It’s Christmas time. And it has spread all over the world. The spectacle of Hindu parents adorning their kids with Santa cap is rising. They think it is cool and funny. Moreover, it gives them a chance to display their “secular” credentials.
If you ask them basic questions about this festival, most of them know almost nothing. Had they know the story or violent history behind this “jovial” festival, they might have behaved differently. But then, what are these questions? And what are their answers?
Is it Birthday of Jesus Christ? What or Who is Santa Claus? Is he a mythical character or a historical one? What is the significance of December 25? Is Jesus Christ a myth or history?
The answers to these questions will startle the Hindus. For a start, they will be surprised to know that they, like all idol worshippers, are called Pagans. It is a pejorative term. Christianity is a predatory creed. It has expanded and thrived by obliterating and destroying Pagan civilisations that doted the world. Santa Claus, Christmas, or for that matter, the entire edifice of Christianity is a hoax hiding a cruel history. A history of genocides, loot and rapine. Let us look at some of the answers.
Origin of Christmas
To commemorate the end of the harvest, Romans celebrated a festival called Saturnalia in December.
A public feast and a penance at the Temple of Saturn in the Roman Forum marked the occasion, which was followed by private gift-giving, consistent celebration, and a carnival atmosphere that defied Roman standards. Singing, dancing, gambling, and even cross-dressing were all part of the festival. The Saturnalia has had an immediate impact on the Christmas and New Year events. The fact that Christmas fell on the birthday of the unconquered sun (kicks the bucket Sol Invictus) gave the season a sun-oriented foundation, which was associated with the kalends of (January 1, the Roman New Year), when houses were adorned with greenery and lights. Gifts were given to children and poor people. As a result, it became the ‘Birth of the Son’ (Son of God- Jesus).
The Germanic peoples of Northern Europe celebrated Yule, a winter festival. Researchers linked the Wild Hunt and the Viking God Odin to the early Yule rituals. On the winter solstice, Yule was commemorated. Bonfires, holly, mistletoe, and evergreen tree boughs, as well as ritual sacrifices, feasts, and gift-giving, were all part of the festivities. Yule customs influenced many Christmas traditions. Myths, feasts, folklore, and oral stories are only a few covered topics. Yule underwent Christianized reformulation after departing from its pagan roots, giving birth to Christmastide’s phrase.
When Christianity overpowered Europe in the fifth century, orthodox Christians refused to attend those pagan gatherings. As a result, the Church fabricated narratives about Jesus’ birth (which cannot be in Winter as hinted by Gospels) to convert these pagan holidays into Christian ones.
For over a thousand years, christmas was a terrifying festival where drunken mobs took over the streets and threatened the rich people to donate food and wine or face the ‘christmas violence’.
When the Puritans arrived in America, they believed Christmas had no place in a Christian country, so they outlawed it. In some American communities, celebrating Christmas resulted in hefty fines. As a result, until the 19th century, Christmas was relatively unpopular in America.
Story of Santa Claus
Santa Claus, the main attraction of Christmas, is celebrated with great zeal by Indian schools (especially non-convent ones). However, they are unaware of the story’s history and origin.
Saint Nicholas, who lived in the Eastern Roman Empire around the third century CE, is known as Santa Claus.
After the Reformation in Northern Europe in the sixteenth century, tales and customs regarding St. Nicholas became unpopular. But someone had to distribute presents to children at Christmas, so he became ‘St Christmas,’ ‘Father Christmas,’ or ‘Old Man Christmas,’ an old character from story plays in the UK and areas of Northern Europe during the Middle Ages. Later, Dutch settlers in the United States brought the old stories of St. Nicholas with them, and Kris Kringle and St. Nicholas were called ‘Sinterklaas’ or ‘Santa Claus.’
What made Santa so popular
On January 1, 1881, Harper’s Weekly published Thomas Nast’s most famous image of Santa Claus, complete with a large redbelly, a toy-filled arm, and a pipe! From 1900 to 1930, this image of Santa became extremely popular, with more specialists attracting Santa in his red and white attire.
In 1931, the renowned ‘Coke Santa’ was drawn by artisan Haddon Sundblom for the first time in Coke advertisements. He took the idea of Nast’s Santa and made him even more fantastic and vivacious, replacing the pipe with a glass of Coke and creating the famous Coke-Holding Santa!
Harsh reality of Saint Nicholas
Saint Nicholas, who eventually became Santa Claus, had considerably darker aspects to his life than those depicted in Santa’s charming fables.
Saint Nicholas was an idol-breaker who demolished the statues of Zeus, the Greek god. He went after Artemis, Zeus’s daughter, and shattered her temples wherever he went.
The story of Santa bringing gifts is just a half-truth. Nicholas undertook the task of conversion after destroying the temples and idols and then distributed presents to the new converts, as Missionaries still do today.
This method of luring people into the Christian fold by giving them presents was eventually associated with Christmas so that recent converts do not return to their former fold for Saturnalia Festivities. Saint Nicholas collected gifts from wealthy Christians and presented them to new converts to prevent them from returning to paganism.
“Closed creeds like Christianity which are not in accord with the spirituality of Sanatana Dharma have no place in India. No quarter can be given to these creeds in the name of secularism which they are using to subvert India’s ancient spiritual heritage. An examination of the doctrines and histories of these creeds shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that these are political ideologies of imperialism masquerading as a religion.”Sitaram Goel