During Christmas time, we see all kinds of symbols. What do these symbols mean?
First Christians didn’t celebrate the birth of Christ, because birthdays were a Pagan tradition.
Eventually Catholics celebrated Christmas, but Protestant reformers hated it. They thought the rowdy and bright party scene wasn’t any better than pagan parties.
Under Oliver Cromwell, it was banned in England.
In the new England colonies in the 1600s, it was illegal for 25 years to celebrate it.
Saint Nicolas was Bishop Nicolas and lived in what is now Turkey in the 3rd or 4th century.
His friend didn’t have money for dowry, so his 3 daughters couldn’t get married. Nick threw 3 bags of gold into their living room, some which landed in socks drying by the fireplace.
Later he was declared a Saint by the Catholic church.
Nicolas was Archbishop when violent Christian persecution began under the Roman Emperor Diocletian and his successor, Galerius. Any leaders that endured all of this were admired.
There are many stories of his faith, generosity, and even miracles.
His death on December 6th, gave way to a new tradition… gift giving on New Year’s Day, until Queen Victoria began giving gifts on Christmas Eve in the Mid-1800s.
“A Visit from St. Nicholas” in the 1800s was the first attribution to the modern Santa Claus. Coca-Cola in the early 1900s, expanded on it in advertising campaigns.
The symbols of the Holiday Season aren’t just pretty, they are all historically rooted and have a deeper meaning.
Ancient symbol of eternal life. Usually fir Trees, which once again are evergreen. The fir was also used in Pagan Rome to denote Baal-Berith.
All tree toppers had the purpose to point straight to heaven.
Lights were a Pagan symbol signifying hope, happiness, and safety.
Nativities are accounts in the Bible of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Red represents sacrifice of blood, Green represents the evergreen tree.
Holly was once considered a holy plant because of the colors. In ancient Rome, Holly was an attribute to the sun gods. Christians adopted the shape of the leaves as the “crown of thorns.”
Was used to tell the real story of Saint Nicholas.
Invented by a Christian candy maker to represent the life of Christ. White represented his purity. The large red stripe was for his blood shed. 3 small stripes to represent the destructive beating and whipping that Jesus received. The J-shape was for Jesus and to represent a staff of the “Good Shepherd.”
Bells were used to call people to churches (the community center) for church service, for the death of a person, for announcing Christ’s birthday.
Represents the biblical Star of Bethlehem, which the wise men followed to worship the child Jesus. Orion is very easy to spot around winter solstice and played a part in the solstice celebrations.
Is a ritual straight from the Bible. Salvation is called “A free Gift” in the New Testament. Jesus is the gift to man. People came to give gifts to the King Child of the Jews.
Angel means messenger. Beings of Light and known for messages from the Devine. Angels only had masculine names in the bible, but today they are portrayed as females or feminine looking males. They did battle and stuff in the bible. Angels told the shepherds where to find Jesus.
Mexican legend says that a poor girl could only give Baby Jesus the gift of a bunch of weeds and when she gave them to him, they blossomed into lush red plants. Poinsettia is a native red flower native to Mexico.
Represents fire and light
Along with Holly, was ever present during winter solstice celebrations because it was evergreen. It was symbolic of endurance, promise, hope and vitality.
Representative of an illuminated life. It was known as a sacred plant of peace with European and Celtic warriors. If they spotted it in the forest where they fought, they would drop their weapons. It was a natural “white flag.” It also represented overcoming difficulties, the way it climbed up the mighty oaks.
Reindeer first appeared in Christmas in the “A Visit from St. Nicholas” poem from the 1800s, which is now known as “The Night Before Christmas.” They came from the Norse myths of Thor. He was pulled in a chariot by a goat, which became a reindeer later as it was retold. They are honoured for nobility and worthiness due to its provisions for food, supplies, warm clothing, tools, and… helping the ancestors find medicinal plants in the snow and ice covered earth. Interesting: They ate hallucinogenic mushrooms!
Several symbolisms. First is the crown of thorns for eternal life. Next is the circle for cycles, seasons, and immortality. Was typically Holly and Ivy for the aforementioned reasons.
Usually from Ash, The charcoal from the previous year’s Yule Log was usually used to start the current log ablaze. European cultures would choose the biggest greenest log to set on fire because it was meant to burn through the entire festivities… so they wanted it to last as long as possible. Somehow it got transferred into Chocolate Yule Log cakes… go figure.
The mother of Adonis, a pagan deity, was turned into a fir tree. In that state, had Adonis. This is why the Log is burned.
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