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Boring facts about Christmas

Friday, 24th December 2010

FACT 1. Christmas ≠ winter solstice.

Winter solstice: 21 December.
Christmas: 25  December.


FACT 2. Catholic Christmastide season  ≠ Pagan Germanic/ Norse Yule.

Yule: 14 November – 13 December.
Christmastide:  25 December – 6 January.


So, no. The Catholic Church did not just cover up some pagan celebration in order to get the townies to play along.

Some people point out that depending on what calendar was used, Christmas and the winter solstice may have coincided.

Sure, law of averages, right?

Calendars weren’t a universal or even a precise thing back then. While Romans officially counted years from the founding of the city, they also counted consulships, lunar cycles, a “market week” of eight days, and dated thing backwards from specific days in a month. Heck, you even had leap-months.

This particular calendar was so convoluted that holidays were holidays only when the augers and priests said so. Hence the Julian reforms.

Other kingdoms marked time by the reign of monarchs. Every village and every cult had their own way of reckoning time from seasonal changes to remembrances of local events. So saying that two specific calendars had coincided celebrations is less noteworthy upon second glance.

But then, the Eastern Catholic, Orthodox and Oriental Churches who still use the old Julian calendar celebrate Christmas either on 7 January or 19 January, again far from the solstice-Yule time period.


Why would anyone harp on a rather trivial matter such as this each and every year?

Put plainly, it is religious discrimination against Catholics. Perpetrators include:

  • non-mainstream Protestant sects (Jehovah’s Witnesses, fundamentalist Baptists, 7th Day Adventist) who claim “There’s no ‘Christmas’ mentioned in the Bible!”;
  • Modern religious movements influenced by the pre-Christian pagan beliefs of Europe (pagan revivalists) trying to claim minority status and survivor street cred; and
  • militant atheists who can’t abide the presence of crèches while attending Christmas parties and receiving their fair share of the holiday loot.

Funny how nobody mentions that Lutherans, Evangelicals, Anglicans, and the Orthodox Churches have similar celebrations, but get zero flak for it.

  1. Is it because the Catholic Church is just a bigger target whose broad back attracts stabby folk?
  2. Is it because devout Catholics refuse to play nice and inadvertently annoy some people by making them feel guilty of their life choices?

There is a method to this madness.

The idea is to attempt to undermine the Catholic system by avoiding hot button topics which have a lot of trained apologists defending the faith and drawing the less informed towards overlooked topics which few faithful bother to notice.

The premise is this:

If the Catholic Church can’t be trusted to keep something as simple as an appointment book, then they can’t be trusted to walk and chew bubblegum at the same time, much less have any credibility to speak on hot-button topics like contraception, homosexuality, poverty, etc.

From little acorns to big oak trees… 4GW tactics at its most basic.

 


Fact 3. When these jokers nonchalantly remind us to turn the other cheek, they really mean “Bend over, here it comes again!

Sorry, buddy. Homey don’t play dat!”

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