Chrismas season is around again. Is the birth date of Christ being celebrate?
I typically don't celebrate the birthdays of historical, anti-establishment terrorists, especially not those from old tales written by man. However, I will be celebrating the giving of gifts and kindness in lieu of worshipping false idols. Might even light the Menorah, but definitely not going to be putting anyone undeserving on a pedestal.
How come Christ is a terrorist and and anti-establihshment figure? Have you the proof?
You mean aside from his anti-establishment actions discussed in the bible, such as going into markets and synagogues to flip tables and whip those he considered to be doing anything more than making a living? I figured the bible was enough proof when discussing Yeshua with those who turn the man into a false idol. Other than that I'm sure you're capable of Googling yourself, as I'm not spending any more time discussing a demagogue and a pagan holiday.
We will be celebrating Christmas, but with two atheists and an agnostic in the family, not as a religious holiday.
Prior to the Victorian era Britain was a very religious place, fuelling many wars and civil wars over the millennia e.g. the crusades a thousand years ago where Europe repeatedly invaded the Middle East, and the countless civil wars in Britain between Protestants and Catholics ever since 1534 when King Henry VIII broke from the Catholic Church in Rome and formed his own brand of Christianity (The Church of England).
That began to change during the 19th century when in the light of scientific advancement Victorians began to question religion; known as the ‘Age of Enlightenment’. So religion went into decline in Britain during the 1st half of the 20th century, but had a revival in the mid-1950s when most British people at the time were religious, albeit a short lived revival.
Religion has been on the decline in Britain since the 1960’s, with 2016 becoming a milestone when over 50% of the population considered themselves non-religious.
In the latest surveys (2018) 52% of Brits are not religious, and only 38% of Brits are Christians.
However, Christmas is a ‘national holiday’ in the UK, celebrated by all regardless to their religious faith or otherwise; arguably the most important ‘national holiday’ to Brits. Hence, why our Prime Minister (Boris Johnson) has set his mind on bringing the pandemic under enough control prior to Christmas to leave a window open whereby the ‘Covid Regulations’ could be eased over Christmas week; hence the current stiff nationwide lockdown, even though the virus is currently on the retreat in the UK.
In fact when referring to the importance of making it possible for Brits to be able to enjoy Christmas this year, in recent weeks the British Government has repeatedly used the phrase “Christmas is a national holiday important to ‘all faiths and none’” e.g. that Christmas is important to everyone in the UK regardless to their religion, including atheists.
And as Kyler pointed out, Christmas was originally a Pagan holiday; the celebration of the winter solstice (shortest day of the year) on the 21st December. And many of the Christmas traditions celebrated today come from Paganism e.g. the ‘Yule Log’ which was originally a Pagan tradition of burning a big log slowly on the fire over the Christmas period.
However, unlike Kyler’s attitude, in Britain we all celebrate Christmas together regardless to our religion or otherwise; in Britain (excluding Northern Ireland) there is a high level of respect of people of all faiths and non-faith; so in Britain it doesn’t matter whether you are a Muslim, Christian, Chinese or an atheist etc., we all celebrate Christmas together, with a spirit of ‘Good Will to All’.
Arthur, glad that you Brits will be celebrating Xmas as good will to all. And many thanks to Prime Minister Boris Johnson for trying to bring covid19 under control in Britain for that purpose. I think the celebration as a major national holiday is worthy in a country that did not institute a religion. I reason also that in celebrating the good will toward men equate celebrating the Christ. So let it be. Arthur, here in Nigeria, it's the Christians and the pagans that will be celebrating. My moslem friends and neighbours will be glad to accept a plate of chicken rice plus a can of mineral drink. Much thanks.
Well actually the Church of England is theoretically the Institutionalised Religion of Britain.
Excluding Northern Ireland, these days Britain is actually a bit weird (split personality) when it comes to religion:-
For historical reasons, British Political, Legal and Social systems are founded on Christianity:-
• Until recent times Britain was classified as a Christian country with the ‘Church of England’ as being the ‘Official Religion’ of the land, and taught in schools as a matter of course.
• The Queen is the figurehead of the Church of England and Parliament.
• With 25 bishops being in the House of Lords Britain is the only country in the world outside of Iran who has religious leaders as part of their Parliament (Law Makers).
Examples of how religion is still part of British Society, includes:-
• The Monarch has to be Church of England.
• Peers appointed to the House of Lords have to swear an allegiance to the Queen and Country on the bible.
• As a witness or jurist in a court of law, or when signing ‘probate’ and other similar legal documents you have to swear on the bible; unless you are not religious, in which case you have the option of ‘Affirmation’.
When I was a kid it was common to have to declare your religion on ‘official document’, and that was at a time when my parents’ generation were too embarrassed to admit to their parents that they weren’t religious, so often people who were not religious just put down ‘Church of England’.
But these days, in Britain there is nothing shameful in admitting you’re not religious. Nobody in Britain cares whether you’re religious or not, or what religion you are; so consequently, multi-faith churches in Britain have become very common in Britain e.g. churches of different faiths, including Christians, Jews & Muslims etc., all working together within the community; which I find quite quaint.
In fact, although I and my family are not religious, I’m atheists; our best and closest friend is a Roman Catholic Priest. And a few years ago his Archbishop awarded me a ‘Certificate for Apostolic Blessing’ for voluntary work I did in helping to renovate his chapel; which I considered a great honour.
These days Britain is considered to be a Secular Society.
Multifaith Britain https://youtu.be/bZTVW6Y83Bs
Arthur, Nigeria is a multi-religious country. When she was under British rule, the House of Lords has its counterpart called the House of Chiefs. These consist of paramount family headmen. These men are polygamist, traditional religion practitioners, and men of various christian faith. Now, these men and those they represent must swear by the bible whether they go to church or not. A moslem when brought within the secular or English courts must also swear by the bible via, interpretation. But these days, they're many sharia courts where a moslem is good to be taken care off. The Jehovah Witness sects apart from the moslems will not celebrate.
Yeah, Jehovah Witness, they are the same the world throughout.
I actually had the pleasure of working with one once, a very nice chap, but so unbelievably brainwashed by his cult. At the time we worked in teams of three in the Office (civil service), and in my team was a devote Christian, a Jehovah Witness and myself (an atheist); so our philosophical debates, while we were working was interesting, to say the least, especially for example one time when the Christian and Jehovah Witness started arguing with each other over the existence/non-existence of dinosaurs; it was a civilized argument (office banter), and quite interesting to watch.
In the same office, attached to our team was a young lad whose father was a Jehovah Witness and the mother an atheist; needless to say his father was chucked out of the cult because Jehovah Witness don’t allow interfaith marriages.
From what you say it sounds as if there are differences between British Muslims and Muslims in Nigeria:-
The ‘Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), founded in 1997, has done a great job in integrating Muslims into British Society; the MCB is an umbrella of all Muslim faiths, including Sunni and Shia Muslims, and it’s leaders are democratically elected by the members once every two years.
Its mission statement is “empowering the Muslim community towards achieving a just, cohesive and successful British society".
There are sharia courts in Britain, but they are only arbitration courts and can only deal with civil disputes. In the UK sharia courts must stay within British law, and the aggrieved party has the legal right to appeal to a British civil court (under British Law) if they are not satisfied with the decision of the Sharia court. In reality it’s no different to an Industrial Dispute, whereby management and the Trade Unions might choose to resolve their differences through an arbitration court, but both sides have the legal right to appeal to the civil courts if the matter is not resolved by arbitration.
Inside a Sharia Divorce Court in the UK https://youtu.be/Ctyr5FaZJtI
Arthur, I had a similar experience as you with the Witness. These two men and I has never come into a common agreement even if it pertain to the government structure. We are civil servants back then. As for that pointer about the marriage, I've seen it happen more than once. The application of the Sharia in Britain seems similar as in Nigeria. But only in domestic and marital relations that the Sharia had a upper hand. Even so they is a Sharia Court of Appeal(SCA) where appeals from lower Islamic courts are heard. From the SCA they is a "fight" to the Federal Court of Appeal, where the matter can be disposed off. In Nigeria, a moslem can can take a case to the High Court of a State without to the native courts. Dec 25 is a Xmas holiday in Nigeria, all moslems and the Witness will be enjoying the day, but not celebrating
You're implying that I hold any view I express in the forums as my own, rather than a way to stir the pot. However, regardless of my intentions, the information could be regarded as accurate. I could care less what your faith is, and if you were in my immediate community you'd get anything and everything you deserve for the holidays. Generosity and kindness flow abundant in my household, regardless of what I present while behind a screen; the disparity between my behaviors, funnily enough, also upsets people, lol!
Alas, this is an internet forum for boomers, basement dwellers, and their peerage to peruse and troll at their leisure. I was just throwing in my equally-useless input.
Have a merry one, dudes!
Hi Kyler; yeah, your tactic is what’s known as “devil's advocate” in the UK.
We don't celebrate Christmas on the actual birth of Christ. This was a day chosen by the Romans.
I am always amazed at the hypocrisy of people.
If you are not a Christian and don't believe in God and the Bible...why would you celebrate Christmas?
It's called hypocrisy.
If these hypocrites standards are so low and their beliefs so non-existent... why don't they celebrate Yom Kippur?...Why not celebrate Ramadan? Why not celebrate the Hindu holiday of Gita Jayanti? Why not celebrate Buddhist holiday of Parinirvana?
Not believing in God or Jesus and participating in a celebrating of them is the height of hypocrisy. It is also very cowardly. They are saying "I don't believe in this...but I get presents...so...I'll simply take advantage of it." How weak-minded can you get?
Readmikenow, interesting comment and post on my thread. Agreed that the Roman's set the date. Is it actually December 25? All the questions you ask were very pertinent. All those celebrating should ask the same or similar questions, and have a second though or whether it is worth it? Much thanks.
These days the vast majority of British people (of all faiths and none) don’t celebrate Christmas because of its religious origins, we celebrate Christmas because it’s a:-
1. National Holiday, and
2. A British Tradition.
Times change (nothing is set in stone), and many of our national holidays in the UK are ‘tradition’ even though most people are oblivious to their origins.
In the UK that includes the following national holidays we celebrate as follows:-
1. Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday), the only day in the year when Brits make pancakes; and typically includes pancake races in villages across the country.
• Olney Pancake Race 2015 https://youtu.be/rCENaoqH3zU
• Pancake Day UK Style | British Traditions | British Food Culture https://youtu.be/zs7b2ZVOr9w
• Pancake Tossing in the British Army on Shrove Tuesday (1967) https://youtu.be/-25a3bIYJZY
2. Easter: The only week in the year that Brits each chocolate Easter eggs; and in villages the fun of the Easter bunny and Easter egg hunts for the kids.
3. May Day (aka Labour Day): Originally a celebration by villages that winter was over and crops could be planted; includes traditions like Morris Dancing, Maypole Dancing etc.
4. In the UK it’s traditional to make the ‘Christmas Pudding’ on ‘Stir-up Sunday’; which is the last Sunday before the season of Advent. Which this year was the 22nd November.
Besides, as previously mentioned, many of the Christmas Traditions were hijacked from the pagan celebrations of the winter solstice, which is on 21st December; so a lot of the Christmas Traditions of today has very little to do with Christianity anyway.
Besides, the spirit of Christmas is ‘Goodwill to All’, Christianity doesn’t have a monopoly on that; atheists are just as entitled to the ‘spirit’ of ‘Goodwill to All’ as anyone else.
"These days the vast majority of British people (of all faiths and none) don’t celebrate Christmas because of its religious origins, we celebrate Christmas because it’s a:-
1. National Holiday, and
2. A British Tradition."
Well...since the UK has nationalized Hypocrisy...why don't you...as a nation...celebrate Ramadan? I think over 5 percent of UK is now Muslim. Why not use their religious holiday like you use the Christian holiday? Seems as if it would only be fair. You could start a new UK tradition.
"Besides, the spirit of Christmas is ‘Goodwill to All’, Christianity doesn’t have a monopoly on that; atheists are just as entitled to the ‘spirit’ of ‘Goodwill to All’ as anyone else."
The spirit of "Goodwill to All" shouldn't be limited to simply a Christian holiday. Let the atheists have their own celebration of whatever it is they celebrate. Maybe they should have a "We don't believe in Anything Day."\
There is a another new UK tradition you could have beyond national hypocrisy day...aka Christmas.
I guess you’re American by your attitudes and views? And then Americans wonder why there is so much division and racial prejudice in the USA!
Yes Britain is a multicultural society; and we are proud of it; by embracing other cultures makes for a richer ‘society’.
• Multicultural Britain: https://youtu.be/_nBLoKBeylo
• Britain's Multicultural Society https://youtu.be/irrE2WXCXUY
For example, in Bristol, where I live, the ethnic groups are:-
• British = 77.9%
• European or Celtic = 6.1%
• Black: 6.0% (2.8% African, 1.6% Caribbean, 1.6% other black)
• Asian: 5.5% (1.5% Indian, 1.6% Pakistani, 0.5% Bangladeshi, 0.9% Chinese, 1.0% other Asian)
• Mixed race: 3.6% (1.7% White and Black Caribbean, 0.4% White and Black African, 0.8% White and Asian, 0.7% other mixed race)
• Arab: 0.3%
• Other: 0.6%
Both my maternal and paternal ancestors settled in England from Normandy, France following the Norman Conquest of 1066, my wife’s paternal ancestors are Celtic (Northern Ireland), so both my wife and son have dual Irish/British nationality; and two of our closest neighbours (friends) are Indian and Chinese.
You still didn't answer the question of why not make Ramadan a national holiday in the UK?
Seems as if you should since England is so multicultural.
Don't you think it's time you take advantage of the Muslim holidays? You've established it's not necessary to believe in a religion to celebrate its holidays as if they are your own.
In answer to your question, holidays are based on ‘traditions’ and ‘customs’ that evolve and get adapted overtime.
I suggest you do some proper research on the origin of Christmas and its traditions; you will find it’s not a wholly Christian celebration.
For example, the 12 days of Christmas is NOT of Christian origin. The 12 days of Christmas is ‘Yuletide’ (21st December, winter solstice, until the 1st January, new year), originally a Saxon tradition, from Germany; which was also adopted by the Norse (Vikings) into their culture, which they subsequently bought to Scotland to become part of the Scottish Hogmanay celebrations.
Yuletide (12 days of celebration), a pagan celebration was subsequently adopted into Christmas.
If you read Wikipedia on the subject of the 12 days of Christmas, under the sub heading ‘Western Christianity’ it reads “Within the Twelve Days of Christmas, there are celebrations both secular and religious.”
For example, Hogmanay (the Scottish holiday which has its origins in the celebration of the winter solstice), is defiantly not a Christian celebration, yet there are historically a lot of commonality between Hogmanay in Scotland and Christmas in the rest of the world, simply because the vast majority of Christmas traditions and customs derive from non-Christian origins.
Over the last two millennia, Hogmanay incorporated various customs from the Norse and Gaelic, including the concept of ‘Gift Giving, and visiting the homes of friends and neighbours’; concepts which were subsequently incorporated into Christmas the world through.
Gift giving under old Hogmanay customs, which in more recent times has been incorporated into Christmas includes the giving of coal, whisky and a back bun (akin to a cookie in the USA).
In short, until recent times, Scotland used to celebrate Hogmanay instead of Christmas, and the celebration of ‘new year’ around the world, as we know it today, is heavily influenced by the Scottish Hogmanay.
As clearly stated in ‘Wikipedia’: To Quote:-
“Christmas is celebrated religiously by a majority of Christians, as well as culturally by many non-Christians…”
• Hogmanay, Vikings & Scotland’s Xmas ban explained https://youtu.be/RsGtnvRfY1c
• What is Hogmanay? A guide to Scottish New Years Customs https://youtu.be/q9W6CC-8ilM
Arthur, culture is a powerful tool that can enrich or destroy a nation. That aside, the thread is on Xmas. Let's not go too far on any other related topic. Apart from the present 25 December date, has it ever occur to you that the festival was initially cecerate in the month of January before WW 11?
Very helpful information and detail fact about Xmas in Great Britain. Thank you. Most of the time, people take to celebrate an holiday without checking its foundation and history or background. I think if their had a correct perspective, that would be great and an understanding. Just throwing in the towel and following the mass is not right. What if it were embedded in a cult or rituals that leads to bondage? I think that the examination of the whole facet is proper. Then do as they do in Rome.
Readmikenow, you're welcome. And you're entitle to your opinion and ideas. But you fail to enlighen us that it should have take the framework of Parliament to to have institute for example, Ramadam in Britain. Where then are the 5% moslems or the pressure group to push Parliament? The same applies to the heathen. You say Xmas celebrations in Britain is hypocrisy. You also say or rather agreed it was copy from the heathen or pagans? You remember Britain was part of the heathen world before the down of christianity. Don't you think Britain like any other European nation is at home with the soltice festivity? The only difference apart are just names-soltice/chrismas.
Yes it is in Malaysia! although it's considered more of a festive holiday here rather than it being associated with religion. Anyhow, Merry early Christmas to you!
Yep, the same in the UK, its "more of a festive holiday here rather than it being associated with religion".
Malaysia? Thought it was a moslem country to some extent. In Nigeria, Xmas is celebrate as a public holiday, as a christian festival, and as a pagan rite as the year comes to an end. Compliments of the seasons!
This is How I and My Family Celebrate Christmas:
1. 1st Saturday of December: I bring our Christmas tree in from the back garden and place it in our conservatory, and get all the lights and trimmings down from the loft. My wife then decorates the tree, and put decorations in the front porch; while I hang all the Christmas lights and decorations in the living room and conservatory; and turn on the decorative lights on our back garden decking.
2. Then from 1st Saturday in December until the 1st day of Yuletide (21st December) we start to finish off any small jobs outstanding e.g. small DIY jobs etc., and start to relax. Anything else that crops up can then wait until after Christmas.
3. In the week leading up to Christmas we do all the Christmas cooking e.g. my wife makes the Christmas cake, Yule log and shortbread etc., and I make the chocolate truffles.
4. Then from the start of yuletide (21st December) until the end of the 12 days of Christmas (6th Jan), it’s one time of the year where we close the doors to the outside world and do nothing other than eat, drink and be merry; which these days also includes eating a lot of homemade Christmas food, homemade wine and bear, and watching a lot of family films on TV, plus of course indulging in lots of chocolate. The one time of year when we can unwind and be lazy.
5. From Christmas Eve to Boxing Day inclusive (23rd to 26th December) is family sanctuary e.g. celebrating Christmas with just the immediate family.
6. I start the day on Christmas Eve by cooking the ‘Traditional English Breakfast’
7. On Christmas day, we spend the morning opening the presents, while watching Christmas films on the TV; and spend the rest of the day watching the Christmas Specials on TV.
8. On Christmas day we just snack, then on Boxing Day I’ll cook a Christmas meal, which being a vegetarian isn’t the traditional Christmas meal; which is then followed by the traditional Christmas pudding.
9. Then between Boxing Day and New Year Eve, I make a point of watching the ‘Christmas Lectures’ each day on TV, by the Royal Institution (UK's Top Science TV Series).
10. Also between Boxing Day and New Year Eve, we’ll invite a few close friends around for a social drink and chat, and to pull the Christmas Crackers.
11. On New Year’s Eve we’ll socialise with friends to celebrate the coming of the New Year.
12. On the 12th day of Christmas we take all the lights and trimmings down, and put the Christmas tree back out into the back garden.
What we don’t do is we do NOT go to church (being atheists), and we don’t watch the Queen’s speech on Christmas day.
• How to Have a British Christmas https://youtu.be/v2W3QR9WXdA
• How to Make a Flaming Christmas Pudding: https://youtu.be/w96fi9SqYpU
Below: Our Christmas tree (being decorated) not long after I brought it into our Conservatory from our back garden.
I have a point. Islam recognizes Jesus as an apostle but I am not aware of a holiday on Christmas in any country in the Middle East. In India the Christian population is 2.5% but Christmas is a national holiday.
Good to note. But don't Islam said Jesus was a prophet? Only today my mind was drawn to the fact of apostle. Nigeria has 90% muslems and 85% christians. 7% depicts traditional religion. Yet, christmas on the main appear to be a national holiday. Whatever your faith, belief, or animism, you're good to. God. Just make most of the day.
This is How We Spent Christmas Day
• Got up at 7:30
• Made a cup of coffee and put ‘White Christmas’ on (in the background), while taking it in turn to open our presents; as we do every year. Playing ‘White Christmas’ on Christmas Day being a carry on from a family tradition from when my wife was a child.
• This year, being in lockdown, and not being able to see family or friends over Christmas, we decided to instead (a spur of a moment decision) to buy our cats a Christmas Present; which we helped them open, after we’d opened all ours.
Our Cats Opening and Playing with Their Christmas Day Present https://youtu.be/ZQw52Y22eLE
• At 11:00 we had our usual Christmas Brunch; soft boiled eggs with soldiers: From speaking with Americans on social media I got the impression that generally Americans are not familiar with this traditional British Breakfast, and those that are, are not keen on it because they find the yoke too runny? If you’re not familiar with this traditional British dish, the eggs are soft boiled for about 3 minutes (I prefer to boil them for 3.5 minutes, but no longer), and the soldiers are buttered toast that’s cut into thin strips so that the toast can be dipped into the yoke (instead of using a spoon); and then to use an egg spoon (about half the size of a teaspoon) to scoop out the whites afterwards.
American Reaction to Eating British Soft-boiled Egg with "Little Soldiers" https://youtu.be/wW02TRsfzq0
• We then spent the rest of the day playing with our Christmas Presents, and watching films on TV (Family Quality Time), with plenty of chocolate and drinks; breaking off at teatime for our evening meal which was ‘vegetarian’ sausage rolls with crisps (known as chips in the USA), followed by home baked ‘yule log’ for seconds.
• Today (Boxing Day), will be another lazy day, with a light tea (evening meal), to make room for the Christmas pudding: Then tomorrow I’ll cook a ‘vegetarian’ version of a ‘Christmas Meal’ for tea, which will include chips (known as fries in the USA), washed down with a glass of homemade wine.
Arthur, pardon me for not reply within 20 hours. 2 days before Christmas I was sick with fever, and it was complicate by medication. Now, I've got some relief the pains preventing me to respond. Like Great Britain, Nigeria enjoyed 25 Friday as Xmas day. But for boxing day 26 was to be enjoy on Monday 28. This is because public holidays when fallen on weekends or work-free-days is never counted but only on a working day. On my part of the country the South East, here's how Christmas is spent:thinly sliced topiaca meat is clothed with sweet-bitter herb(utazi-google it), hot chillis, dried tiny sardines or shrimps plus dried stock fish(okporokpo) or lean meat. Some cherish this light meal with fresh organic palm wine. But I do with a can of coke before the main meals rice or pound yams streams in! Thank you and happy new year 2021 to you and yours!
Yep, likewise, in the UK, if Boxing Day falls on a Saturday or Sunday then the Monday is also a Bank Holiday e.g. a day off work (Public Holiday).
I'm sorry I say little else on how boxing day goes with me. On Christmas night I start to watch boxing films. Specific Slyvester Stallione Rockies. I like these because I could not find better online. Years ago, I download them on my 12 inch laptop. So, we're through xmas? But has it ever occur to any one that originally Xmas is celebrating 6 January? Then enter the 25 December date during the great wars disrupting the original date of 6 January?
Differences between USA and UK Christmas (Observation made by an American couple living in England): https://youtu.be/ZgjjL3JYoNM
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