Making Conservatives Cringe Since 1977

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04 December 2005

 

Frohe Weihnachten

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Winter solstice
In the Chinese calendar, the winter solstice is called dōng zhì ("winter's extreme") and is traditionally regarded as one of the year's most important Jiéqìs, comparable to Chinese New Year. Rather confusingly, the character [for dōng zhì] may also mean "arrival" in other contexts, but it is clear that the Chinese consider "winter's arrival" (lì dōng, literally "establishment of winter") to be a separate Jiéqì which falls on or around November 7 instead.
The winter solstice is the time when the Germanic festival of Yule was celebrated; it is celebrated today as a Neopagan Sabbat. Many cultures celebrate or celebrated a holiday near (within a few days) the winter solstice; examples of these include Yalda, Saturnalia, Christmas, Karachun, Hanukkah, Festivus, Kwanzaa, and HumanLight. In her fiction, Ursula K. Le Guin calls the solstice celebration "The Festival of Sunreturn". (See also List of winter festivals). The first civilization to celebrate the winter solstice were the Ancient Persians, deriving from their Zorastorian religion. Refer to Yalda

Yule

"Yule" and "Yuletide" are also archaic terms for Christmas, sometimes invoked in songs to provide atmosphere. Indeed, this is the only meaning of "Yule" accepted by either the full Oxford English Dictionary or the Concise Oxford Dictionary, and people unfamiliar with ancient pagan traditions will not distinguish between Yule and Christmas. This usage survives in the term "Yule log"; it may also persist in some Scottish dialects.
The Advent Calendar The Christmas of my youth. I loved to pop open the windows one by one, as the days went by. My Oma Lina would give us one every year. We would bring the tree and she would give us a calendar. We would string the old lights up, you know the kind with big frosted bulbs, and the blue tin of cookies would come out. The old records would come on, and it was Christmas. There is something about the snow. It opens up the memories. The years flood in and all the politics of now are washed away. Here in Central New York you find your self each morning looking out your window to see how much snow has piled up since the last peek. The memories are the lesson.

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