Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Wars and Pagan Trees

Obsidian Wings traces the DNA of modern Christmas, by way of Washington crossing the Delaware and a lot of pagan celebrations:
To have a green tree in the house, filled with light, in the darkest and coldest time of year, as we feel the year turn from old to new -- how can that not be numinous? When we decorate with green branches and red berries, this isn't from Christian iconography --

"I remember hearing," said Susan distantly, "that the idea of the Hogfather wearing a red and white outfit was invented quite recently."


(from Hogfather, by Terry Pratchett).

The rising of the sun and the running of the deer, seeing our families and having enough to eat: all of these things are worth celebrating. Such celebrations don't have to be either secular or religious, in the usual sense: they are pagan in the sense of "rustic, countrified, what the common people do". Human, in other words.

So we do have a Yule Tree in our house, and at its top is the sun

No comments: