Post by duke
God selected 12/25 as the celebration date of his birthday billions of years
before the farmers got in the act.
This is rot.
It made perfect sense for the early church to plant its new holidays
on top of old ones. Sometimes there was a religious resonance.
Christians see the judicial murder and supposed resurrection of
Josh as a completion of the covenant between Yahooey and the Hebrews.
If their savor was born during lambing season, which is suggested
by "shepherds watching their flocks by night," Christmas and Passover
would be too close to each other. By lacing one holiday in spring
and the other 8 or 9 months later, it allowed for the establishment of
a "liturgical year." Starting with "Advent," the weeks leading up to
the Feast of the Nativity (Christmas), then proceeding through Christmastide
to Lent, Easter, Pentecost (apostles given the Holy Spirit)and then
Ordinary Time, until it is Advent again.
Telling the story of the prediction of Josh's arrival, his birth, life,
death and supposed ascension into heaven, in that order, is what putting
the holidays in order allowed. If we had access to the actual Common
Era, modern calendar dates those events took place on, or were said to
take place on in the case of the ludicrously unbelieveable ones, the
gospel story might hop around quite a bit. Remember that, prior to
Gutenberg, most Christian believers HEARD the gospel, rather than read it.
Literacy was much less common, and books fiendishly expensive, as they
were hand-made goods, in fragile formats: papyrus scrolls, for example.
Academic theologians, rather than self-taught "bible study" mavens,
would tell you it doesn't really matter what day Josh's birth is
celebrated on, what matters is what you believe did or did not happen,
and that, if to keep early Christians from being killed by angry mobs
because they were impious in respect to the Roman ghodz or local
equivalent, because they didn't revel during Saturnalia or the feast
of the Undying Sun, it was necessary to sneak Christmas past the pagans
using calendrical camouflage, so be it.
That said, Christmastide ends tomorrow morning, Epiphany, in the Western Church. "12th night," aka "Epiphany Eve" is tonight.
It used to extend to 2 Feb, "Candlemass," which is 40 days past Christmas.
In New Orleans, Mardi Gras season starts when Christmastide ends.