Dec 23, 2021
They are the ideas and values passed down from generation to generation. They are customs and beliefs that bind a culture together. The raising of a Christmas tree during Christmas. The celebration of a new year. Your birthday is special. You brush your teeth with your eyes closed. All are traditions and rituals we do.
We have rituals for everything and every occurrence. We mark special days for remembrance. These may be days of triumphs, or they may be days of loss. There are plenty of people who still remember Kurt Cobain's day of death, while others see it as any other day. These are dates that we find it important to remember.
On these days we may do something special. The fourth Thursday of November is Thanksgiving. We hold the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox in March as a great feast of when Jesus arose from the grave, aka easter.
Each culture has a different way of celebrating each of its own holidays. Christmas which is coming up n the next day or two has many of its own unique traditions. In the US we set up a tree we string lights all over the place. We find the prettiest pine tree and bring it into our house. We then add lights to it and hang decorations from its boughs. We string holly and pine garland around and the smell of Christmas is amazing especially when you are using real pine. Sticky but it smells so good.
Now there are some people who talk about how this is not true Christianity and all that stuff is pagan traditions. Is it? Well yeah to a point. Yet it is a part of our traditions anyhow. We have a theory as to why we use a pine tree instead of saying a young walnut tree. The reason is so that the values that the pagans had actually fit nicely with what the Christians had. So incorporating their traditions to fit in with ours was a good adjustment of traditions.
Then you add the additions of American society and you have Saint Nicholas riding a sleigh being pulled by reindeer. While if you go to the Netherlands, Saint Nicholas rides a boat and he has a helper named Black Pete who helps him disseminate the gifts through several days. They use shoes instead of stockings. Yet the primary character is still the same.
Some cultures actually have scary monsters running around Throwing bad children into bags and whipping them.
In America, we have a family feast. Turkey, ham, brisket if you are in my house. While in Japan you have a bucket of KFC Chicken. In Catalonia, it is customary to have a dude dropping a duce in the manger scene. Some families like to have the Christmas pickle hidden in their tree. Shoot in Norway you hide your brooms on Christmas so witches do run off with them. There are so many different and fun traditions in the Christmas season alone. We haven't even talked about the other days of the year.
Then there were traditions that died out thankfully, like the act of wassailing. Now I think wassailing can be brought back just not as it was originally. It started out as a roving band of drunk people demanding food from the lords or they would start getting rowdy. Yet because of wassailing, we get the tradition of singing carols door to door.
These and all traditions are a time for remembrance and looking back on how we are connected to each other. Yeah, there are those who want to say our traditions are bad or not fair or something to that effect. Yet they have their own traditions and customs they want to observe.
They link us to our ancestors
They allow us to show respect to those who also observe our traditions
There are those who have worked tirelessly to change our traditions. These changes are often done in the name of fairness
I talked about the 14 Christmas traditions you can start this year.
Watch a Christmas movie
Die-hard is good
A Christmas story
Meet with your Band Of Brothers
Serve someone in need with the Christmas Jar