Staring to get ready for Christmas. This is a continuation of the “Real Meaning of Christmas” in Pictures project.
Christmas is the time of year that we gather together with our families and participate in a variety of different family and cultural traditions. Without them, it just would not be Christmas for most of us. We put up holiday lights, sing carols, bake cookies, eat candy canes, give each other gifts, and decorate the Christmas tree with ornaments. We take these traditions and activities for granted, but where exactly do some of these holiday traditions come from in the first place?
Of course, Christmas is celebrated in order to honor the birth of Jesus, but did you know that Christmas was not always celebrated on December 25th? It was not until around 300 A.D. when Pope Julius I decided to celebrate the birth of Christ on the same day every year in order to replace the pagan Winter Solstice with a Christian holiday. It stuck and we have been celebrating Christmas on the same day ever since.
Why do we hang lights?
As to the lights – MANY cultures that were subject to deep darkness and cold lit candles, fires, bonfires, to lend strength to the waning power of light ….. to help light triumph over the darkness.
The tree – is the symbol of life in the dark, snowed life of the north. The evergreen is the only living plant, when all is dormant and dead.
After Martin Luther saw stars twinkling in the sky between boughs of the evergreens on Christmas, he is said to have placed the first candles on his tree. But electric lights, Koski said, came from Thomas Edison’s business partner Edward Johnson. “He took home light bulbs and had them wired to a tree and put it in his window and people drove by just to see them,” she said.
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Copyright Wayne Moran Photography 2012
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