Thursday, November 29, 2012

Celebrating The Season As An Atheist

As most of you may know, we are an Atheist family. What most of you doesn’t know is that I am crazy for the season! How does that work you may ask, since we’re not celebrating Christian Christmas or Jewish Hanukkah or one of the Muslim Eids that may or may not come around that season?
Well, in the course of the last five hundred years, there was a calendar switch from the Julian calendar introduced by Julius Cesar in the last century BCE to the Gregorian calendar, which was developed in the 16th century CE and adopted across Europe over the centuries. According to the Julian calendar, the real reason for the season was scheduled for December 25: the winter solstice! Yes, folks, as the days grow shorter and shorter, fires were lit in the homes, the family withdrew to sit around a fire and waited for the longest night to arrive for the traditional celebrations of the re-birth of light. This beautiful pagan celebration were used during the first centuries CE to mold it into what is today’s Christmas celebration, laced with traditional pagan symbols such as pine trees, Yule logs, etc. (I definitely see how the early missionaries in the Celtic countries and Germania thought that the Yule celebration provided the perfect analogy for their teachings).
Since as Atheists we don’t actually believe in things that cannot be proven or explained by science, the obvious winter solstice still provides a whimsical occasion to join in and deck the halls.
Enjoy the season and excitement, whatever you may celebrate!

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