Friday, 21 December 2007
Why Winter Festival?
For those that maybe concerned, there is no politically correct madness in this year's Amos seasonal greeting card. It just so happens that none of us at Amos are Christians. Yet we all celebrate at this time of year. So instead of using the term "Christmas" (a festival specifically created to celebrate the birth of Christ), we went for the more generic term, "Winter Festival".
We could have used the term "Yule". Contrary to popular belief, the celebration and rituals of this Northern European winter festival pre-date Christianity. Yule is a homage to the Winter Solstice lasting from the end of December through the beginning of January, the time of longest nights in the North. The sun stops waning (when days were getting shorter) and begins waxing (the days now get longer). Yule traditions of the ancient tribes include decorating the fir tree, putting up holly and mistletoe, giving gifts, and feasting. Yule was suppressed by the early Christian church and some rituals were co-opted and assimilated to make the forced conversion to Christianity more palatable to the ancient peoples of Northern Europe.
And lets not forget there are countless other cultural celebrations at this time of the year. We don't want to exclude those.
So before anyone tars us with the "PC gone mad" brush, just remember that one man's (or woman's) Christmas is another man's (or woman's) Yule!
So whatever your festival, HAVE A GOOD ONE!