photo blog_head_zpsfzwide7v.jpg
Valar Qringaomis

Get email updates of new posts:        (Delivered by FeedBurner)

Friday, June 10, 2016

Christmas Myths

Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS 148 - David Kyle Johnson on "The Myths that Stole Christmas"

"He is an elf with a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer. That is how he is able to slip through the chimney. He does not do it through magic -- like how does a big, rotund man like Santa Claus fit through the chimney?...

Stephen Nissenbaum's A Battle for Christmas. The picture on the cover of that book is how Saint Nicholas was first depicted with that poem and it looks nothing like Santa Claus. It looks like a dirty little peddler opening his pack. When you start looking at that like a ...

Another book that I really liked through researching this book is by Siekfer called Santa Claus, Last of the Wild Men. She points out that if the Saint Nicholas of the poem is really based on Saint Nicholas, his reindeer would not be named after thunder and lightning, Donner and Blitzen, they would be something like Faith, Hope and Charity or something like that. Right?

When you start looking at the actual character you realize that he has almost nothing in common with any historical saint, much less Saint Nicholas... this was very common in the Middle Ages -- as the church rolled through Europe and came across non-Christian people that it was trying to convert, it often did not try to eradicate their old gods, but to appropriate them. Many of them just became saints.

In the book I actually quote a directive from, going off my memory here, but I think it's Pope Gregory, who basically says when you come across their places of worship and that, don't destroy them. That's a good building. Appropriate it. Take the old idols out, sure, but use the building and anything that you can't remove, just re-appropriate it and call it Christian...

I argue that Saint Nicholas did not actually exist as a historical person, much like many Catholic saints. The Jesuits have actually gone through and done this with a number of traditional Catholic saints and declared that they are not historical persons. They declared the Feast of Saint Nicholas optional, like a lot of the other saints that they just kind of did away with entirely, but they didn't admit that Saint Nicholas was not historical. I think that they were just unwilling to kind of get rid of everybody's favorite saint...

I think that what Saint Nicholas is, is a sainted version of that god, just like Saint Martin is actually just the god Mars, just sainted.

Klaus is actually what Germans would call as a nickname someone named Nicholas. In America, if your name is Nicholas you probably go by Nick, but in Germany you would most likely go by the latter half of the name, Klaus. If you were to saint the Klaus and call him by his full name now because he is a saint, his name would be Saint Nicklaus...

When that got Christainized and turned into Saint Nicholas, a way that the church tried to depose the old Wild Man tradition, which was still around, was by doing two things. One, they declared that you shouldn't worship him because he's Satan, and that's actually where Satan got his traditional goat-legged appearance... The other thing that they did to try to depose him was made him Saint Nicholas' helper...

What Moore basically wanted to do along with Knickerbockers was domesticate the holiday. Before this it was basically about drinking and eating and having sex, and they wanted to domesticate it"
blog comments powered by Disqus
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Latest posts (which you might not see on this page)

powered by Blogger | WordPress by Newwpthemes