Christmas is the most widely celebrated holiday among European peoples all over the world. Evidence suggests that the holiday we now know as “Christmas” was first celebrated by our European ancestors as early as 4,000 years ago! Well before the advent of Christianity. Nevertheless the beauty of our cultural tradition, our holiday, must be defended by future generations and preserved forever!
In ancient Rome, the holiday was known as Saturnalia, celebrated around the 25th of December in the family home. It was a time for feasting, goodwill, generosity, the exchange of gifts and of course, the decoration of trees. Saturnalia in Rome, served as a grand winter solstice festival.
According to various writers and poets from antiquity, families would gather for feast and drink, dress codes were relaxed, gifts were exchanged, and generosity took precedence. Social roles were sometimes changed, and wealthy Romans would pay the month’s rent for those who couldn’t afford it. Games and competitions were held within families to determine who would become the temporary Saturnalian monarch, or ruler of the castle. Business and work was put aside, in fact, it was outlawed!
Saturnalia originated as a farmer’s festival to mark the end of the planting season in honor of Saturn (the Roman God). During the reign of Augustus (63 BC-AD 14), it was a two-day affair, but soon extended into a seven-day event! The events and the holiday itself would climax on the date of December 25th, aligning together with the winter solstice.
As the Roman world immersed themselves in Saturnalia, in much of the rest of Europe, our ancestors celebrated their own winter solstice, known as Yule, or the Yuletide. Yule was a celebration that lasted thirteen days, ending customarily on the 6th day of January. Yule was symbolic of the Sun God being born, which was observed on the longest night of the year. As the Sun God grew and matured, the days became longer and warmer. As such, it was customary to light a candle to encourage the sun to reappear once again next year. The word solstice derives from the Latin words: sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still). The word Yule itself means “wheel,” the wheel being a pagan symbol for the sun.
In the days before Yule, a tree was cut down and brought into the home to decorate. Holly and mistletoe were also hung around the house. Mistletoe was considered a sacred plant, and the custom of kissing under the mistletoe began as a fertility ritual. As holly berries were thought to be a food of the gods. Any greenery brought inside during Winter was used to extend an invitation to nature to join in our celebration and to remind us that life goes on even in the midst of the darkest and coldest time of the year. The Yule log was then burned (to symbolize the Sun) and a piece of it was saved to light the next years log. The exchange of gifts usually followed with an incredible feast for the holiday. Stories were told as a form of entertainment, and plans were set for the future. It was a time of rebirth and of new beginnings.
Many historians believe that the God, Odin was the original gift-giver (ie Santa Claus). Before the modern image of Santa Claus became popular, the figure was seen as tall and lean, with a long white beard, wearing a dark cloak, definitely not a red and white tunic. Most earlier legends describe “Santa” as riding a horse, like Odin’s Sleipner (his 8-legged horse), not driving a sleigh pulled by reindeer. The original “Yule Elf” or Santa was also seen as a stern man, and for others as quite a terrifying figure, especially to rude or ill-willed people. The story of Santa Claus probably arose from ancient legends of the wild-hunt, a ride in the stormy Winter skies, that was led by Odin. Sometimes people would be taken to join the Wild Host in a tumultuous flight. In the Christian era, folklore advised people to stay inside at night to avoid Odin!
After being incorporated into the Christian religion, the holy day of December 25th was eventually recognized and widely accepted as the birth date of Jesus Christ. That particular part of history is still very questionable in the eyes of many historians and theologians. The date falls under scrutiny for a number of reasons, and was (IMO) wisely chosen by the church to more easily convert the Pagans of Europe to this new religion, with a new God, and a new savior. A savior that would now be celebrated on one of the most important days of the year!
This conversion was not easy, it took a considerable amount of time, and the transition was not very smooth. During the Middle Ages, the Church was a domineering force that had great influence over the Kings and Nobles of Europe. That influence was often used to gain a foothold, and expand the Christian religion into other lands. Monarchs, who were already in the business of territorial conquest, were often quick to oblige. It became a relationship of mutual benefit. As a result, the Pagans of Europe were swept up, often violently, and made to embrace the new religion. A BIG part of this conquest and “transition” of faith involved the incorporation of their cultural traditions, their folklore, their ceremonial practices, and their own holy days. This was done, once again, to ease the “transition.” Which is why the custom of cutting down evergreen trees to put in the home, hanging wreaths on the door, using misseltoe & holly berries, feasting, exchanging gifts, and giving the children a Santa Claus has all survived the ages and continues on today!
Regardless of the conflict, for thousands of years our holiday was celebrated exclusively by our ancestors, and our ancestors alone. The problem occurred with the expansion of Christianity during the age of exploration and colonization. Over zealous Christians felt that it was their duty to evangelize the native population of the new world and the slaves they held in captivity. Once again, much of this work (which could be justified as ethical or moral at the time) was done by missionaries and other agents of the church to secure dominion over more land.
The non-Europeans and African slaves of the new world were introduced to this new religion, which attached itself to the customs and traditions of Pagan Europe. As a result, Africans in the Americas gave up Vodoo and their other Sub-Saharan cultural traditions that were lost with time, as the Black church, and Black denominations grew rather large here in America. After the Civil War, and the destruction of the antebellum south… even with Jim Crows Laws in place, and a heavily segregated society… Black families in America continued to embrace the religion, the traditions, the customs, and the holidays of their former masters.
This cultural appropriation continues today. Instead of embracing their true history, with cultural celebrations such as Kwanza… Blacks in America, choose to celebrate white holidays. They’re encouraged by (truly racist) white liberal social Marxists to do so! Everything from Christmas, to Easter, to Thanksgiving, to Halloween and even Valentine’s Day… Black people in America take part in it, with very few exceptions. I believe that this has had long lasting, severe, detrimental effects on Black people in America. It’s about damn time that real Black men stand up (like Malcolm X) and say enough is enough! We don’t want to celebrate cracker holidays! We don’t want our black children idiolizing a white Santa Claus. We don’t want to identify with a people’s history that isn’t ours!
With that said, there are indeed other problems with today’s holiday celebration. I’m not telling anyone, anything new here, but the commercialization and consumerist frenzy has over shadowed the true meaning of our holiday. Far too many White Americans have allowed it to happen. For many of us, our families, friends and former friends it revolves around buying a bunch of meaningless shit, that the average working person cant afford. Wasted resources that could be put to use for much more important endeavors. And instead of feasting, spending time with family, reflecting on our year, showing goodwill, starting anew and planning for a better future… far too many of our folks put themselves in debt, and do their best to destroy “our holiday.”
It’s about damn time we get our own backyard in order folks. If you have a wife or a family member with a shopping habit, get control over these people, and do it NOW! Put your foot down, and explain to them the true meaning of Christmas. Speak at the dinner table this Christmas if you have the opportunity. Shame them if you have to! Tell them that our tradition of Christmas, that our history, our ancestors, and our holiday deserves respect! Celebrate it the right way. Yuletide Greetings, Happy Saturnalia, and Merry Christmas. Enjoy it!