Tag Archives: Saturnalia

The History of the Holiday Evergreen

2068647073_027652d2e8This is the time of year where evergreens are festively decked out in red ribbon and twinkling lights and festooning homes and cities around the globe.  But did you know you were following in the footsteps of ancient cultures from all over the world who used green plants in their own winter solstice celebrations? Beginning thousands of years ago and culminating in today’s ubiquitous Christmas tree, greenery has long been a cherished holiday decoration. Continue reading

The Pagan Origins of Christmas

A Modern ChristmasIn the modern age, the majority of the world view Christmas as a Christian holiday in origin. However, this is not the case. A lot of popular traditions that are associated with Christmas are not indeed Christian in origin. Many have pre-Christian beginnings in pagan festivals that were celebrated by the pagan populace around the winter solstice before they were later converted to Christianity. Examples of such festivals are Saturnalia and Yule. In addition to this, Christmas was banned on a few occasions within certain Protestant groups, such as the Puritans, because they believed that Christmas was too pagan.[1] In modern times Christmas, for those who celebrate it, is generally thought to be most people’s favourite holiday.  The same could be said for the pagan winter festivals in ancient Europe. This was due to the fact that everyone was looking forward to better weather with the arrival of Spring and that there was far less agricultural work to be done at this time of year. Continue reading