Posted: 15/10/2014 at 11:43
Once upon a time, before light pollution, people paid a lot of attention to the stars. Very pretty, the stars, on those cold, clear nights. To the south, there is a group of five visible in winter in the shape of a cross. They're called the Southern Cross. Fairly obvious geometric shape. The Sun is the source of our warmth and life. Plants turn to face it, it warms our skin, it melts the ice and clears the fog and it allows us to see the leopards coming. That's quite important in Africa. Leopards can be sneaky and mean. Because the axis of the Earth's rotation is tilted relative to the plane of the Earth's orbit around the Sun, we have seasons. The Sun appears higher in the sky for longer in summer and lower in the sky for less time in winter ... at least if you're not in the tropics. Get as far north as, say, ancient Egypt and you get seasons, cold winter, beautiful spring, warm (or just too **** hot) summer and fruitful autumn. Every year, the Sun, which is the light that lights the way and the source of all life, sinks to its lowest level. For three days, it's at its lowest, the nights are at their darkest and life feels pretty grim, and the Sun is exactly level with the Southern Cross. Then, a couple of days after the winter solstice, the Sun is just noticeably higher in the sky. Base a religion on this and you have a god who is the light that lights the way and the source of all life, who dies on the cross for three days then is born again or 25 December. What else happens in the stars just before that? Look east, and you'll see the three stars of Orion's Belt, called the Three Kings, lined up with the second-brightest star in the sky (the brightest being Sol). Three kings in the east following a star? Sound familiar? So, we have myths about the way, the truth and the light being born on 25 Dec, his coming heralded by three kings from the east following a bright star and celebrated with brightly-wrapped gifts that cheer up the short, dark, winter days, and dying on a cross for three days. Hundreds of them. So what happened to that? Someone with a lot of money saw a way to get even more money, and made a mess of everything for everyone else.
If you want to give people brightly-wrapped gifts that'll cheer up their lives, go for it. Ignore the date. Party because it's 4 Feb, because it's Beethoven's birthday, because it's exactly 500 days since you received those seeds in the post, because your daughter is now 3'0" tall, not just 2'11.9" tall, because the Sun came up today, because it rained last weekend or whatever. Sod all that ancient mythology and, as Bill and Ted (yes, really) put it: "Be excellent to one another."
I deleted the "15% off our Christmas range" email from zazzle weeks ago.