Thursday, December 22, 2005

Happy Solstice!

Today is the Winter Solstice, marking the shortest day of the year. There's been a lot of beefing lately by a lot of religious conservatives (and Donnie) about the use of "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas," as Christmas is the whole reason we're celebrating, right? Not true. There are a variety of Winter Solstice-based holidays from a wide range of cultures. In fact, the tradition of Christ's birth being on December 25th was not established until 354 A.D. In fact, the date of December 25th also coincides with the birth of the god, Mithra, who was worshiped by many of the Roman soldiers of the day. From what we have been able to gather, Mithra was said to have many parallels to Christ, including having a virgin birth (on December 25th), 12 followers, was killed and resurrected, was reputed as a savior of humanity and known as "the Light of the World." Of course, there are many elements of both stories that are common to other mythologies of the time.

Personally, I don't care if people wish me a Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza, Happy Hannukah or Happy Holidays. The point is to remember the spirit we're celebrating and not the label we're using. So, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, whatever you call it.


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