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Non-Christian Christmas Special

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68451.  Thu May 04, 2006 5:05 am Reply with quote

This is actually an extract from a Christmas-themed crime novella I wrote a couple of years ago; I researched it all at the time, and then threw away the notes once the book was published ... but I can re-find sources, and/or expand on this if required:

“Mithras was born in a cave on December 25th, of a virgin, attended by shepherds. He died and was resurrected to redeem sinful mankind. He had twelve disciples, who ate the blood and flesh of God at mass, and he treated them to a last supper of bread and wine.” [...] “Point being, Sol and Apollo were also born on December 25th. That date was only chosen for Jesus’s birth about three hundred years after the supposed event. It’s a midwinter festival, that’s all, a way for rural people to mark an astronomical event, and it’s been kidnapped by every bloody religion going since forever.”

Molly Cule
68679.  Fri May 05, 2006 11:10 am Reply with quote

According to the Julian calendar, Isaac Newton was born on 25th December. A few people who love Newton have a celebration of science on the day. They call the day Newtonmas or Gravmas.

The symbol of Newtonmas is the apple. Some people decorate apple trees, or decorate trees with apples, either way round will do. Then they give each other educational gifts - books, CD's or tickets to lectures etc. One Newtonmas website says, after giving each other presents its time for the most important Newtonmas tradition---procrastination. “Now that you have new sources of knowledge, it's time to get busy not absorbing their contents. Eat a big meal, take a nap, talk with friends and family. Just do anything but be productive.” …. Rather like Christmas then.

Molly Cule
68680.  Fri May 05, 2006 11:12 am Reply with quote

Flash.. if you put in James' question about Chinese New Year I spy a perfect link to Chinese men in nappies... no? Excellent : )

68683.  Fri May 05, 2006 11:18 am Reply with quote

I read that (for an average apple) the force exerted on an apple stalk when it is hanging from a tree is 1 Newton. Which would be nice if true.

Sounds about right, 0.1kg apple, 10m/s/s acceleration due to gravity.

I would ideally like to speak to a chinese person about that birthday thing. There's just not quite enough on the net. But hey, any excuse to talk about nappies.

68750.  Sat May 06, 2006 5:10 am Reply with quote

Does anyone know when Christmas was invented? Apparently it wasn’t an early Christian festival, and (again, apparently) there’s no suggestion in the Bible that Jesus' birthday should be marked or celebrated (or even known) in any way*. So, when was the first Xmas? And was that the year when the Vicar of Dibley Christmas Special was shown on BBC1 for the third time?

*Which is why many fundamentalist Protestants (USians, mostly) campaign against Christmas, as their English ancestors did in the 17th century (or “Now,” as it’s called in the USA). They believe it is an inherently Papist/Satanist festival, designed to invite demons into the heart of Christian families. “Christians Against Christmas” might be a topic worth a brief look?

(I’ve just googled that phrase, “Christians Against Christmas,” and there is indeed a such-named movement.)

Molly Cule
69046.  Tue May 09, 2006 11:14 am Reply with quote

Papers, Scissors, and Stone is a Far Eastern game originally played during Chinese New Year.

When the game first arrived in Japan it was an adult drinking game played in drinking places and red-light districts.

In Korea the game is called 'Kai bai bo', where kai is scissors, bai is rock, and bo is cloth or paper.

In Thailand it is the same and called 'Janjii'.

In India and Indonesia, and on Bali, the game is played with elephant, human and ant, where elephant beats human and human beats ant.

Frederick The Monk
69078.  Tue May 09, 2006 1:56 pm Reply with quote

MatC wrote:
Does anyone know when Christmas was invented?

The 25th December was agreed as the date for Christmas in the UK at the Synod of Chelsea in 816.

151578.  Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:40 am Reply with quote

Why have I heard that the real birth of Christ happened on 5th December? Where is that from? I know the Dutch celebrate Sinter Klaas on that day, where a man supprisingly like Santa Claus come and gives fruit to malnourished Arabian children (in Arabia, which makes little sense why they celebrate it in the Netherlands, other than Tulips came from near-off Turkey) and it still doesn't explain why the Dutch celebate this day by giving chocolate instead of fruit. Sounds double-dutch to me....

888981.  Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:26 pm Reply with quote

Hai, i'm interested in this topic very much. but something have crossed my mind. Why do we often celebrate Christmas bigger and merrier than the passover ? i've searched in Bible, God never ask us to celebrate Christmas. but i also found some interesting themes in Bible. i.e :

Numbers 9 : 2 "Let the children of Israel also keep the passover at his appointed season. "

Deuteronomy 16:1 "Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night. "

Ezekiel 45:21 "In the first month. in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten."

So, anyone please kindly answer my question "Why do we celebrate Christmas more than the Passover ?"


888982.  Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:47 pm Reply with quote

The simple answer is that God never asked us to celebrate anything (he's a myth) and the Christmas bit is sticking a non-Christian festival onto Christianity.

If you want to celebrate Passover - go Jewish.

Hope that helps.

889003.  Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:22 am Reply with quote

Passover, where it's celebrated that the israelites didn't tell their neighbours about a way to avoid having their first-born killed.

Did they cause (by inaction) all those non-israeli children to be slaughtered?

Isn't that "accessory" to the crime? I see no remorse.

The dead children don't seem to get much press - is it a cover-up? How many did the israelites kill to escape slavery?

The people need to know.

889007.  Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:24 am Reply with quote

Welcome shiroanubis: your quotes are from the Old Testement and concern as BW correctly points out Jewish tradetion.

The issue of Christmas would not have arisen until post New Testement times. Do not forget that for a number of years the yet to be formed Christian faith would have been considered a Jewish sect.

889214.  Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:53 pm Reply with quote

There have been a couple of lengthy debates for Christmas, but to cut a long story short, the idea of celebrating the birth of Jesus did not appear until a couple of centuries after his death, and even then it took some time for some agreement on the date (there are still different dates used today).

Christmas, like most Christian holidays introduced after the NT was written, is based on the Julian/Gregorian calendar and the date is static. However, there are some observed events, like Easter, which are based on details given in the NT, and these will have used the old Jewish calendar in the old days, but in order to separate themselves from Judaism, are now calculated on a lunar calendar calculation based on Julian/Gregorian dates. As a result, Easter is usually linked to Passover, with a few singular exceptions which come round every few years.

892239.  Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:00 pm Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
but in order to separate themselves from Judaism, are now calculated on a lunar calendar calculation based on Julian/Gregorian dates. As a result, Easter is usually linked to Passover, with a few singular exceptions which come round every few years.
The main reason the Christian church decided to use a formula rather than having people follow their Jewish neighbours is that, after the destruction of the temple, their Jewish neighbours did not have an authority to decide their calendar, in particular when to add an extra month to keep things roughly in synch with the sun. Jews in different parts of the diaspora ended up celebrating Passover on different dates. They did eventually adopt their own formula which is, of course, different from the Christian one.

892274.  Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:28 am Reply with quote

Not sure where this "lack of authority" from the destruction of the temple comes from, the arguments about different Passover dates from the ancient tradition that Passover started after Spring, based on a number of observations, and since this could happen at different times in different areas, this allowed for the addition of an extra month sometimes, which was perfectly acceptable in ancient times, well before the destruction of the temple.

It's only when travel and communications improved that a universal set date based on mathematical calculations was implemented - as seems the case for many cultures and religions at the time.

The removal of relying on Jewish dates was not introduced until a Council in the 4th century AD, and based on the words of Constantine, it seems the removal of Jewish calculation wasn't all to do with being accurate:

"And in the first place, it seemed very unworthy for us to keep this most sacred feast following the custom of the Jews, a people who have soiled their hands in a most terrible outrage, and have thus polluted their souls, and are now deservedly blind"

A century after the pronouncement of the Council, it seems there were still many people using Jewish computations for celebrating Easter because there are a number of sermons and canons attacking rotopaschites.

Even as late as the 12th century, people like Ioannes Zonaras were discussing the relationship between the dates of Easter and Passover.

As an aside, while in English we recognise it as Easter, and it is similar in some Germanic languages, when it comes to the original Greeks, Latins and other languages used by early Chritians, it's usually a form of "Pascha" or "Paschal", which is derived from "Pesach", the Hebrew word for Passover.


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