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Saturday 19 April 2003

Holiday Madness

I was going to write a letter about this, but I'm not sure who I should write a letter to. I would like to adress a serious problem in christian traditions. That problem is that they got the holidays in the wrong order.

Let's look at Easter. First, look at the pre-christian aspects of it. The symbols associated with it are eggs, chicks, baby bunnies, flowers, etc. This holiday is clearly about fertility and birth. Obviously. It's spring time! The leaves are coming back on the trees! Sumer is a cumin in, loudly sing cuco! The bulls now farteth, etc. It's time to mate your livestock and dust off your plow. But what is the christian holiday about? Death! Death and resurrection. It's a great theme for midwinter, or even autumn, but it has no place in springtime.

Now, take a peek a Christmas. The pre-christian traditions associated with the solstice are harder to sort out, as the non-christian aspects of it continue to evolve. Santa Clause is a new figure on the Christmas scene. But some symbols, like stars and Christmas trees and wreaths and evergreen stuff is part of a very old tradition to remind us that even though much of the world is dead, life will return. The Christian holiday, instead of being about something sensible like death and resurrection is a birth holiday. How does that tie in to the winter solstice??

The autumn holiday, at least makes sence. Halloween (Sam Hain) is not a major holiday on anybody's calendar except for Mars candy company. But the Christian feast of All Saints and All Souls (Day of the Dead) is about death, as it should be. There, at least, things are as they should be.

I know my analysis here is terribly northern-hemisphere-centric. Does a birth celebration make more sense at the summer solstice instead of the winter one? At least Easter works with the seasons there. It's almost as if the folks scheduling the holy calendar had a hunch that the season were backwards someplace else that they might one day sail to, colonize and convert. And they thought to themselves, "some part of this thing has to make sense, or the folks with backwards seasons will never sign up."

Now, as a legacy of some counsil held hundreds and hundreds of years ago, it seems like we're stuck with a non-sensical system. But we can work together to change this. Write your Cardinal! We must demand that the Easter and Christamas be switched around in the norhtern hemishpere and appropriately re-ordered to match the seasons in the southern hemisphere.

Write your archbishop! Write the pope! We must lobby at all levels!

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