But Saturnalia was months ago...
Posted by brian65401 on Tue, 02/15/2005 - 2:31pm.
Here is a post that was on a mailing list I am on...dug it out of the archives...

From: "suzanne617"
Date: Mon Dec 24, 2001 9:07 pm
Subject: Happy Saturnalia! (Periodic Repost)


It is generally accepted by scholars that Christ was born in April.

The term Christmas comes from the Roman Catholic mass of Christ celebrated on December 25 originally to counter the ancient feast of Saturnia established by the ancient Romans. The holiday, which resembled both halloween and Mardi gras, was so popular that the Church could not abolish it. The Church's answer to this pagan holiday was to declare that Christ was born on December 25. The meaning of the Roman holiday was to celebrate the "rising Sun," the Church altered that a bit to mean the "rising Son."

Even so, in 18th century London (London was originally a Roman city) the peasant's Christmas eve carousing, which included public sexual activity, was again outlawed by the Christian noblemen. The holiday went underground for a century. Hard to keep a good thing down, Christmas celebration was reestablished in Protestant England only when the population began flocking to the Catholic Mass on December 25 of each year.

When the Puritans moved to America Christmas was strictly outlawed, any man caught drunk on December 25 was fined 5 pounds. Anyone exhibiting too much joy on that day was punished. After the American revolution the Congress of the US was intentionally kept in session on December 25 for over 60 years to resist this English/Roman pagan holiday.

The "yule tide" refers to the Germanic pagan ritual of hauling the largest log one could find into the "keep" in December and staying drunk while it burned, usually for about ten days. Along with that the evergreen was brought in because it was held that its powers to stay alive over Winter would give the household strength. To this custom, which became popular when Queen Victoria married her cousin, a German, the Church added hanging apples on the tree to signify the Garden of Eden. The apples evolved into assorted ornamentation.

Another German tradition was the myth that an evil demon flew through the night on a certain day in December, if this entity visited your house one of your family would die. The Dutch countered this fearful visitor with an obscure Turkish saint named St. Nicholas: instead of a demon visiting ruin on the house, this cheerful saint would visit the household bestowing presents on the frightened children. In line with this, an American Senator picked up pen in the 1800's and, designing a `Santa Claus' that resembled one of America's robber barons and railroad tycoons, though in reverse moral propensity, created the popular Saint Nick. The idea was so popular with the department stores, this gift giving, that Santa nearly immediately appeared in every major retailing establishment in America to invite children to inform their parents how to spend their money.

Happy Saturnalia.
Your name:
Anne Onymous
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