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  • Ahhhh, Christmas. The time to spread Christmas cheer, hang stockings over our chimneys, build

  • cute snowmen, go Christmas caroling, huddle in our couch, watch reruns of Home Alone while

  • sipping on some hot cocoaaaand contribute to consumerism by buying gifts for family

  • members, co-workers, and acquaintances out of guilt and social obligation.

  • Many may claim that Christmas has lost its Christian valuesWell, what if we told

  • you it wasn’t about Jesus in the first place?

  • Youre watching Explore Mode and today we are explaining the origins of Christmas traditions.

  • CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS, EXPLAINED

  • We all know why we celebrate Christmas today. I mean, it’s in the name. But if you haven’t

  • figured it out by now, Jesus was in fact NOT born on December 25th. See, no one really

  • knows exactly when he came to Earth as an exact time or date was not documented in the

  • Bible. In fact, his birth was not really a cause for celebration until the Catholic church

  • decided to make it a thing. Is it too early for an Explore Fact?

  • Not all Christians celebrate Christmas in December. In fact, the Orthodox Church celebrates

  • it on January 6 and 7. The reason for this is that they use the Julian calendar, put

  • in place in 46 B.C. by Julius Caesar, which during the 20th and 21st centuries is 13 days

  • behind in comparison to the widely used Gregorian calendar. Even the way they celebrate it is

  • different. Orthodox Christians usually fast on January 6 until the first star appears

  • in the night sky, symbolizing the birth of Christ. They also have a feast although traditionally

  • it does not contain meat or alcohol.

  • As with most holidays of the Christian nature, December 25th was a date on which pagan holidays

  • were celebrated and that was a huge no-no for the expanding Catholic church. At least

  • that’s one of the reasons that has been proposed by historians.

  • See the date matches up with several pagan festivities which include:

  • the end of Saturnalia, the Roman celebration of Saturn, the god of agriculture.

  • the Persian celebrations of Mithra, the god of light

  • and Yuletide or Yule, a Germanic celebration that marks the winter solstice.

  • Both Yule and Saturnalia celebration traditions can be linked to modern Christmas customs.

  • For example, during Saturnalia people would exchange gifts, have bigrole reversal

  • banquets in which masters served their slaves and they’d also decorate their temples with

  • fir trees. Yule on the other hand also celebrated with a large feast in which they would eat

  • and drink. Do these customs sound familiar to you?

  • Another tradition we adopted from pagan celebrations is one that has helped further romantic storylines

  • in Hollywood movies and helped pop singers pull at the heart-strings of their fans: Kissing

  • under the mistletoe.

  • And FYI, mistletoe looks like this not this. That plant is holly, which also has a role

  • in Christmas tradition but more on that later.

  • For the Druids, the Norse, the Greek and many others, the mistletoe was a divine plant.

  • The Celtic Druids believed that its evergreen nature meant it was a symbol of life and fertility.

  • The Greeks used it to treat menstrual cramps.

  • The Nordic people even have stories surrounding the powers of the plant. One story says that

  • Norse goddess Frigg, often depicted as Odin’s wife, protected her son Baldur from all things

  • on Earth by making every object and living thing swear not to hurt him, making him essentially

  • invincible. There was one small problem though, she forgot to ask the mistletoe, not thinking

  • it would be powerful or threatening enough to kill her son. Other gods had fun hurling

  • objects at Baldur and seeing him unbothered by them until his brother, Loki, discovered

  • that the mistletoe was his kryptonite and tricked the blind god Hoder to shoot an arrow

  • made of the plant, killing Baldur. One version of the story says that Baldur was successfully

  • brought back from the dead which caused his mother to name the mistletoe THE plant of

  • love, promising to kiss anyone who walked underneath it.

  • END FACT

  • But Christmas hit a speed bump in colonial New England. See the Puritans hadn’t forgotten

  • the pagan origins of Christmas traditions and they were not too happy with those who

  • celebrated it. So, during the 17th Century, the Puritans saw their chance. They had seized

  • power in England after the execution of King Charles I and in 1647 they enacted a law that

  • banned Christmas celebrations. The Puritans of New England followed suit. However, many

  • colonists tried to keep the Christmas spirit alive and by 1681 the ban was no more. By

  • 1860, 14 states had declared Christmas a state holiday, a decade later, President Ulysses

  • Grant had declared Christmas a federal holiday.

  • Now, that weve given you a crash course on the history behind the holiday, let’s

  • get to modern tropes and traditions related to it.

  • First off, Father Christmas! Or Santa Claus or Saint Nicholas or Sinterklaasthere

  • are many versions of the jolly old bearded Christmas man. When did we come up with him?

  • Well, we didn’t exactlycome upwith him, and he is also not a caricature invented

  • by Coca Cola as many people seem to believe (but we will get into that later). Santa Claus

  • was indeed a real person.

  • Saint Nicholas was born around 280 AD. He was the bishop of Myra, a small town in modern

  • Turkey and was known for his kind heart and generosity. He was said to be particularly

  • caring towards poor children. In fact, he was known as the patron saint of children

  • and a selfless gift-giver.

  • There are many stories recounting Saint Nicholas’s good deeds. One such story says that Saint

  • Nick saved three young girls from prostitution by sneakily throwing bags of coins into their

  • house so that their poor father could use the money as their dowry.

  • His good deeds would go on to earn him the title ofsaintas well as his own holiday:

  • December 6th. It was on this day that children would receive gifts in the name of the great

  • gift-giver himself. Parents also saw this as a great excuse to keep their children in

  • line: be a good Christian child and youll get gifts from Saint Nick.

  • But then came the Protestant Reformation and saints weren’t looking too good in northern

  • Europe, so many dropped these celebrations. This was a problem though, people still wanted

  • a gift-giving holiday, and of course a bearded old man they could use as leverage for their

  • children’s behavior. THAT’S when Santa Claus came in the picture.

  • Countries across Europe began coming up with their own versions of Saint Nick. There’s

  • Sinterklaas, who’s mainly popular in the Netherlands. Other regions took thenaughty

  • or niceapproach to their legendary characters and gave their Saint Nicholas’s a spooky

  • sidekick. For example, Central Europe has Krampus, a half-goat half-demon who helps

  • Father Christmas deal with kids that have been bad.

  • In other regions, people mixed local lore to create their own Santa. Slavic countries

  • have Ded Moroz or Father Frost and in Italy it wasn’t an old man that came down the

  • chimney with gifts, but an old woman called la Befana who shimmies down to drop off gifts.

  • Evil demons aside, we can all agree that today, Santa Claus is known as the white-bearded,

  • fat, jolly man whoho ho ho’s” on his sleigh and dresses up in red and white robes.

  • Speaking of colorsred, white and green. Who decided these would be the colors of Christmas?

  • Let’s jump into an Explore Fact.

  • That’s one answer to the mystery of Christmas colors: Holly. According to Arielle Eckstut,

  • the co-author of The Secret Language of Color, this flowering plant is responsible for the

  • red and green obsession surrounding Christmas decor.

  • There are several reasons for this. Druids, Celts, and Romans used it during pagan celebrations

  • for good luck, but then, you guessed it! Enter the Catholic Romans and they decided it was

  • their thing. The red of the berries came to symbolize the blood Jesus shed during his

  • crucifixion and its sharp leaves represent his thorn crown.

  • Then comes Coca-Cola. Now, many people like throwing this fun fact every Christmas about

  • how Coca-ColainventedSanta Claus and how the red plump Santa wearing red was all

  • a conjecture for advertisement. Well, no, and yes, but no.

  • Throughout the 18th and early 19th Century, Santa Claus could be seen wearing red, blue

  • and green in advertisements and he was already being portrayed as a jolly old man, maybe

  • less fat than the Coca-Cola Santa but you get the idea.

  • The reason we believe Coca-ColainventedSanta Claus is due to a 1931 ad campaign designed

  • by Haddon Sundblom, an American artist with Finnish and Swedish roots who was tasked to

  • link Father Christmas to the sugary beverage. Needless to say he did a great job. He matched

  • the bright red color of his robe to that of the classic Coca Cola logo and boom! An icon

  • was born. Since then, it’s a version of Coca Cola’s Santa Claus that we see taking

  • mall photos with kids in winter.

  • What about Christmas trees? As we mentioned at the start, celebrations like Saturnalia

  • already featured evergreen plants as decoration. Many other cultures like the Celts and Vikings

  • would also use these plants as ornaments during the winter season. However, the modern version

  • of the Christmas tree is often credited to the Germans. It is said that it was Martin

  • Luther who first decorated his evergreen tree with candles.

  • How about Christmas caroling? Surprise! Pagan origins! During the Winter Solstice, some

  • early European civilizations would gather to dance and sing. Then came the Christians

  • and, as they did, replaced these songs with religious Hymns that celebrate the birth of

  • Christ. Actually, there’s an interesting factoid about one of the most famous carols.

  • Let’s jump into an Explore Fact!

  • Youve probably heard this song before: First off, when this song was first written

  • by organist James Lord Pierpont in 1857 it wasn’t calledJingle BellsbutThe

  • One Horse Open Sleighand it wasn’t meant to celebrate Christmas, but Thanksgiving.

  • The song wouldn’t become associated with Christmas until the 1860s and 1870s when some

  • choirs began adding it to their list of Christmas tunes.

  • Also, Jingle Bells was the first song to be broadcast from space. In the winter of 1965,

  • the crew of Gemini 6 played the beloved jingle for Mission Control down on Earth using a

  • harmonica they had smuggled onto the spacecraft.

  • Thanks for watching Explore Mode, and happy holidays to all! If you liked this video hit

  • the thumbs up button. Click on our playlist for more exploring and before you leave, make

  • sure to hit the subscribe and bell button so you get a notification whenever we upload

  • a new episode. See you next time! In the meantime, remember to keep your explore mode: on

Ahhhh, Christmas. The time to spread Christmas cheer, hang stockings over our chimneys, build

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Christmas traditions, explained | Origins of Christmas | EXPLORE MODE

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    nao 發佈於 2021 年 10 月 06 日
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