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Author Topic:   The Origins Of Santa Claus and The Christmas Traditions

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posted August 23, 2010 11:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Valus     Edit/Delete Message

Daniel Vitalis -- Shamanic Origins of Christmas

BBC Documentary -- Reindeer

Reindeer, who feed on fly agarics, pull the shaman's sleigh. Pushing their noses under the snow, they dig up the red bulbs, exposing the sought-after amanita muscaria (commonly known as "fly agaric") mushrooms, used and distributed by the local shamans. ("Rudolph with your nose so bright, won't you guide my sleigh tonight.")

"Although most people see Christmas as a Christian holiday, most of the symbols and icons we associate with Christmas celebrations are actually derived from the shamanistic traditions of the tribal peoples of pre-Christian Northern Europe. The sacred mushroom of these people was the red and white amanita muscaria mushroom." -Dana Larsen, "The Psychedelic Secrets of Santa Claus"

"To this day Siberian shamans dress in ceremonial red and white fur-trimmed jackets to gather the magic mushrooms. First they pick and place the mushrooms to partially dry on nearby pine boughs which prepares them for ingestion and makes the load lighter. This is why we decorate our Christmas trees with ornaments and bulbs, because the gatherers would always adorn trees with drying mushrooms. Next the shaman collects his red and white presents in a sack and proceeds to travel from house to house delivering them. During Siberian winters, the snow piles up past the doors of their yurts (huts), so the red and white clad shaman must climb down the smoke-hole (chimney) to deliver the presents in his sack. Finally the appreciative villagers string the mushrooms up or put them in stockings hung affront the fire to dry. When they awake in the morning, their presents from under the pine tree are all dried and ready to eat." - Eric Dubay, "The Atlantean Conspiracy"

"The ancient shamanic use of Amanita muscaria in Siberia is well documented. Despite governmental oppression against its use, there are still many who refuse to accept the authorized state religion, and continue the shamanic traditions in secret... It is fairly common knowledge that the Weihnachtsmann (St. Nick) was an amalgamation of older Germanic/Norse gods such as Thor, Donner, Odin and Wotan. What's missing here is just as Santa flies through the skies in his sleigh, Odin (as well as the rest) rode through the sky in his chariot, which is depicted in the stars by 'The Big Dipper'. The Big Dipper is the chariot of Odin & Wotan, Thor, King Arthur, and even Osiris (of Egypt). The chariot that circles the North Star in a 24 hour period is thus also known as the sleigh of Santa Claus because it circles his mythological home, the North Pole." -James Arthur, "Mushrooms and Mankind"

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posted August 24, 2010 12:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SunChild     Edit/Delete Message
I remember last Christmas I shared all this with everyone- I didn't get the response I was after...teehee

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posted August 24, 2010 12:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for WinkAway     Edit/Delete Message
Very interesting... Amazing how it's been twisted it thru the years. I never told my son about "Santa". I don't like lying to him. In my opinion it hinders trust. At least it did with me.
I have my own beliefs as far as religion goes, but kinda crazy how Santa can be twisted around to Satan..

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posted August 24, 2010 12:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LEXX     Edit/Delete Message
I have my own beliefs as far as religion goes, but kinda crazy how Santa can be twisted around to Satan..
This deals with the anagram of:

As for Santa Anagramming to Satan.....
big deal....
Saint Michael Anagrams to for example:
or this:
Saint Michael also Lexigrams to for example:
So there you have it....believe what you wish.....see what you want....

Even "Saint Mary" has SATAN in it.
For more see above link.

Early Christian origins
A medieval fresco depicting St Nicholas from the Boyana Church, near Sofia, Bulgaria

Saint Nicholas of Myra is the primary inspiration for the Christian figure of Santa Claus. He was a 4th-century Greek Christian bishop of Myra (now Demre) in Lycia, a province of the Byzantine Anatolia, now in Turkey. Nicholas was famous for his generous gifts to the poor, in particular presenting the three impoverished daughters of a pious Christian with dowries so that they would not have to become prostitutes. He was very religious from an early age and devoted his life entirely to Christianity. In Europe (more precisely the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Germany) he is still portrayed as a bearded bishop in canonical robes. In 1087, the Italian city of Bari, wanting to enter the profitable pilgrimage industry of the times, mounted an expedition to locate the tomb of the Christian Saint and procure the remains. The reliquary of St. Nicholas was desecrated by Italian sailors and the spoils, including his relics, taken to Bari[10][11] where they are kept to this day. A basilica was constructed the same year to store the loot and the area became a pilgrimage site for the devout, thus justifying the economic cost of the expedition. Saint Nicholas became claimed as a patron saint of many diverse groups, from archers and children to pawnbrokers.[12] He is also the patron saint of both Amsterdam and Moscow.[13]
Influence of Germanic paganism and folklore
An 1886 depiction of the indigenous Norse God Odin by Georg von Rosen

Numerous parallels have been drawn between Santa Claus and the figure of Odin, a major god amongst the Germanic peoples prior to their Christianization. Since many of these elements are unrelated to Christianity, there are theories regarding the pagan origins of various customs of the holiday stemming from areas where the Germanic peoples were Christianized and retained elements of their indigenous traditions, surviving in various forms into modern depictions of Santa Claus.[14]

Odin was sometimes recorded, at the native Germanic holiday of Yule, as leading a great hunting party through the sky.[15] Two books from Iceland, the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, describe Odin as riding an eight-legged horse named Sleipnir that could leap great distances, giving rise to comparisons to Santa Claus's reindeer.[16] Further, Odin was referred to by many names in Skaldic poetry, some of which describe his appearance or functions; these include Síðgrani,[17] Síðskeggr,[18] Langbarðr,[19] (all meaning "long beard") and Jólnir[20] ("Yule figure").

According to Phyllis Siefker, children would place their boots, filled with carrots, straw, or sugar, near the chimney for Odin's flying horse, Sleipnir, to eat. Odin would then reward those children for their kindness by replacing Sleipnir's food with gifts or candy.[21] This practice survived in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands after the adoption of Christianity and became associated with Saint Nicholas as a result of the process of Christianization and can be still seen in the modern practice of the hanging of stockings at the chimney in some homes.

This practice in turn came to the United States through the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam prior to the British seizure in the 17th century, and evolved into the hanging of socks or stockings at the fireplace. In many regions of Austria and former Austro-Hungarian Italy (Friuli, city of Trieste) children are given sweets and gifts on Saint Nicholas's Day (San Niccolò in Italian), in accordance with the Catholic calendar, December 6.

Numerous other influences from the pre-Christian Germanic winter celebrations have continued into modern Christmas celebrations such as the Christmas ham, Yule Goat, Yule logs and the Christmas tree.
Pre-Christian Alpine traditions
Main article: Pre-Christian Alpine traditions

Originating from pre-Christian Alpine traditions and influenced by later Christianization, the Krampus is represented as a Companion of Saint Nicholas. Traditionally, some young men dress up as the Krampus in the first two weeks of December and particularly on the evening of December 5 and roam the streets frightening children (and adults) with rusty chains and bells.
Dutch folklore
Further information: Sinterklaas and Saint Nicholas
Sinterklaas in 2007

In The Netherlands and Belgium, Saint Nicolas (often called "De Goede Sint" — "The Friendly Saint") is aided by helpers commonly known as Zwarte Piet ("Black Peter") in Dutch or "Père Fouettard" in French.

The folklore of Saint Nicolas has many parallels with Germanic mythology, in particular with the god Odin. These include the beard, hat and spear (nowadays a staff) and the cloth bag held by the servants to capture naughty children. Both Saint Nicolas and Odin ride white horses that can fly through the air; the white eight-legged steed of Odin is named Sleipnir (although Sleipnir is more commonly depicted as gray). The letters made of candy given by the Zwarte Pieten to the children evokes the fact that Odin ‘invented’ the rune letters. The poems made during the celebration and the songs the children sing relate to Odin as the god of the arts of poetry.

There are various explanations of the origins of the helpers. The oldest explanation is that the helpers symbolize the two ravens Hugin and Munin who informed Odin on what was going on. In later stories the helper depicts the defeated devil. The devil is defeated by either Odin or his helper Nörwi, the black father of the night. Nörwi is usually depicted with the same staff of birch (Dutch: "roe") as Zwarte Piet.

Another, more modern, story is that Saint Nicolas liberated an Ethiopian slave boy called 'Piter' (from Saint Peter) from a Myra market, and the boy was so grateful he decided to stay with Saint Nicolas as a helper. With the influx of immigrants to the Netherlands starting in the late 1950s, this story is felt by some to be racist[22]. Today, Zwarte Piet have become modern servants, who have black faces because they climb through chimneys, causing their skin to become blackened by soot. They hold chimney cleaning tools (cloth bag and staff of birch).[23]

Until the Second World War, Saint Nicolas was only helped by one servant. When the Canadians liberated the Netherlands in 1945, they reinstated the celebrations of Sinterklaas for the children. Unaware of the traditions, the Canadians thought that if one Zwarte Piet was fun, several Zwarte Pieten is even more fun. Ever since Saint Nicolas is helped by a group of Zwarte Pieten.[citation needed]

Presents given during this feast are often accompanied by poems, some basic, some quite elaborate pieces of art that mock events in the past year relating to the recipient. The gifts themselves may be just an excuse for the wrapping, which can also be quite elaborate. The more serious gifts may be reserved for the next morning. Since the giving of presents is Sinterklaas's job, presents are traditionally not given at Christmas in the Netherlands, although the latter is gaining popularity.

The Zwarte Pieten have roughly the same role for the Dutch Saint Nicolas that the elves have to America's Santa Claus. According to tradition, the saint has a Piet for every function: there are navigation Pieten to navigate the steamboat from Spain to Holland, or acrobatic Pieten for climbing up the roofs to stuff presents through the chimney, or to climb through themselves. Throughout the years many stories have been added, mostly made up by parents to keep children's belief in Saint Nicolas intact and to discourage misbehaviour. In most cases the Pieten are quite lousy at their job, such as the navigation Piet (Dutch "wegwijspiet") pointing in the wrong direction. This is often used to provide some simple comedy in the annual parade of Saint Nicolas coming to the Netherlands, and can also be used to laud the progress of children at school by having the Piet give the wrong answer to, for example, a simple mathematical question like 2+2, so that the child in question is (or can be) persuaded to give the right answer.

In the Netherlands and in Belgium the character of Santa Claus, as known in the United States (with his white beard, red and white outfit, etc.), is entirely distinct from Sinterklaas, known instead as de Kerstman in Dutch (trans. the Christmasman) or Père Noël (Father Christmas) in French. Although Sinterklaas is the predominant gift-giver in the Netherlands in December (36% of the population only give presents on Sinterklaas day), Christmas is used by another fifth of the Dutch population to give presents (21% give presents on Christmas only). Some 26% of the Dutch population give presents on both days.[24] In Belgium, presents are given to children only, but to almost all of them, on Sinterklaas day. On Christmas day, everybody have presents, but often without Santa Claus' help.
Modern origins
"Scrooge's second Visitor", a colorized version of the original illustration by John Leech made for the Charles Dickens festive classic A Christmas Carol (1843)

Pre-modern representations of the gift-giver from church history and folklore, notably St Nicholas and Sinterklaas, merged with the British character Father Christmas to create the character known to Britons and Americans as Santa Claus. Father Christmas dates back at least as far as the 17th century in Britain, and pictures of him survive from that era, portraying him as a jolly well-nourished bearded man dressed in a long, green, fur-lined robe. He typified the spirit of good cheer at Christmas, and was reflected as the "Ghost of Christmas Present", in Charles Dickens Festive classic A Christmas Carol, a great genial man in a green coat lined with fur who takes Scrooge through the bustling streets of London on the current Christmas morning, sprinkling the essence of Christmas onto the happy populace.
Folk tale depiction of Father Christmas riding on a goat

In other countries, the figure of Saint Nicholas was also blended with local folklore. As an example of the still surviving pagan imagery, in Nordic countries the original bringer of gifts at Christmas time was the Yule Goat, a somewhat startling figure with horns.

In the 1840s however, an elf in Nordic folklore called "Tomte" or "Nisse" started to deliver the Christmas presents in Denmark. The Tomte was portrayed as a short, bearded man dressed in gray clothes and a red hat. This new version of the age-old folkloric creature was obviously inspired by the Santa Claus traditions that were now spreading to Scandinavia. By the end of the 19th century this tradition had also spread to Norway and Sweden, replacing the Yule Goat. The same thing happened in Finland, but there the more human figure retained the Yule Goat name. But even though the tradition of the Yule Goat as a bringer of presents is now all but extinct, a straw goat is still a common Christmas decoration in all of Scandinavia.
American variations

In the British colonies of North America and later the United States, British and Dutch versions of the gift-giver merged further. For example, in Washington Irving's History of New York, (1809), Sinterklaas was Americanized into "Santa Claus" (a name first used in the American press in 1773)[25] but lost his bishop’s apparel, and was at first pictured as a thick-bellied Dutch sailor with a pipe in a green winter coat. Irving’s book was a lampoon of the Dutch culture of New York, and much of this portrait is his joking invention.

Some modern ideas of Santa Claus seemingly became canon after the publication of the poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas" (better known today as "The Night Before Christmas") in the Troy, New York, Sentinel on December 23, 1823 anonymously; the poem was later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore. Although many of his modern attributes are established in this poem, such as riding in a sleigh that lands on the roof, entering through the chimney, and having a bag full of toys, St. Nick is not described in this work as being a large man. Quite the contrary, he is depicted as a small elf. When he first appears in the poem, he is described as "a little old driver"; his sleigh is "miniature." His reindeer (named for the first time in this poem) are "tiny." Later in the poem, St. Nick's mouth is described as "little" and he has a "little round belly." He is a "jolly old elf." Nowhere in the poem is he characterized as being the big guy that he is today.

More here about words like Santa/Satan
Excerpts from that link:
More on words with evil in them...or phrases.

Very nice thing that is!
from the phrase one can get;

So seriously, just like the Anagram/Lexigram
do not get your knickers in a knot over the Anagram/Lexigram of

Or names/phrases such as;
Saint Michael =
The Holy Virgin Mary=
Holy Virgin Mother Mary=
Saint Mary=

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posted August 24, 2010 01:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for katatonic     Edit/Delete Message
pretty much every christian holiday is a takeover from the old religions already in place, which made it easier for the christians to co-opt the followers of those old religions...nice story, valus, which i have no trouble believing!

funny thing though, my return to belief in "santa" as an energy of giving and miracles, returned when my daughter was about 6...when one day before christmas a very wealthy client of my boss's gave me a hamper from harrod's full of goodies we were going to be going without, and 1000 pounds sterling in rose-scented 10 pound notes...and for the following 5 christmases he did the same!

i realized that EVERY year something/one comes along to make christmas a time of warmth and cheer for my family...

while i am christian only in attitude and don't believe in a "real" santa, in our world it is hard for children who watch others celebrating and receiving but don't themselves. i love this holiday more because it is about sharing blessings than because of anything to do with christ or the church.

and i do NOT mean material gluttony, but sharing the love.

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