What is the true meaning of Christmas? Before you argue for Christianity, let’s consider a deeper spiritual meaning of this holiday.
Christmas is perhaps the most popular holiday during each year. Millions of dollars are spent on gifts and food to celebrate the 25th of December. It seems that Christmas has either become a materialistic holiday or a predominantly Christian affair featuring a popular diety. But wait! Is there a much deeper true meaning of Christmas?
A few startling truths
So, let’s set aside the birth of Christ and look a bit closer at what Christmas really means in spiritual terms. You might be surprised by all the symbolic and ancient foundations that actually make up the true meaning of Christmas. Here are a few truths and legends to expand your mind.
Truth and legend of Saint Nicolas
Let’s start with something simple and easy to comprehend. Have you ever wondered where the idea of Santa Claus really came from? Well, this legend is a bit removed from what children believe today. The legend derives from a figure from history called Saint Nicolas, and his story is indeed considered a legend. However, here is what we’ve heard:
In the 4th century Myra, located in what’s Turkey today, there lived a bishop who would later be named St Nicolas. He helped the poor and left secret gifts for others. The bishop didn’t just give gifts to children, he also helped sailors caught in storms.
For his kindness, he was revered as a saint, St. Nicolas. The sailors would pray to St. Nicolas and would be saved when he appeared to them. Unfortunately, St. Nicolas was imprisoned and died on the 6th of December sometime around the year 352.
The Evolution of Santa Clause
The legend of St. Nicolas has changed over the centuries. In the 16th century Europe, he was given new names, like “Father Christmas” or “Pere Noel”. Later, in the United States, he became “Kris Kringle”. Later on in the U.S., Dutch settlers renamed him to “Sinter Kaas”. Here, you see the name transformed into our modern legend of “Santa Claus”.
And by the way, if you’ve heard the myth of Santa’s red and white colors coming from Coca-Cola, then I would like to tell you that it isn’t true. St. Nicolas wore a red robe. So, there you have it.
Reaching deeper with Pagan Origins
Most Christians hate to admit that the true meaning of Christmas could originate from Paganism. But Paganism has more ownership of this holiday than Christians. For example, the symbol of the Christmas wreath hung upon the door isn’t just a welcoming decoration for the season.
The wreath actually symbolizes fertility, a pagan observation. As the Christian church started to acknowledge this fact, they warned their congregations against wreaths and erecting any sort of evergreen tree inside the home.
The Pagan holiday, Saturnalia
There is a darker origin for Christmas called Saturnalia. Saturnalia is a celebration of lawlessness which lasts for a week (December 17-December 25). Roman law stated that there was no punishment for breaking laws during Saturnalia.
Reminds you of the purge, huh? Well, basically, Saturnalia is worship of the planet Saturn, and it included free-for-all rape, human sacrifice, and drunkenness…among other forms of debauchery and violence.
Now, here’s a surprise! Christians in the year, 4 A.D. adopted the holiday Saturnalia, to try and bring Pagans into Christianity. The birth date of Jesus Christ that we know today was created by Christians to signify the last day, or ending of Saturnalia. Here you can see that the Christ was used as a figure of salvation from sin.
Esoteric origins of Sun worship
Yes, Christmas is so much more than the birth of the Messiah, or “son” of God. In fact, you can say it symbolizes the birth of the inner god, the cosmic son within us.
It is the winter solstice and also can be understood as the birth of many other spiritual leaders such as Quetzalcoatl, Osiris, and Krishna. Each deity taught enlightenment, awakening, salvation, and realization which is a goal resonating throughout the holiday season, and into the new year.
Taking a look at how seasons play into this, we see a period of rebirth beginning on December 25th. The reason why this date has such significance is that it is the last day of the year before daylight begins to lengthen once more. There is more sun, there is a cold and dark beginning for something new.
The winter solstice signals a new period of life as winter heads into spring. It can be simply stated as birth, life, death, and rebirth as a parallel to spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
The Modern Christmas
And if there is no true meaning of Christmas for you in spiritual or historical terms, then that is fine as well. For some people, Christmas is simply a time of being with family and enjoying the gift-giving season.
Yes, it can be materialistic. It can also be financially taxing for some. Christmas can be filled with delicious foods, drunken parties and all sorts of modern experiences. For some, the thought of ancient traditions and spiritual practices have no place during the holidays.
It’s not what’s under the Christmas tree that matters, it’s who are around it.
The true meaning of Christmas
So, stop arguing over whether the upcoming celebration should be named, “Christmas” or “Holidays” because it doesn’t really matter anyway.
The Christmas season isn’t just a religious-based holiday, oh far from it, but it is also an ancient meaning deep within ourselves that only we can understand from careful examination and enlightenment. The true meaning of Christmas can be almost anything you want it to be.
So, as you eat, drink and be merry, contemplate on what Christmas means to you.
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