Here we are taking a non-sentimental look at "the festive season" where in the name of religiosity millions of innocent animals are slaughtered; where alcoholism and drugs are used by millions in "celebration"; where mindless frivolity, gambling and other time wasting activities are rife; and where numerous unwanted by-products of loose sexual encounters take their conception, to burden society, and add to the social bill the rest of us carry.
If you're stuck with unwanted presents or old electronic equipment. Think of the Environment - Isn't it better to, give to charity and give our time to loved ones rather than add to the pollution and commercialism of the planet?
Accordingly we must understand what the authorised scripture calls the modes of nature that such "festivities" come under. Factually what value these festivals hold to benefit human society in any way, if any. Also whose "culture" they belong to... (here we use this word culture in its loosest possible meaning).
Ancient solstice meaning
Christmas, ironically, antedates the Nativity of Christ,
and December 25th is a fudge. In the third century A.D. the Church fathers
chose that day as Christ’s birthday, with good reason. It happens to fall
approximately on the Northern Hemisphere’s Winter Solstice, and December
25th (Midwinter’s Day) which has been from time immemorial a day sacred
to the rebirth of the light of the sun in the depths of winter.
This day was the Festival of Natalis Sol Invictus (the Birth of the Undefeated Sun) in ancient Rome. Ancient peoples of the region also commemorated the Babylonian Queen of Heaven, Osiris in Egypt, Dionysus, Helios, Adonis, the Celtic Cernunnos, the Syrian Baal, Attis, Mithras, Balder and the Norse goddess Frey - all celebrated on the ancient Winter Solstice, and mostly solar saviours and dying gods. Most of these deities were given similar titles: the Light of the World, Sun of Righteousness, and Saviour. Among these huge celebrations the optimists within the newly founded Christian Church decided to cash in on the festivities and usurp them for their own end in swinging their influence toward the celebration of Jesus the Christ's birth.
As you can testify, it was a great success for them, so much so that through their zealousness the original events were eclipsed into near oblivion - who of us learned about them at school, or in our religious instruction? No they were purposefully hidden, as has so much been over the past several hundred years by missionaries obviously so inferior that they had to erase all other cultures world wide to have their new cult of Christianity stand alone as "the one true way".
By the way did you know that Santa Claus used to wear green until some advertising materialist decided to change the color scheme on behalf of Coca Cola in the 1930’s? Commercialism at its "best".............
The original nature of the event that has become known as XMAS has been further brought out in the following Xmas pages that reveal how it has degenerated. Get an in-depth view of the origin of Xmas and it's present form at this other Xmas page HERE
All the details of Christmas from different cultures around the world have been compiled by Pip Wilson in his Almanac HERE
Pope begs for forgiveness for sins that the Church has done against other
cultures and religions:
St Nick - Santa Claus page
Christmas Catching On in India
NEW DELHI, INDIA, December 24, 2002: A recent New York Times article describes Hindus in India taking to the Christian holiday of Christmas. While devout Hindus never start their day without lighting at least an incense stick and offering prayers to their chosen Hindu deity, come December many begin planning for Christmas. "It doesn't matter if I'm a Hindu. Christmas stands for love, affection, sharing, renewing family bonds. It's a festival for everyone," said one of the Hindus interviewed, as she shopped for tree decorations at New Delhi's upscale Ansal Plaza mall. Not surprisingly are the many echoes of complaints heard in the West about Christmas becoming commercialized. The popularity of Christmas does not extend to the religious themes associated with the festival. It's only Christians who attend midnight church services on Christmas Eve and nativity scenes can be seen only in Christian institutions and churches. For a Hindu perspective during this season of worldwide celebrations, see "source" above for a description of Pancha Ganapati, a modern festival or "Hindu Christmas," that is a time of gift giving and home religious observances honoring a family's love and togetherness, community harmony and cultural celebrations.
This article was by courtesy of http://www.HinduismToday.com/
Little-Known Stories Show Christmas Has Some Contentious - and Pagan - Origins - From the Religion News Service
USA, December 24, 2003: This interesting piece on the origins of Christmas appeared in the Religion News Service and is written by Yvonne Betowt: Did you know Alabama was the first state to declare Christmas an official holiday? That happened in 1836, 71 years before the last state -- Oklahoma -- followed suit in 1907. Christmas is the only legal national religious holiday in the United States. While it has been less than 100 years since all 50 states recognized Christmas as an official holiday, Dec. 25 has been celebrated for centuries by Christians as Jesus' birthday. But until 245 A.D., when a group of scholars tried to determine the date of Christmas, the question had never been addressed, according to a 1995 article by Victor M. Parachin in the Christian Reader. However, the project by the early church theologians was denounced by a church council, which thought it wrong to celebrate Jesus' birthday "as though he were a King Pharaoh." That didn't prevent the scholar-theologians from continuing their quest to determine the day Jesus was born. They originally listed four dates -- Jan. 1 and 6, March 25 and May 20 -- as possibilities, according to Parachin's research.
It wasn't until 349 A.D. that Dec. 25 was formally chosen as Christmas Day by Pope Julius. The date was already celebrated as the Natalis Solis Invicti in honor of the sun god, Mithras, by Roman citizens. They decorated their homes with greenery, exchanged gifts and gathered for festive meals on that date, observed just after the winter solstice. Many scholars believe Pope Julius picked Dec. 25 as Christmas Day to convert followers of Mithras, in addition to providing Christians with an opportunity to celebrate Jesus' birth. Christmas continued, however, to be a contentious issue.
In 17th century England and early America, English Puritans said the Bible offered no clear basis for celebrating Jesus' birth. In 1643, the English Parliament outlawed not only Christmas, but Easter and other Christian celebrations. But by 1660, Christmas had become such a popular holiday, the law was repealed. After the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth, Mass., in 1620, their English misgivings about Christmas celebrations continued. In 1659, people in Massachusetts who celebrated Christmas were fined. The law was struck down in 1681 because the popularity of observing Christmas had grown immensely.
However, Christian groups remained divided over whether Christmas should be celebrated because of its ties to pagan observances. The Lutherans, Dutch Reformed, Catholic and Anglican churches forged ahead with the celebrations while the Baptists, Presbyterians, Quakers and Puritans continued to rail against it. Even today, some Christian groups, including many Churches of Christ and Seventh-day Adventists, do not acknowledge Christmas as a religious observance.
Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami created the modern-day festival of Pancha Ganapati to coincide with the Christmas celebrations for Hindus living in the West. It's a means to participate in the festive season without the trappings of another religion's holiday. Click http://www.hinduismtoday.com/archives/1995/11/1995-11-14.shtml for the details.
This article is by courtesy of http://www.HinduismToday.com/ (24th December 2003)
over the Holiday period - looking after them:
Xmas Guide for devotees:
Xmas - a modern page that completely misses the point all about Christmas:
Survival Guide to the Holiday Season:
THE HOLIDAY FESTIVAL - talk by HH Giriraj Swami
Teen Vegetarians at Xmas
Recipes 4 Xmas
International Vegetarian Union's list of Seasonal dishes - some have eggs, garlic and onion, many are adaptable:
Vegan Xmas or Yule - some have onion, garlic, mushrooms too:
"Culture - Brahminical or Animal"
Hanukkah - the Jewish festival of lights over the Xmas period:
Ramadan - the Moslem religious observation, explanation page:
Kwanza - the African-American cultural hereditary observation:
Online Christmas Games:
PROOF FROM THE BIBLE-- CHRIST WAS NOT BORN ON DECEMBER 25TH
The TRUTH about Christmas Its History Myths, and Traditions - Jeremiah Films
A look at the Western Indologists - their motive and intent:
The Western Scientific Faculty:
Freud and his psychosis:
The myth of slaughterhouse civilization:
History & Source of Veda:
Vegetarianism and Beyond:
Bhaktivedanta Science Institute:
VedaBase - A folio of every recorded word written or spoken by the Founder Acarya of Iskcon:
Florida Vedic College:
Mayapur Institute of Higher Education:
Bhaktivedanta Vedic College:
Vedik World Heritage
Index of Vedik links
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