Arizona Travel Blog› entry 4 of 9 › view all entries
My lone Christmas in Tucson. On this Pious day we celebrate the mix of old and new traditions. Desire and I searched quite a bit for the origins and especially the date (25th December) of Christmas and found so many varying reasons why that date was chosen. In the Christian world it is believed unquestionably that Jesus was born on December 25th over two thousand years ago. December is believed to have been chosen by the Catholic Church to compete with its rival pagan rituals held at that time of year but also for its closeness to the winter solstice in the Northern hemisphere, a traditional time of celebration among many ancient cultures. The history of a Christmas festival dates back over 4000 years. Ancient Midwinter festivities celebrated the return of the Sun from cold and darkness.
The ancient Greeks held ceremonies similar to those of the Zagmuk and Sacaea festivals. The purpose of this feast was to assist their god Kronos, who would battle against the god Zeus and his army of Titans.
In the Scandinavias, a similar tradition was celebrated. In the winter when the sun disappeared for long periods of time Scouts would be sent out after the first thirty five days of dark days. The Scouts would go to the top of the mountain and wait for some sign of light fro the sun. When the first light was seen the scouts would return back to the villages with the news of the light and a special feast was celebrated around a fire burning with the Yule log. Huge bonfires would also be lit to celebrate the welcome return of the Sun. In some areas, people would tie apples to the branches of trees as a reminder that Spring and Summer would eventually return.
Theologians have not agreed on the actual date of Jesusâï¿½ï¿½ birth; calculations based alternately on the reign of Herod and the time of the census as recorded in the New Testament book of Luke have created discrepancies. The ancient celebrations of the day have their origins in neo-paganism. Despite its godless origins, parents are encouraged to celebrate Jesus Christ, the king of kings and giver of life everlasting.