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6 years ago  ::  Nov 14, 2008 - 10:38PM #1
threeharesrunning
Posts: 615
I'm debating on another board and part of a refute to Christmas was a link to the following information :

http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psy … /celeb.htm

[FONT="System"]7. Christmas Eve -- "Yule" is a Chaldean word meaning "infant." Long before the coming of Christianity, the heathen Anglo-Saxons called the 25th of December "Yule day" -- in other words, "infant day" or "child's day" -- the day they celebrated the birth of the false "messiah"! The night before "Yule day" was called "Mother night." Today it is called "Christmas Eve." And it wasn't called "Mother night" after Mary, the mother of our Lord -- "Mother night" was observed centuries before Jesus was born. Semiramis (Nimrod's wife) was the inspiration for "Mother night," and "Child's day" was the supposed birthday of her son (Tammuz), the sun-god!

8. Yule Log -- The Yule log was considered by the ancient Celts a sacred log to be used in their religious festivals during the winter solstice; the fire provided promises of good luck and long life. Each year's Yule log had to be selected in the forest on Christmas Eve by the family using it, and could not be bought, or the superstitions associated with it would not apply. In Babylonian paganism, the log placed in the fireplace represented the dead Nimrod, and the tree which appeared the next morning (which today is called the "Christmas tree") was Nimrod alive again (reincarnated) in his new son (sun), Tammuz. (Still today in some places, the Yule log is placed in the fireplace on Christmas Eve, and the next morning there is a Christmas tree!)

Today's Yule log tradition comes to us from Scandinavia, where the pagan sex-and-fertility god, Jule, was honored in a twelve-day celebration in December. A large, single log was kept with a fire against it for twelve days, and each day for twelve days a different sacrifice was offered. The period now counted as the twelve days between Christmas and Epiphany was originally the twelve days of daily sacrifices offered to the Yule log. (What, then, are we really doing when we send "Yuletide greetings"? Are we really honoring Christ by sending greetings in the name of a Scandinavian fertility god? These are the same customs being practiced today as in ancient paganism! Only the names have changed.)[/FONT]

I'm more than certain that this is a mish-mash of correct and incorrect information, but I'm having a lot of trouble separating facts from factoids. There seems to be some exaggeration and false assumptions.

Can anyone help with the following:

[FONT="System"]"Yule" is a Chaldean word meaning "infant."

Semiramis (Nimrod's wife) was the inspiration for "Mother night," and "Child's day" was the supposed birthday of her son (Tammuz), the sun-god!

The Yule log was considered by the ancient Celts a sacred log

In Babylonian paganism, the log placed in the fireplace represented the dead Nimrod, and the tree which appeared the next morning (which today is called the "Christmas tree") was Nimrod alive again (reincarnated) in his new son (sun), Tammuz.

pagan sex-and-fertility god, Jule, [/FONT]


I've been googling for a while now and am more convinced there's wrong information here, but I'm caught in conflicting definitions and nonsensical cultural couplings. :confused:

Thank you for help.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 15, 2008 - 4:32PM #2
CreakyHedgewitch
Posts: 1,244
May I point out that anyone who is taking such an article, as ‘gospel’ isn’t likely to listen to any opposing viewpoints in a debate. This article clearly falls within a long tradition of ‘protestant’ literature against Catholicism (and its ‘pagan’ practices) so here too the history of the Catholic Church is being filtered and reworked to support the article’s hostile agenda. It also abounds in blanket statements that range from ludicrous to laughable but that is just my opinion. Blanket statements however are very useful when one has an obvious an agenda as this author does. Please keep in mind that anything I put forward or any references I quote from will not be accepted as valid by anyone considering this article or the sources in its bibliography to be true.

This is an updating of a thread on Christmas/Yule that I posted onto the old boards. I think it addresses your questions.

There is no conclusive literary evidence regarding midwinter practices or rituals for the ancient British Isles though certainly enough to suggest strongly that there were various indigenous forms of pre-Christian festivals that marked the beginning of the new year around the time of the winter solstice. Pliny is usually quoted as the source of a connection between Druids, mistletoe and midwinter but what he wrote on their customs regarding mistletoe is not sufficient to establish any seasonal link to midwinter and he was also writing of Gaul, not Britain.  Bede, the Anglo-Saxon monk so often used as a source, wrote about Mother Night or Modranicht, but he also admitted that he often did not know the significance of what he wrote about and his knowledge of earlier practices has been shown to be limited by later historians. It is possible that Modranicht was in fact the Christian feast of the Nativity, as the term is not found in any other early English or European sources. The Nativity was being celebrated in England in 877 when Alfred the Great passed into law the tradition of twelve days of celebration following 'midwinter'. Up until 1038, the feast of the Nativity was described in Anglo-Saxon literature as simply midwinter or more rarely Nativited. It was at that point that it was recorded as Cristes Maessan or Christmas. In Wales, there is evidence that there was a midwinter festival called the New Year feast but it was never identified with the Nativity.

Yule, a Scandinavian term for a Germanic midwinter festival was introduced to England in the 11th century by the invading Danes as an popular alternate name for the already established Christmas. In Old Norse, it is jol, in Swedish jul and in Danish, juul/i]. The origin of the term is still debated, possibly the Gothic [i]heulor the Anglo-Saxon hweal (remembering that Anglo-Saxons are Germanic), terms that meant a wheel. There is no proof however that these terms were ever connected to an actual midwinter festival that predated Christmas. The earliest Scandinavian references to the term as a festival place it in October as the 'Winter Nights' that opened up the season. Snorri Sturluson in the 13th century whose reliability is also debated by some refers to a pattern of sacrifices for "an easy winter during the "Winter Nights", for a good crop at Yule, and for a successful fighting season on 'Summer's Day' (in April).  He noted that Yule lasted three days, the first being midwinter night and that of the New Year, and that Hakon the Good who had been a Christian had changed the timing to coincide with the Nativity.

I’m going to assume here that

pagan sex-and-fertility god, Jule

comes first from an alternate spelling of Yule into Jule relating back to earlier forms and second from the strictly Christian definitions of paganism. There isn’t such a god, in the past or today that I know of who goes by that name.  Given the Babylon theme that runs through what you quoted, well that would relate easily enough back to the common use of this name for anything anti-Christian.

In Babylonian paganism, the log placed in the fireplace represented the dead Nimrod, and the tree which appeared the next morning (which today is called the "Christmas tree") was Nimrod alive again (reincarnated) in his new son (sun), Tammuz.



Whomever is trying to study ‘Babylonian paganism’ (rolls eyes) should really do their homework in less biased sources.

Babylonians based on archaeological finds had small clay ovens, not fireplaces big enough to logs into. They also lived in a part of the world where wood tended to be scarce unlike the Northern Europeans. Nimrod’s ancestry is variously described, often he is said to be the great-grandson of Noah while being described with the usual titles reserved for Babylonian kings. He supposedly was the founder of the Babylonian empire, the builder of the Tower of Babel (which may be why he is in THIS version of Babylonian history) and has scattered mentions in the Old Testament. He is also thought to be Nebrod, an ancestor of Abraham and therefore of all Hebrews.

The only mention of Tammuz is Ezekiel's testimony in the Hebrew Bible. The Tammuz aspect may come from this god’s origin as a Sumerian shepherd-god called Dumuzid or Dumuzi. A number of Sumerian (those that preceded the Babylonians) kings who ritually wed or became the consort of the Goddess Inanna, thus sanctifying their rule. Tammuz was not a sun god but rather a life-death-rebirth or dying-god like Adonis or Osiris. He was more associated with vegetation than anything else. The time of mourning for Tammuz was the summer solstice when he went down into the underworld. His return would therefore be at the winter solstice when all would rejoice. He was said to be rescued by Inanna who then agreed to spend six months in the underworld each year to let him live. Recent texts however have reversed this tale, sending Tammuz to the underworld to secure her release so she could be resurrected. In yet other tales, it is Tammuz’s sister who takes his place.

Continued...

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6 years ago  ::  Nov 15, 2008 - 4:39PM #3
CreakyHedgewitch
Posts: 1,244
Back to much later times, the picture that emerges from such debated earlier sources is there was most likely some form of a major feast among the ancient Norse and Scandinavian peoples at the winter solstice that also linked to starting the new year. There are also a famous series of complaints from Christian clergy in Europe and England beginning in the 4th century to 11th century in the south though there are later complaints in more northern countries. These include complaints against the Saturnalia (which vanished early on) and the Kalandae (an ancient midwinter European festival of midwinter and New Year that was compared to the Roman Kalandae) which proved more resistant. In England from the 11th century onward, complaints were made against the 'heathen celebrations' relating to New Year's Day re-introduced by the invading Vikings with folk customs of divination practices recorded in large numbers by modern folklorists. The custom of celebrating the New Year around the winter solstice or midwinter was strongly enough established in England by then that calendar reforms failed to change the new year to the old Roman system of mid March.

As for the origins of December 25th being Christmas, the claims in this article are speculative to say the least. History of course is always partly speculative but it also tends to be rather more complicated than this became that.

During the 2nd and 3rd centuries, a Syrian cult (Mithras) for a sun god called Elah-Gabal spread across the Roman Empire. This religion had December 25th as its saviour’s birthday. In 274, the Emperor Aurelian crated a new major holy day for his new syncretic state religion with the sun as its chief deity based in part of Mithraism.

Early Christians assigned Christ’s birth to just about every month and there was a great deal of resistance to celebrating it at all. Epiphany on January 6th was the nativity’s date in Alexandria around 200. In the De Pascha Computus in 243, March 28th is the date, which would make more physical sense if one wanted lambs and calves in the proverbial manager. Around the time of Julius I, Christians were trying to gain a foothold against the Arian Emperor Valens (a Christian heretic) no less. A Christian writer, the Scriptor Syrus, writes in the late 4th century, “It was a custom of the pagans to celebrate the same 25 December the birthday of the sun, as which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these solemnities and revelries the Christians also took part. Accordingly when the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should be solemnised on that day.” (2 – p 174)

The Christian leaders socialised this festival with Constantine though it remained controversial amongst the many sects of Christianity, disappearing and reappearing. Epiphany remained more important but in medieval times, the ‘forty days before Christmas’ or Advent was very important. It is to Medieval Advent that one finds the celebratory customs of misrule and frivolity, gift giving and feasting associated with Saturnalia. In England, Alfred the Great in the 9th century is said to have granted freedom from work for all servants during the twelve days after midwinter. By the 12th century, one then finds the Twelve (Holy) Days of Christmas or Christmastide and the Advent customs being celebrated, notably by the wealthy and nobles.

During later historical periods of Christian religious reform in Europe and Britain, Christmas was one of the targets for reform although the religious rituals associated with the celebration were left largely intact. The Scottish Kirk in the 16th century declared that Papists had invented the feast of Christmas along with the other Catholic celebrations and it was therefore unscriptural. It was declared illegal and ruthlessly suppressed with the persecution of local customs being documented. This focus on suppressing the celebration was largely in the Lowlands however and James I of Scotland himself was said to continue to favour the old customs at his court despite the Kirk. In the Outer Hebrides for example, Christmas Eve continued to be celebrated as Candle Night or Oidhche Choinnlefrom the custom of lighting up windows. In Shetland, Yule was twenty-four days long with dances every night but Sundays, sports, feasting and Yule Day evening being the major event. Yule Cake or Yule Bread or Yule Bannock was still found in the 19th century. Different customs emerged for New Year's or Hogmanay from the medieval French aguillanneuf to describe New Year or a gift on New Year. 

continued....
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 15, 2008 - 4:42PM #4
CreakyHedgewitch
Posts: 1,244
Repeated rulings against 'Yule' customs made it plain that resistance continued and in every later contest between the political and religious authorities in Scotland, the prohibition against Christmas/Yule was one of the continuing issues. This also spread to England but was never truly popular. However, the English Civil War that had brought a Protestant government into power enabled Christmas to be abolished legally as a religious holiday. It continued to be celebrated secularly however, even after being reinstated by the Restoration as both a royal and religious holiday. 

There are a few traditions associated with Christmas today that seem to have older origins but most have documented origins of being modern despite the ‘Babylonian’ claims of origin within this article.

It was a generalised custom according to surviving records throughout pre-Christian Europe to decorate with greenery and flowers during festivals. The Church never did agree on how to deal with this custom though there is evidence whenever authorities favoured the practice of decorating churches during Christmas with available greenery such as holly or ivy. It was also used in homes as well where the custom survived even when banned in churches due to the Reformation. There is no evidence to suggest that holly and ivy were used because they had any religious properties however, only that they were what were most widely available in England during this period of the year as greenery. Mistletoe was harder to obtain and tended to be used sparingly. Box, yew, rosemary, mistletoe, bay and broom were sometimes used as well. In Scotland, though the use of greenery was rarer, Highlanders were said to hang holly in their homes on New Year's Day to keep out the fairies.

While the hanging of greenery including mistletoe was well known, in the late 18th century throughout England, a custom called a kissing bush appeared among commoners, mostly for Christmas, sometimes for New Year's Day. Any evergreen was used to create it and holly and even gorse was used. However because mistletoe was hard to find, holly with a sprig of mistletoe somewhere were the preferred materials to create the bush that was often large and elaborate. The most common forms used were a basin or crossed hoops. Apples, oranges, dolls, candles, coloured paper or ribbons were among the decorations. This bush would later evolve into sprigs of mistletoe hung over doorways by the later middle class Victorians.

Light was another common motif in customs at this time for obvious reasons. Christmas candles, often quite large were lit on Christmas Eve or the morning afterwards in churches and homes in England and Scotland though how common this was varied greatly from locale to locale as well as by individual tastes. Candles were also common over in Scandinavia. Not coloured candles mind you, those didn’t appear until the Industrial Revolution, usually beeswax for those who could afford them or tallow candles.

The most common source of illumination however in poorer and lower middle class homes was the household and/or kitchen fire. In the 19th century in Britain, a log of wood sufficient to burn through the next day would be added to the kitchen fire. In some places, a piece was kept to use as kindling for the following year. This log was known variously as Yule Clog, Yule Block, Gule Block, the Stock or the Mock, Brand, Braund or Brawn, the Festival or the Christmas Block. British folklorists usually called any appearance of this a Yule Log. This was mainly a rural tradition, missing in places where wood was scarce or Christmas was not much celebrated or the custom was considered to be too primitive. There is also a custom recorded from the 17th century of a Christmas Log. This was portrayed as being brought into the farmhouse by young men who were then rewarded with drink. The Log signified prosperity and it was lighted with the remnant of the last year's log, which had protected the house from evil during the intervening months. While this is the first mention of this custom, it suggests a well-established practice that certainly continued into the 19th century. Various writers on folklore including Sir James Frazer and Henry Bourne speculated that this was an Anglo-Saxon ceremony of the winter solstice. However, there is no record of this custom in Britain before 1600 or in Germany before 1184 where it remained a popular custom and from which it may well have been introduced into Britain. Any connection to a religious ritual involving agricultural fertility has been debated in favour of a festive custom needed to keep the fire burning during long celebrations at Christmastide. It is conceded however that there was magical significance conferred on the custom, protection for the home though this had largely vanished by the 19th century where competition over the size of the log was now tied to the idea of prosperity. In some areas, the ashes were used to fertilise fields, in others they were piled in the cellar to 'keep the witch away'. In the Highlands, the log was sometimes carved like a woman and burned to help against misfortune. With the disappearance of open hearths in homes, the custom of the Yule Log dwindled from the late 19th century until it was revived today mostly as a romanticised custom.

The wassail cup or bowl is one of those customs whose origins lie tangled in many different versions of local folklore and legends. The Victorians revived the custom though it never gained that much popularity being mostly agricultural in focus.

Another lingering custom that cannot be copyrighted of course was the giving of gifts such as the Romans did during the Kalendae. By the 18th century, the practice of doing so on New Year’s had largely fallen into decay in preference to giving on Christmas Day. Many of the old religious holidays were ruthlessly pruned by employers and government in the early part of that century leaving only Christmas Day in many places from the original span of celebrations. The Factory Act of 1833 named only Christmas Day and Good Friday as the sole two days of the years excepting Sundays when workers had any statutory right to be absent from work. In some rural areas, the old holidays continued to be celebrated but these were the exceptions. By the 19th century, Christmas was rapidly becoming a quaint custom that was largely ignored except by the middle classes.

Alarmed by the erosion of customs in the 19th century as industrialisation swept through Britain, people began to enshrine earlier festivals and traditions as idealised remnants of a more humane past society. At the same time, the Oxford Movement in the Church of England focused a renewed importance on religious ritual and decoration throughout the traditional festive calendar. Within the middle classes, an emphasis on the values of family, focus on both charity and piety and a fear of poverty combined with their romanticising of the past to create a new image of Christmas. Perhaps the best known example of the literature articulating this shift is Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" though he had also previously documented the Christmas theme in more sentimental themes in "The Pickwick Papers". 

There is lack of consistent historical evidence that earlier Christmas celebrations were a time of communal feasting or giving to the poor or entertaining in a lavish style despite the romanticised versions of the past being eulogised in literature.  As the Victorian middle classes made Christmas over, it came to be seen as "invested materialism with a spiritual quality that enabled the newly-rich to enjoy their wealth." Christmas became focused on the family and children, interweaving their current anxieties about class and wealth with nostalgia about the past and gained a national reputation as a time of both celebration and charity. This image slowly but never completely began to erode the public resistance of those who rejected its religious significance.

Continued...
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 15, 2008 - 4:46PM #5
CreakyHedgewitch
Posts: 1,244
Certain customs vanished as unsuitable such as the medieval customs of misrule and mischief, mummers and maskers documented as local customs and among the ruling classes. Many of the customs associated with the New Year's Day such as gift giving, cards, carols and feasting were transferred over to Christmas Day. Many people have lamented that Christmas was invented by the retailers such as Bernard Shaw's infamous comment of "Christmas is forced upon a reluctant and disgusted nation by the shopkeepers and the press". However, neither group had the means to create the immense popularity of this holiday amongst the middle classes. Rather it was the latter that perhaps can be credited if anyone with 'inventing' the modern Christmas before the beginning of the 20th century.

Originally feasts associated with Christmas Day had been a release from fasting since Advent Sunday four weeks before. Meat, cheese and eggs and for the wealthy such luxuries as pies were forbidden right up until the morning after Christmas Eve. The feast on Christmas Day ushered in the twelve days of merriment until Epiphany and became steadily more elaborate as the centuries passed along with the accompanying entertainers, mummers and customs of misrule. By the 17th century, the feast came to include minced pies, plum porridge and hot spiced ale with apples floating in it called 'lambswool', all of which remained enduring customs up until the 19th century. The Christmas feast did not change much with the Victorians except that the cheaper turkey, brought from America in the late 18th century replaced the traditional roast beef among the middle classes. Working class households still had to be content with the tougher and still cheaper goose until affluence enabled them to also afford turkey. Plum porridge was completely replaced by fruit pudding while the Twelfth Night cake was transferred to Christmas Day along with many of the customs associated with the vanished Twelfth Night festival. The only truly commercially created custom - the Christmas cracker -  was introduced in 1846 by an enterprising English businessman.

The Christmas tree was a Germanic custom though the first record of such is only from the 1520's. German immigrants during Victoria's reign followed the custom that spread in popularity while Prince Albert made the tree fashionable in the upper classes by introducing it at the Royal Court. By 1840, they were popular throughout Scandinavia, Germany, United States and Britain, especially with the middle classes as the focus for family gatherings. The working classes continued to use kissing bushes and holly and ivy up until the 1950's.

Dickens called the Christmas Tree a pretty German toy but recommended it anyway to his readers. Such trees had great quantities of small taper candles making them notable fire hazards before the invention of electric lights. Originally, small presents were deliberately displayed on the tree as ornaments to signify the family's wealth and generosity before being distributed throughout the family household. These included everything from dolls, musical instruments, boxes of sweets or scent, books, fruit (sometimes dipped in gold leaf) even fake fruit and walnuts with hidden gifts inside.

Charity and alms giving was a theme particularly associated by the Victorians with Christmas where once it had been customary throughout the religious festive calendar in Britain. The origin of the British and Canadian holiday Boxing Day on December 26th takes its name from the custom in Victorian times of giving gift or food boxes to the poor the day following the Christmas Day feast. Today of course, the meaning is more commonly translated as the day when people take back their unwanted Christmas gifts or buy more boxes at the Boxing Day sales.

Another form of conspicuous wealth was decorations in private homes. Lavish decorations involved holly and artificial materials became a must for the fashionable middle classes but gradually this spread out through English society. Paper hangings were very popular in the late 19th century, holly was usually reduced to wreathes for doors as was popular in America while greenery such as yew, box, ivy, laurel and bay largely vanished. Mistletoe remained but hung up in bunches over doorways.

The Christmas stocking evolved from another German custom, already spread to parts of Europe by the 19th century. This was originally a child's stocking hung on the end of the bed and filled with presents by an adult impersonating the Christ Child. It was introduced to England in a work of fiction in 1854 and became popular among the poor and working classes. The custom quickly became linked however with a far more secular figure imported from America.

Enter Santa Claus whose origin has been traced back to St. Nicholas, the European medieval patron of children. The Dutch gave presents supposedly from St. Nicholas in the shoes and later stockings of children the night before his feast. In New Amsterdam (later New York) in America, the custom had died out along with the Dutch influences until it was revived in the early 19th century. Washington Irving in 1809 in his book "Knickerbocker's History of New York" drew attention to the old tradition and shifted it from St. Nicholas' Day to Christmas Eve. This in turn may be have been the inspiration for Clement Clark Moore, another New Yorker to create the popularized image of the modern Santa. A professor of Hebrew and Oriental Languages at a religious college in New York, he wrote a poem called, "A Visit from St. Nicholas" for his own children. Instead of the traditional Dutch figure, Moore's was a magical spirit from the northern midwinter complete with a bushy white beard and fur clothes who rode in a sled drawn by reindeer through the sky and came down chimneys to fill the stockings of children on Christmas Eve. Someone passed a copy of his poem to a local newspaper and despite Moore's initial anger, the poem became immensely popular. It became common to illustrate this St. Nicholas as wearing a red suit with a matching cap trimmed with white fur, the color of which may been derived from the red bishop's robes that the saint was usually portrayed wearing. Back in England, Christmas had not been personified until the early 17th century where allegory and religious persecution by Protestants led to the invention of various male characters in masques in England, who came to be known as Father Christmas, Sir Christmas or Lord Christmas. This figure was generally a burlesque character connected with adult feasts and games, not children or presents.

Sinte Klaas or Santa Klaus arrived from America in England in 1854 in the same children's story that introduced the Christmas stocking to the public. Merging with Father Christmas, he not only acquired a new name but also conferred on the English version the attributes of gift giving to children which tied in so well to the concept of Victorian charity now associated with Christmas. So popular did this hybrid Father Christmas or Santa Klaus become that in 1879, the newly formed Folk-Lore Society in Britain was actually trying to discover his origins without even being aware of the links to the Dutch or to America. A century later, the preoccupation with tribal magical practices in the 1980's would led to a theory that the attributes of Santa Claus were linked to Siberian shamanism though the theory was later dismissed by those more knowledgeable about shamanism in Siberia.

Christmas cards derived from the earlier custom of exchanging blessings or good wishes on the New Year. Among the wealthy classes by 1840, short poems within ornamental frames came to be exchanged. While an early attempt at commercially produced cards failed due to their high cost, in 1862 the stationery firm of Messrs Charles Goodall introduced cheaply printed greeting cards that quickly gained popularity.  Originally meant for the New Year, the popularity of Christmas shifted the themes used and by the 1890's Christmas cards were an established phenomena. Few had religious themes even from the beginning, but rather featured themes of nature and celebration. Holly and mistletoe, Father Christmas, Christmas trees, bells, Christmas pudding and the robin were the most common themes. No one knows why the robin came to be associated with Christmas but urban artists that were engaged in creating these cards often used the robin as a motif.

By the 19th century caroling had been dying out along with the rural customs of begging and alms giving that had been associated with their use. Efforts were made by a number of people to preserve what remained of the old carols. It was not until 1871 that a book published by two scholars from the Magdalen College in Oxford  Christmas Carols Old and New became part of the revival in hymn singing that carols became part of church services. It was not the salvaged older carols that became so popular however but rather translations of newer carols from other languages that assured caroling a place in the Victorian Christmas theme.

Hope something is helpful.

C.H.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 15, 2008 - 9:12PM #6
threeharesrunning
Posts: 615
I can't thank you enough, CH, you always come through with the most amazing information.It answers quite a few of my questions and more. You've also given me some idea of where to focus for more info. I've been slogging through factoids,  gobbledygook and anti-pagan rants trying to find just a few answers grounded in some sort of consistent history. I know that's difficult because human beings travel around so, take parts of their culture with them wherever they go and share it with the natives.  What a wonderful mixed up world! Thanks again. Take care, Marty
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