Posts Tagged ‘Yule’

The Complicated History of Santa Claus and American Christmas

Ah, Christmas traditions. So complicated, so misunderstood. Take Santa Claus, American version. Not a survival of colonial New Amsterdam except in a literary sense, he was pretty well invented by the prolific writer Washington Irving in the early 19th century. And he was connected with Dec. 6th, St. Nicholas’ Day, not Christmas. Let history blogger […]

Invoking the Birds and Hunting in the Woods at Yule

We Pagans may think that we “own” Hallowe’en, but we are own some ground at Christmas time — or Yuletide, if you prefer. Today M. and I drove 15 miles over twisty mountain gravel roads to a little town that celebrates a Yule log hunt. This tradition dates to 1952, so it is about as […]

On the Sidelines in the Solstice Wars

Oh wait, it is Christmas that has (news media-generated) “wars.” How the winter solstice should be observed, however, has become the subject of almost rabbinical discussion on one of the Colorado Pagan listservs, again. There are always two core factions, the calendrical and the astronomical. The event at stake is the annual Drumming Up the […]

The Archdruid Santa?

He will be coming down the chimney with his golden sickle ready. I hope you’ve been good. Source.

Saturnalia with the Romans

We are in the midst of Saturnalia, so consider this article by Classics scholar Mary Beard on “Five Things the Romans Did at Christmas.” The headline was just to grab you, because she begins, “OK, the Romans didn’t actually have Christmas. And even Christian Romans didn’t celebrate Jesus’ birthday on 25 December until at least […]

Trees, Animism, and Yuletide

I wanted to use the photo of the dumped Christmas tree with two different posts. Then I decided to combine them, so keep reading. 1. “Trees” is the theme of this month’s Animist Blog Carnival, hosted by Australian blogger Jay at naturebum. Tree totems, forest fires, Indo-European cosmology, and more! 2. Is there anything grosser […]

Revising the Story of Christmas

It is an article of faith (an appropriate word here) for contemporary Pagans that Christianity stole holidays left and right from our spiritual ancestors, particularly Christmas. Here Mollie Ziegler at Get Religion, a blog about the critical examination of religion-writing in the (mostly) American media, gets into some of the nuances in the process of […]

Celebrate Winter

Why the Solstice Sunrise is not the Latest

The winter solstice is the shortest day, so why is the sunset is already happening later then than it is occurring now? And why does the sunrise keep on getting later after December 21st? Blame the fact that the day is not a perfect 24 hours long.

The Maskers and the Money

Krampus parades, both from Austrian ski resort towns. To what extent they are underwritten by local tourism authorities I do not know. (Thanks to folk musician and writer Andy Letcher.) When I was 16-17 years old, I lived part of each year in Mandeville, Jamaica, up in the hills, during breaks from school in the […]