It’s that time of year yet again when yes, I’ve been known to don a humbug hat and mention, just in the passing of course, that Christmas celebrations in the middle of summer make no sense whatsoever. We all know that Christmas replaced celebrations that were based on seasons and astronomy. And that’s fine. But due to some persistence of older underlying traditions in the Northern Hemisphere, at least the somewhat meaningless metronomic monotony of simply taking a date and sticking with it through thick and thin and regardless is avoided somewhat. Turns out Jesus was probably born in June anyway. June 17th for those addicted to dates.
Funnily enough, that more or less coincides with Matariki and would recapture the original or traditional seasonal or astronomical roots of such celebrations. Meanwhile, our summers would be free to do with, whatever we choose or wish. Oh. And New Zealand (besides other settler colonies in the Southern Hemisphere) would get to be “ahead of the game” as it were. Not that Northern Hemisphere countries would switch their Christmas celebrations to June. They value the carefree nature of their summer too much, and anyway, would probably baulk at the idea of sticking their hands up for the double financial whammy to be incurred by such a move. What’s with the expectation that parents, many solo and piss poor these days, splash out for Christmas and (is this proof of miracles or something?) conjure up a summer holiday on the side? Plus. Shifting everything to summer leaves those those dragged out winter nights and short cold days drudging on with no prospect of a celebratory break!? Who’d choose that?
So this idea that Jesus was born on December 25th. That was the brainchild of Pope Julius I apparently. According to the same article that mentions Pope Julius I, and that’s even more poorly written than this one, Bacchanlia had been celebrated in Italy around late December. And like Christmas, there was wine and…well, women only. Until the guys gatecrashed the whole affair, made it a night time celebration, and the wine (allegedly) married up with hormones to give us the pre-cursor of that rollicking Christmas tradition of “having sex you might regret having had”.
And this is where this scattered post ends. Because time’s getting on and I’ve got stuff needs organising.
So Merry Christmas or Summer Solstice, or whatever your bag is.