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|HRISTMAS ISCONCEPTIONS AND YTHS|
There are a lot of common misconceptions or plain old errors that have been accepted as fact since Christmas was first celebrated in the Fourth Century. These are myths that are associated with the Biblical aspects of the celebration that have been retained in modern tradition. In an effort to clear up these misconceptions and myths, and not to spoil the fun, some of what has been revealed by scholars as the either truth or educated speculation is listed here in brief for two of them. December 25, 1 A.D.: The actual month and date of the birth of Jesus Christ is, of course, unknown. However, comparisons with historical records of current events noted in the Scripture, such as Herod's edict to have the first born of Israel killed, put the year as possibly 3 or 4 B.C., some time before the accepted 1 A.D. The birth was most likely in the spring, not December, as this is when taxes were collected and when shepherds were out in the field at night during lambing season. December 25 was a Pagan holiday of the Winter Solstice for followers of Mithras, a Persian sun god. This sect was the chief religious rival to Christians in Rome late in the fourth century. The Romans also had a celebration during that time called Saturnalia, honoring Saturn, the god of agriculture. When Emperor Constantine accepted Christianity for himself and later outlawed paganism in 392, Pope Julius suggested that the annual recognition of the birth of Christ be celebrated at that same time so that the old holidays could be absorbed into the new one. By the end of the fifth century, the celebration of Christmas on December 25 had taken hold, as had Christianity throughout much of the known world. The Magi: Known often as kings, but in reality more likely scholars and astronomers, the Magi or Wise Men traveled from the east, which could include modern Iraq, Iran or Turkey, and possibly as far as Pakistan.
|HE ICKENS, OU AY?|
There is hardly anybody that has reached the age of ten in the Western world that does not know of the short story written by London's literary favorite, Charles Dickens, titled A Christmas Carol. Yet with the number of films and television shows made of this story, there are still some common misperceptions about its creation and some of the story content, which is sometimes dismissed for the sake of a secular audience in a time and place far removed from Dicken's London of 1843. In the hopes of distilling some of this information into renewed interest in actually READING the book (links at the end) instead of just watching it, and explaining its growing popularity by the Ragtime era, here are novel facts about the man and his worthy tome. It was more than whimsy or creative muse that motivated the author of hefty volumes such as
You can find full text and some occasional illustrations for Dicken's classic at the following sites: StormFax (my favorite - with illustrations), Page by Page Books and Planet PDF eBooks among others. You may also search for more on the story at Google.Com
|HE IRST ODERN ANTA LAUS|
Although there have been times over 300 of the last 1600 years that Christmas has been officially celebrated that the actual purpose of the celebration has been partially forgotten or totally ignored, or the emphasis shifted elsewhere,
|HE RIGIN OF THE INTH EINDEER|
Although much of the origin of the famous crimson-beaked mammal leading Santa's sleigh is well-known to many around the world, there are parts of the story which are often overlooked. Rudolph evolved out of a very sad situation.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer song Copyright ©1949/1975 by Johnny Marks.
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