Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Childermas/Christmas/Solstice?!

Merry christmas, too.

But is it really? In biblical times, there happened a great massacre, where tons of innocent people were killed. This, they called the Massacre of the Innocents. The name kinda makes sense, doesnt it? To commemorate this day, we started celebrating Holy Innocents day on the 28th dec, also know as Childermas.

On childermas, Saint Nicholas was rumored to walk around, dressed up as a goat. This is generally accepted as truth. The goat, as we already know, symbolises the devil. You know, the horns, the snout, the hooves. Its how the devil is depicted in art. For Nicholas, the goat dress symbolised his "control" over the devil. Yeah, he was that naive.

Generally, in our western culture, we dont really regard Christmas as something christian, do we? Its turned into this sort of just cultural tradition. We dont pray, nor do most of us go to church. Actually, christmas has become more of a symbol for western consumerism than anything else.

But yes, It is told Jesus was born... Some time of the year. We just celebrate it on the 24th dec. Whats interesting is, its conspicuously close to the winter solstice. Which is the date of the shortest day, marking the onset of days starting to get longer... Does anyone else sense some funky symbolism here? Rising light, Jesus Christ, erh... Our sun? Ill leave it to you as free spirits to adhere to any religion you want, but as a Christian, I definitely worship the sun. Wait, what?

These dates seem to have kinda merged... Saint Nicholas is now our Santa Claus, thats where we think we got it from. But he wasnt merrily dressed in red and white. He ran around, pranking people, demanding gifts, dressed up as an evil goat.

Left my drawing tablet in Vasa, so I had to improvise. 

Red was always the liturgical colour adorned in connection to Holy Innocents day, and eventually and inevitably the goat turned into a red-clothed straw-man, and finally into the jolly old pervert we all know and love, Santa Claus. In Finnish, Santa Claus is still called "Joulupukki", Pukki meaning some kind of goat. The Yule goat, as it was called, was known and kind of worshipped especially in Scandinavia, and germanic culture. As close as a hundred years ago, there was no such thing as Santa, there was only the Yule Goat.

So thats the story of Christmas. Full of wonderful archetypes and great symbolisism. Have a good one! Im not going to tell you whether or not you should believe in Jesus and all that, but this tradition is born out of historical fact. Saint Nicholas did exist, even if what he believed in may or may not have.

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