Really, I’m done with all this politically correct “Happy Holidays” crap. If anyone is offended by the word “Christmas”, please speak up now.
No, I didn’t think so.
If you’re not Christian, then there’s no shortage of alternatives words to use for one of the oldest celebrations known to man.
Yuletide was a popular name in Victorian Britain. It’s Scandinavian in origin and related to the Swedish Jul.
Romans celebrated Saturnalia, the feast of Saturn and exchanged gifts around this time of year.
Further back, the Persians celebrated Sacaea which in turn has related to the Mesopotamian festival of Zagmuk. This festival occurred at the end of each year when chief god Marduk battled against the forces of Chaos. To aid him, the Mesopotamian king pledged his allegiance to Marduk, died and was born again at the end of the 12 day battle.
In the words of The History of Christmas:
- To spare their king, the Mesopotamians used the idea of a “mock” king. A criminal was chosen and dressed in royal clothes. He was given all the respect and privileges of a real king. At the end of the celebration the “mock” king was stripped of the royal clothes and slain, sparing the life of the real king.
The real king would then appear, brought back to life to show that Marduk had defeated Chaos once more.
“The twelve days of Christmas”…..“and lo! a king is born”…rebirth and death to new life….
At this time of year we’re celebrating something at least 4,000 years old – far older than any “Christ-child” tale you may have heard about. So please, let’s not belittle history and sanitize it by saying “Happy Holidays”, ok?