Dec 12, 2015

History of the Winter Festival and Christmas

The United States, as a young nation, gathered traditions from the Old World, especially from Mother England and the United Kingdom. As a colony, British, Dutch and German traditions were intertwined in many colonial American communities beginning with the first traditions of Thanksgiving in remembrance of the first colonists and Native Americans. Christmas and New Year traditions is no exception.

In the British Isles, before Christianity became established, as in Rome and Constantinople. the trappings and basic festivity of what became the Twelve Days of Christmas it was the celebration of the Winter Solstice, a Celtic tradition complete with yule logs, holly, and other decorations and festivities. The modern tradition of a Christmas tree comes from Germany, Tannebaum.

In the United States, Christmas celebration changed especially in the Victorian period adopting traditions that authors like Washington Irving and Charles Dickens made famous.
Saint Nicholas legends are about as old as organized Christianity and the development of the first churches that became centralized in Rome and Constantinople, later to remain centralized in Rome. Father Christmas [England] and Kris Kringle, Sinterklass [Dutch], and  Santa Claus.
The sainted bishop from Myra became known by various names like "Father Christmas".
Traditions during the Victorian period reunited the roots of Merry Old England to become established in the United States to include the tradition of carolers.

The song derived from a poem written by a Scottish composer, Robert Burns, Old Lang Syne [1788] became synonymous with New Year's eve celebrations.

It is sad what Christmas has become with commercialism and selfishness that seems to have no bounds, beginning on "Black Friday", the day after Thanksgiving Day, United States. It is also the time when traditionally folks decorate their homes inside and out.

The following is one of my favorite, probably THE favorite Christmas traditional song, and is dedicated to my aunt, who loves it as much as I do ... This video is conducted by Andre Rieu and beautifully sung by Mirusia Louwerse - a Dutch-Australian soprano.
A very Merry Christmas to Helen-Marie ...

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