Sunday 23 December 2007

What to celebrate on Dec 25 if you're pagan

Several deities have festivals on December 25 apart from that nice bloke who said we should love each other and had a neat party trick of turning water into wine.

When the days were beginning to lengthen, a short while after the winter solstice, the Romans used to celebrate the festival of the invincible sun god (Dies Natalis Invicti Solis).

The title "undefeated sun god" was given to several solar divinities in the later period of the Roman Empire, including El Gabal, Mithras and Sol.

For northern Europeans, this time of year was the feast of Frau Holle. Frau Holle is a winter goddess who travels throughout the night blessing the good and punishing the bad. She also brings snow, so have a word with her if you are dreaming of a white Christmas.

Personally, I am off for a few days' holiday with family. I'll be eating and drinking too much, losing at Trivial Pursuit and watching Christmas specials on the telly.

Have a happy holiday, whatever you are celebrating!

Here are some links for more information:

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