The Winter Solstice: The Sacred Traditions of Christmas
This text gives meaning not just to Christmas, but to the whole winter season. Folklore expert John Matthews traces the history behind many of the ... Show synopsis This text gives meaning not just to Christmas, but to the whole winter season. Folklore expert John Matthews traces the history behind many of the sacred traditions of the holiday season and provides refreshing and practical suggestions for celebrating the winter solstice as a joyous, life-affirming, spritual festival. Matthews explores the surprising multicultural origins of Santa Claus, the Yule Log, carolling, mistletoe and the Christmas tree. Many of these are Pagan in origin: the winter solstice sees the rebirth of the year and the return of the sun and the sun god after the darkness of winter. The traditional meanings of the twelve days of Christmas are explored, and practical ways of celebrating each of them given. This intertwining of myth and religion partly explains the depth and significance of the Christmas seasonal celebrations. John Matthews brings myth and spiritual significance to life in this text. He revives old traditions and suggests new ones to help you celebrate the passing of the winter season and the coming of spring.