Advent Celebration – Dec 8th

Frosty the snowman was a jolly happy soul, With a corncob pipe and a button nose And two eyes made out of coal.
Frosty the snowman is a fairy tale, they say, He was made of snow but the children Know how he came to life one day.
There must have been some magic in that Old silk hat they found. For when they placed it on his head He began to dance around.
O, Frosty the snowman Was alive as he could be, And the children say he could laugh And play just the same as you and me.
Thumpetty thump thump, Thumpety thump thump, Look at Frosty go.
Thumpetty thump thump, Thumpety thump thump, Over the hills of snow.

My expression didn’t change at the fool standing before me, dancing around, gesturing vividly with his hands as he continued to regale me with the tale of Frosty the Snowman. I stood with my arms crossed in the corner of the turbo lift, already regretting going to the station promenade for some shopping. I had to admit, I liked his thick red wool, emblazoned with stitched candy canes, obviously made by grandma sweater. It just added to his badass image.

ADVENT DAY 8

PRIZE: ???

TASK: Find a messed up holiday tradition, explaining its true origin to us. For example, the christmas tree, celebrated by all, is actually part of the druidic winter solstice festival, which runs very contrary to the Christian faith, and yet how many Bible believing homes have a Christmas tree every year? That’s messed up.

I will announce today’s winner at 10 PM EST.

Today’s winner is Weslon, whom has won a PLEX, care of CCP. Congrats! See you all again tomorrow.

12 responses to “Advent Celebration – Dec 8th

  1. There’s an old Quebecois legend called the Chasse Gallerie (sorry, no translation for it). It’s said that a long time ago, lumberjacks who wanted to get back to their families for Xmas/New Year’s, the story varies, would make a deal with the Devil and board a flying rabaska canoe and be taken to their loved ones. Of course, the Devil being the happy chap he is, there was a catch: if one person missed the Midnight deadline for the trip back to the logging camp everyone got a one-way trip straight to Hell.

    Here’s some pictures

  2. In Latvia, Santa goes by “Ziemmassve’tku veci’tis”, or Big Zimmer for short and he deliver presents every day, beginning 12 days before Christmas. They also practice “mumming”, which is an old pagan tradition where men and women swap clothes and put on masks. They then go dancing, singing, visiting friends and neighbors, or put on certain traditional plays. Usually the narrator of the play is dressed as the Big Zimmer. The masks they were are usually in the likeness of bears, horses, goats, gypsies, and …wait for it… zombies! Sounds like American Halloween to me…

  3. Here’s one.

    Taken from wikipedia.

    ——————————

    There is a modern allegorical tradition that reinterprets the candy cane’s shape as a “J”, standing for Jesus Christ. The stripes are said to represent his sacrifice, with the red being blood, and the white being purity. However, there does not seem to be any historical information to support any claim that the cane was originally made with this allegory in mind.

    ——————————-

    ewww Blood icicles.

  4. The Yule log, is taken from ancient sun worship rituals. Yule Logs are supposed to be cut from red oak trees and burned all of Christmas Eve and into Christmas Day. It is unlucky to buy your own log and lucky ones usually come from your neighbor’s woodpile. It is also customary to light the new log with a scrap of last year’s log. The scrap is kept under the homeowners’ bed to protect the home from fire and lightning during the next year.

  5. A bit of googling turned this up:

    An old Victorian tradition was to hide a glass pickle in the Christmas tree the night before Christmas.

    Whoever found the pickle would either receive a special gift or get to open the first gift.

    The story behind this tradition dates back to medieval times. Legend has it that a sinister innkeeper captured two hapless children and imprisoned them inside a pickle barrel.

    St Nicholas happened to walk by the inn later on, and heard the children’s cries for help. He immediately tapped the barrel with his staff and freed the children, who ran home for Christmas dinner.

  6. The leaving of coal in the stockings. It’s an old Italian tradition called La Befana.

    Taken from Sicilian Culture (http://www.sicilianculture.com/folklore/christmas.htm):

    One tradition you often hear of in the United States is “if you are not good, you will get coal in your stocking”. Well, this actually stems from the tradition of La Befana. On the night that Jesus was born, the 2 Wise Men had stopped by her house to ask for directions, afterward they had asked her to join them, but she refused. Later on, a shepherd stopped by to ask her for directions as well, and then also asked her to join him to come pay respects to the baby Jesus, but she refused again. Later that night, she saw a great bright star in the sky and then reconsidered going to look for the stable where Jesus was. She had collected some toys of her own child that had died, to give to the baby Jesus. But, she could not find the stable. So to this day, she goes around looking for Jesus and leaves toys for the good children, and coal for the bad ones. Carbone Dolce is often used as the traditional joke in Italy, its rock candy that looks almost exactly like coal.

  7. The reason Mistletoe is rarely used in churches.
    Mistletoe bears fruit at the time of the Winter Solstice, the birth of the new year, and may have been used in solstitial rites in Druidic Britain as a symbol of immortality. In Celtic mythology and in druid rituals, it was considered a remedy for barrenness in animals and an antidote to poison, although the fruits of many mistletoes are actually poisonous if ingested as they contain viscotoxins.This once pagan tradition started when a girl would stand beneath the hanging plant and a boy would walk up, pick a berry and then kiss her. When the berries were gone…no more kisses!

  8. I did sone research and found these messed up ideas on mistletoe, Scandinavian legend states that Loki, the god of destruction, killed Baldur, the god of peace, by shooting him with an arrow made from mistletoe. Other gods and goddesses were saddened by Baldur’s death and asked that his life be restored, which it was. In appreciation, his mother Frigga hung up the mistletoe and promised to kiss all who passed under it. Because of this, mistletoe became the symbol of both forgiveness and love.” There are also a few other beliefs of mistletoe from around the world. During the Middle Ages, people would hang mistletoe over doors and on their ceilings to scare off evil spirits and prevent witches from entering. In addition, there is an old superstition that if you place a twig of mistletoe under your pillow you will not have any nightmares. These all surprised me when I found them, being very wierd.

  9. Christmas stockings seem to have a few origins, but this is my favorite explanation, I think:

    Another possible creator of the Christmas stocking tradition comes from Germany in the 16th century. German children would hang their socks by the fireplace to dry after washing them. On Christmas Eve, St. Nicholas would fill these stockings with five gifts designed to stimulate each of the five senses. A typical stocking would be filled with:

    * Something to eat — fruit, or candy
    * A toy or toys that make noise
    * An item that is visually pleasing like jewelry, cuff links, or a coloring book
    * An item with a good scent such as cologne or perfume
    * Something soft like modeling clay or a soft toy

  10. Once upon a time (well, Ancient Rome) there was a festival called Saturnalia, which was a celebration of the turn of winter and the start of the next year, and more importantly, a bit of better weather (awful lot of farmer-folk back then). Well, on the 17th of December to the 23rd, there was a lot of good times to be had by all, and rather than completely eradicate the pagan festival in praise of Saturn, as christianity arose it warped Saturnalia into our ‘Christmas’, saving themselves a lot of annoyed ex-partygoers. So whats so bad about that?

    Well, the prospect of gift-giving also comes from Saturnalia. The most common gifts were small dolls, given to children. So far so good. Well, Rome wasn’t always so civilised. and these small dolls? A rather toned down verson of the human sacrifices once offered to their pagan gods. Bear that one in mind next time you see the piles of kids toys on sale this Christmas!

  11. Pegans aren’t allowed to have red or green Christmas ball ornaments on their tree. In some cases, they aren’t even allowed to have a Douglas fir as a festive tree. Yule is an odd time of year for them.

    The reason behind the balls is because it reminds them of a rotting man. As a man rots underground, his balls first turn red before filling with puss (green) and being eaten by maggots and other under worldly bugs. Douglas firs are considerd bad luck to pegans. The sap from the needles, if eaten by birds (which are sacred creatures of the sky) will kill them. Birds are wish carriers for Pegans. So they improvise by either using a fake one, or finding a pear tree to hang (original ornaments) wish scrolls.

    Enjoy your new found (or maybe not) piece of Christmas info.

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