Merry Christmas! Happy Saturnalia! Happy Yule!
Published: Thu, 12/23/21
Hi Every One,
As you have probably noticed by now, Tim and I love to study history. The history of civilizations, the history of food, the history of religions, the history of tools, the history of health, the history of yoga, the history of ayurveda, and the list goes on and on.
In the spirit of the holidays and in particular Christmas, we would like to share with you some fascinating fun facts that we learned, while trying to decipher the origins of this worldwide cultural phenomenon (as referred to by the History channel).
- It is not until the 4th century AD, that church officials started celebrating the birth of Jesus as a holiday.
- The Bible does not mention a date for the birth of Jesus, Pope Julius I chose December 25.
- It is speculated that the church chose this date in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival along with other European celebrations, such as the Norse Yule and the Germanic mid-winter holiday honoring Oden.
- In early America, Christmas was not a holiday as we know it today. In fact, in 1828, the New York city council instituted the city’s first police force in response to a Christmas riot!
- In 1819, best-selling author Washington Irving wrote The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, gent., a series of stories about the celebration of Christmas in an English manor house. Irving’s book was not based on any holiday celebration he had attended. However, many historians say that Irving’s account actually “invented” tradition by implying that it described the true customs of the season.
- Christmas was officially declared a federal holiday on June 26, 1870.
Until next time... Merry Christmas! Happy Saturnalia! Happy Yule! Traditions do matter after all!
Na’maste Kala! (Which in Greek means, may we all be well!)
-Tim and Vie | Ayurveda Outlaws