solstice quietly in my room with a mini tree!

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TheWyseWoman
Hi Misty,

 

One of the great things about stepping out of the Christian world and following your own path is just that, its your own path, there is no right or wrong.

 

Celebrate Xmas, or dont, keep the tree or not.. its entirely up to you, you dont need others to give you a step by step guide to the year.

 

When it comes to "that time of year" this is what I do. I celebrate yule. In the sense that I have a few friends over, we toast the year and I do a few wee personal things just for me. I also celebrate Xmas.. note not Christmas.. Xmas for me is a day with my family, decent food, terrible films and getting together with the people I love and care for when we all put our anxt to the side and chill.

 

Do whatever feels right for you. Thats the best way.

158224[/snapback]

 

Cold it be cross ;)

 

Watching the peole running around demented, X would just about fit the description!

The X in Xmas still has Christian meaning though - I can't remember what it is but it is still a Christian name for it.

205033[/snapback]

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Xalle

The X probably stands for the same X in Xian. Thats neither here nor there.

 

My point was that I celebrate the 25th of December with my family and what it means to me, not the "Mass of Christ" in the religious sense.

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Guest Red Kite
Hi Misty,

 

One of the great things about stepping out of the Christian world and following your own path is just that, its your own path, there is no right or wrong.

 

Celebrate Xmas, or dont, keep the tree or not.. its entirely up to you, you dont need others to give you a step by step guide to the year.

 

When it comes to "that time of year" this is what I do. I celebrate yule. In the sense that I have a few friends over, we toast the year and I do a few wee personal things just for me. I also celebrate Xmas.. note not Christmas.. Xmas for me is a day with my family, decent food, terrible films and getting together with the people I love and care for when we all put our anxt to the side and chill.

 

Do whatever feels right for you. Thats the best way.

158224[/snapback]

 

Cold it be cross :D

 

Watching the peole running around demented, X would just about fit the description!

The X in Xmas still has Christian meaning though - I can't remember what it is but it is still a Christian name for it.

205033[/snapback]

205035[/snapback]

 

I can't remember what it means - I was listening to a radio phone in a few years back and people were saying that they hated Christmas being shortened to Xmas as it was taking the Christ out of Christmas, but then people came on and said that the X is also a Christian term, so personally I would not use Xmas either. I just like to call it Yule - I don't know what else to call it ;)

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Guest Red Kite

Ah here you are:

 

From Wikipedia:

 

Usage of X for Christ

The word "Christ" and its compounds, including "Christmas", have been abbreviated for at least the past 1,000 years, long before the modern "Xmas" was commonly used. "Christ" was often written as "XP" or "Xt"; there are references in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as far back as 1021 AD. This X and P arose as the uppercase forms of the Greek letters χ and ρ), used in ancient abbreviations for Χριστος (Greek for "Christ"), and are still widely seen in many Eastern Orthodox icons depicting Jesus Christ. The labarum, an amalgamation of the two Greek letters rendered as ☧, is a symbol often used to represent Christ in Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Christian Churches.[1]

 

Some believe that the term is part of an effort to "take Christ out of Christmas" or to literally "cross out Christ";[2] it is also seen as evidence of the secularization of Christmas, as a symptom of the commercialization of the holiday (as the abbreviation has long been used by retailers). It may also be used as a vehicle to be more inclusive (See political correctness).

 

 

The labarum, often called the Chi-Rho, is a Christian symbol representing Christ.The occasionally held belief that the "X" represents the cross Christ was crucified on has no basis in fact. St Andrew's Cross is X-shaped, but Christ's cross was probably shaped like a T or a †. Indeed, X-as-chi was associated with Christ long before X-as-cross could be, since the cross as a Christian symbol developed later. (The Greek letter Chi Χ stood for "Christ" in the ancient Greek acrostic ΙΧΘΥΣ ichthys.) While some see the spelling of Christmas as Xmas a threat, others see it as a way to honor the martyrs. The use of X as an abbreviation for "cross" in modern abbreviated writing (e.g. "Kings X" for "Kings Cross") may have reinforced this assumption.

 

In ancient Christian art χ and χρ are abbreviations for Christ's name.[3] In many manuscripts of the New Testament and icons, X is an abbreviation for Christos, as is XC (the first and last letters in Greek, using the lunate sigma); compare IC for Jesus in Greek. The Oxford English Dictionary documents the use of this abbreviation back to 1551, 50 years before the first English colonists arrived in North America and 60 years before the King James Version of the Bible was completed. At the same time, Xian and Xianity were in frequent use as abbreviations of "Christian" and "Christianity"; and nowadays still are sometimes so used, but much less than "Xmas". The proper names containing the name "Christ" other than aforementioned are rarely abbreviated in this way (e.g. Hayden Xensen for the actor name "Hayden Christensen"). This apparent usage of "X" to spell the syllable "kris" (rather than the sounds "ks") has extended to "xtal" for "crystal", and on florists' signs "xant" for "chrysanthemum"[4] (though these words are not etymologically related to "Christ"; "crystal" comes from a Greek word meaning "ice", and "chrysanthemum" from Greek words meaning "golden flower", while "Christ" comes from a Greek word meaning "anointed").

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Xalle

My point was that the 25th of December is not Yule. Its Christmas. I celebrate Yule. I also celebrate "Christmas" day as a day with my family. I couldnt give a flying fig if X stands for anything christian if you get my drift.

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Guest Red Kite
My point was that the 25th of December is not Yule. Its Christmas. I celebrate Yule. I also celebrate "Christmas" day as a day with my family. I couldnt give a flying fig if X stands for anything christian if you get my drift.

205041[/snapback]

 

Well I celebrate Yule from the Solstice until January 6th when it's traditionally time to remove the decorations. I was just saying that Xmas is not a Pagan term for whatever we celebrate at this time of year but a Christian term, nothing else - a lot of non Christians use it in preferance to Christmas because they think it's a secular term but it's not.

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Xalle
I was just saying that Xmas is not a Pagan term for whatever we celebrate at this time of year but a Christian term, nothing else - a lot of non Christians use it in preferance to Christmas because they think it's a secular term but it's not.

 

Im aware of that. Its also not Yule. December 25th is Christmas, when I spend time with my family on that day eating food, opening presents, I am for all intents and purpose celebrating the christian festival of christmas. I dont mind that, I call it Xmas as a "nod" to the fact that I do not celebrate that day as the "birth of christ". I am aware the X has christian overtones. Im happy to take on board their festivals (well some of them) Its just that I personally, do not accept it as what most christains accept it for.

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Moonhunter
My point was that the 25th of December is not Yule. Its Christmas.

205041[/snapback]

 

Welll...there's wee bit of difficulty about that. At least, I'm at a standstill in my research, and would welcome any help.

 

Apparently the Venomous Bede, in his "The Reckining of Time" (8th century) wrote that the pre-Christian Anglo Saxons held a festival of Modranecht (Mothers' Night) on 25th December "when we celebrate the birth of our Lord". Those erudite Heathen sites I've visited which have information trying to reconcile the pre- Christian Lunar calendar to the Roman solar one occasionally make mention to the 3 or 4 days difference between our modern winter solstice and 25th December as being due to the shift from the Julain to the Gregorian calendar. Certainly, in Bede's time, that would reconcile the two - were it not for the unfortunate fact that England did not swap over to the Gregorian calender until 1752.

 

So what else, then? Apparently, 25 December was the date of the Roman Sol Invictus celebrations, and the date may well have been taken to be the winter solstice across Europe, in the days prior to modern astronomy. If anyone has any more light to shed I'd welcome it. Otherwise, it would appear that, however uncomfortable, my own religion took 25 December as Yule.

 

That said, I do not live in the 8th century and will very happily take the actual winter solstice as "Yule" and even Mothers' Night, regardless of the fact those in pre-Christian England took Christmas Day.

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Guest Red Kite
My point was that the 25th of December is not Yule. Its Christmas.

205041[/snapback]

 

Welll...there's wee bit of difficulty about that. At least, I'm at a standstill in my research, and would welcome any help.

 

Apparently the Venomous Bede, in his "The Reckining of Time" (8th century) wrote that the pre-Christian Anglo Saxons held a festival of Modranecht (Mothers' Night) on 25th December "when we celebrate the birth of our Lord". Those erudite Heathen sites I've visited which have information trying to reconcile the pre- Christian Lunar calendar to the Roman solar one occasionally make mention to the 3 or 4 days difference between our modern winter solstice and 25th December as being due to the shift from the Julain to the Gregorian calendar. Certainly, in Bede's time, that would reconcile the two - were it not for the unfortunate fact that England did not swap over to the Gregorian calender until 1752.

 

So what else, then? Apparently, 25 December was the date of the Roman Sol Invictus celebrations, and the date may well have been taken to be the winter solstice across Europe, in the days prior to modern astronomy. If anyone has any more light to shed I'd welcome it. Otherwise, it would appear that, however uncomfortable, my own religion took 25 December as Yule.

 

That said, I do not live in the 8th century and will very happily take the actual winter solstice as "Yule" and even Mothers' Night, regardless of the fact those in pre-Christian England took Christmas Day.

205060[/snapback]

 

On what date is Yule supposed to be celebrated because there seems to be conflicting info out there? I just use the 25th for the main family celebration as it's convenient, it's what I've always done and no one else to going to change what they do to fit me. However I celebrate the whole 2 weeks following the Winter Solstice and have never just celebrated on the 25th. Ideally I would celebrate the solstice on the solstice, but due to work commitments our local group are celebrating on Saturday 22nd.

Edited by Red Kite

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Moonhunter
On what date is Yule supposed to be celebrated because there seems to be conflicting info out there?

 

On why Yule/Mothers' Night was celebrated on 25 December in pre-Christian England (and possibly in the rest of Europe). ;)

 

Ideally I would celebrate the solstice on the solstice, but due to work commitments our local group are celebrating on Saturday 22nd.

205064[/snapback]

 

this year the 22 December is the solstice. At around 6:09 am, I think.

 

Actually, I'm not going to be dictated to by accurate astronomy, either. I shall still be celebrating my Yule during the day on the Friday. :D

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Guest Red Kite
On what date is Yule supposed to be celebrated because there seems to be conflicting info out there?

 

On why Yule/Mothers' Night was celebrated on 25 December in pre-Christian England (and possibly in the rest of Europe). ;)

 

Ideally I would celebrate the solstice on the solstice, but due to work commitments our local group are celebrating on Saturday 22nd.

205064[/snapback]

 

this year the 22 December is the solstice. At around 6:09 am, I think.

 

Actually, I'm not going to be dictated to by accurate astronomy, either. I shall still be celebrating my Yule during the day on the Friday. :D

205067[/snapback]

 

Oh so it is! I must have looked it up on an American site. Oh that will be nice then - I took the Summer Solstice off specially and now I have the Winter Solstice off too! :P

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Guest Quasizoid

Heh, sod it all. I live in a good ol' Allemanian village in the pampas and here we get out the long oak table and feast the agrarian new year on the 25th...and that's with the added plus of pissing off the Black Catholics- because all they get is Carp on the 24th before their midnight mass. ;)

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cern
On what date is Yule supposed to be celebrated because there seems to be conflicting info out there?

 

On why Yule/Mothers' Night was celebrated on 25 December in pre-Christian England (and possibly in the rest of Europe). ;)

 

Ideally I would celebrate the solstice on the solstice, but due to work commitments our local group are celebrating on Saturday 22nd.

205064[/snapback]

 

this year the 22 December is the solstice. At around 6:09 am, I think.

 

Actually, I'm not going to be dictated to by accurate astronomy, either. I shall still be celebrating my Yule during the day on the Friday. :D

205067[/snapback]

 

Me, I'm going for Friday evening. Call me a fair weather Pagan if you must. But 6.09 on a Saturday morning with the kind of temperatures we've been having. Mind you, is it likely to be much warmer at about 8 PM the previous night? Still, the last line of guidelines in the ritual I wrote for our groiup does say 'Bugger off and get warmed up' :P

 

BB

 

Mike

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Moonhunter
Mind you, is it likely to be much warmer at about 8 PM the previous night? Still, the last line of guidelines in the ritual I wrote for our groiup does say 'Bugger off and get warmed up' :D

205074[/snapback]

 

Heh, by 8pm on Yule eve (Friday) I should be back indoors with a lot of candles lit and feeling warm. I am not conducting my usual Yule ritual on the Saturday, given I'd have to get past Hereford to reach the site. Hereford is nearly gridlocked most days in December on account of the Christmas shopping, and will be at a total standstill on a Saturday. ;)

 

Any way, you can always count the pre-Christian Heathen way, where the day begins the night before, at sunset, and finishes at sunset the next day. That meant the e.g. Wednesday night (Wodan'sniht) is what we call Tuesday night. So sunset on the Friday is the beginning of Yule. (Hence the old importance of Christmas Eve). :P

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cern
Any way, you can always count the pre-Christian Heathen way, where the day begins the night before, at sunset, and finishes at sunset the next day. That meant the e.g. Wednesday night (Wodan'sniht) is what we call Tuesday night. So sunset on the Friday is the beginning of Yule. (Hence the old importance of Christmas Eve). biggrin.gif

 

That was how I was thinking about it. :) We're heading out to the woods. There will no doubt be some Christmas shopping traffic. But that will be dodged long before we get to the woods. :)

 

BB

 

Mike

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Guest Red Kite
On what date is Yule supposed to be celebrated because there seems to be conflicting info out there?

 

On why Yule/Mothers' Night was celebrated on 25 December in pre-Christian England (and possibly in the rest of Europe). :)

 

Ideally I would celebrate the solstice on the solstice, but due to work commitments our local group are celebrating on Saturday 22nd.

205064[/snapback]

 

this year the 22 December is the solstice. At around 6:09 am, I think.

 

Actually, I'm not going to be dictated to by accurate astronomy, either. I shall still be celebrating my Yule during the day on the Friday. :)

205067[/snapback]

 

Me, I'm going for Friday evening. Call me a fair weather Pagan if you must. But 6.09 on a Saturday morning with the kind of temperatures we've been having. Mind you, is it likely to be much warmer at about 8 PM the previous night? Still, the last line of guidelines in the ritual I wrote for our groiup does say 'Bugger off and get warmed up' :D

 

BB

 

Mike

205074[/snapback]

 

We're having our ceremony at sunset on the 22nd around an oak Yule log which will be on fire of course then having an all night party indoors afterwards - we've rented a place for the night so we won't get too cold :) Probably none of us will be up at 6am! I will get up to see daybreak though and the sunrise - if one is visible that is.

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cern

Sounds cool. :)

 

BB

 

Mike

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