Thursday, December 22, 2005

Jingle bell jingle bell jingle bell rock…

Jingle bells swing and jingle bells ring
Snowing and blowing up bushels of fun
Now the jingle hop has begun.

It’s Christmas time and there’s no better time to say Merry Christmas to everyone who reads my blog. We in India might not enjoy the traditional ‘walk in a winter wonderland’:

Gone away is the bluebird
Here to stay is a new bird
He sings a love song
As we go along
Walking in a winter wonderland.

But we sure know how to have a merry blast at Christmas. Of course, most of us know how to have a blast and party 365 days of the year, but that’s a different story! Last weekend , I was with a jolly group of Christmas carol singers, and we were practising Christmas carols to go and sing them around a couple of neighbourhoods in the lead-up to Christmas. Now, I’m not a Christian myself but that shouldn’t and didn’t stop me from going and having a great time laughing and singing the best I can to old Christmas carols like ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer’, and learning a few new ones like the two I’ve just mentioned above. It’s all about the spirit of the festival, the spirit of sharing and caring and loving and giving (reminds me of Joey’s speeches as he was working out what to say during Monica and Chandler’s wedding ceremony where he was to be the internet-ordained priest!!!).

Anyway, back to what I was saying about Christmas – I’m sure everyone knows about the origin of Christmas. It’s about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, right? However, I am always on the lookout for new information about anything and in my random searches here is what I found about some of the other stories regarding the origin of Christmas.

The birth of Jesus Christ on December 25th probably occurred in late summer or early fall about 2000 years ago. Surprisingly, though, most of the traditions of Christmas pre-date the actual birth of Christ. More, gathered from this site:

The date of December 25th probably originated with the ancient "birthday" of the son-god, Mithra, a pagan deity whose religious influence became widespread in the Roman Empire during the first few centuries A.D. Mithra was related to the Semitic sun-god, Shamash, and his worship spread throughout Asia to Europe where he was called Deus Sol Invictus Mithras. Rome was well-known for absorbing the pagan religions and rituals of its widespread empire. As such, Rome converted this pagan legacy to a celebration of the god, Saturn, and the rebirth of the sun god during the winter solstice period. The winter holiday became known as Saturnalia and began the week prior to December 25th. The festival was characterized by gift-giving, feasting, singing and downright debauchery, as the priests of Saturn carried wreaths of evergreen boughs in procession throughout the Roman temples.

Variations of this pagan holiday flourished throughout the first few centuries after Jesus Christ, but it probably wasn't until 336 AD that Emperor Constantine officially converted this pagan tradition into the "Christian" holiday of Christmas.

I thought that was interesting, mainly because I didn’t know about this version of Christmas. But essentially, Christmas, like any other religious festival, is what YOU make of it. The main message that should be preached and practised, in my opinion, is of love, peace and prosperity for all.

So go to your office parties, family gatherings, sessions of fun and frolic and drink and dance with friends, dress in red, white and green and generally be happy.

You don’t need me to tell you that :-)

Have a blessed Christmas!


Penny Lane said...

Mine has been quite rocking so far. Hope you have a wonderful time too :)

wanderstruck said...

hey penny
hope you're enjoying being at home again...and have fun in goa. christmas was fun, hope yours was too!

Sharad said...

Have you heard the song ?? Jingle Bell Rock, by Niel Diamond ? It's pretty cool !

wanderstruck said...

Of course, I have, Sharad!
Welcome back to India!