Yuletide for European Unity

Whether you are made aware of the impending winter solstice by the encroaching cold, the darkening days, the obligatory festive music or the incessant stream of Christmas memes on social media, you will no doubt have an opinion on it.

While neo-pagan acquaintances will be sure to insist on the pagan origin of the seasonal celebration, Christian friends will remind you of the birth of Jesus Christ and its importance to our culture.

Atheists and agnostics may side with the former or latter depending on which they find less irritating. But irreverence aside, it is alarming that many among the Alt-Right allow these admittedly crucial questions about religion to divide us.

BlotAt the risk of sounding like a New Labour politician, this article, I hope, will encourage the reader to unite with his fellow Europeans at Yuletide, regardless of their religious beliefs.

For non-believers, the midwinter holiday we now know as Christmas may not have the spiritual significance that it does for Christians and pagans, but it is still a time for reflection and wonder. Our ancestors have survived in the temperate Northern climate for more than 50,000 years and have learned to respect the power of nature. The importance of the midwinter festival to the ancients of the British Isles is evident from the alignment of millennia-old monuments like Maeshowe and Stonehenge. We know little about how the festival was observed 5000 years ago when these were built but in more recent times it was the last feast celebration before deep winter began and therefore played a crucial role both spiritually and socially.

By the time Christmas reached the British people, it was already a complicated fusion of several traditions. Saturnalia, a jovial Roman festival of Saturn involving feasting and drinking, was originally held on the 17th December but may have been moved to the 25th in the 1st century. Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity in 312 AD and we have the first reference to Christmas not long after in the Roman Philocalian calendar of 354. But Saturnalia was still celebrated as late as the 5th century so the two festivals may have been mingled.

The same calendar also states that the 25th was a civil holiday honouring the cult of Sol Invictus (The Unconquered Sun). This, originally Semitic, monotheistic cult has its origins in Syria but was introduced to the Roman Empire in 274 AD by Emperor Aurelian who made it a state religion. The focus on the sun as well as the date make it a likely predecessor of Christmas, particularly when you consider that Emperor Constantine himself was raised in the cult of Sol Invicta.

As a province of the Roman Empire, it is possible that all three of these were celebrated simultaneously in Britain alongside any native midwinter festivals that may have endured. By the time of the Anglo-Saxon invasions of the 5th century, the native Britons would have celebrated Christmas, although the “Celtic church” had diverged somewhat from Roman Catholicism at this time. The pagan Anglo-Saxons had their own Germanic winter celebrations – most notably Geól (pronounced “yay-ohl”). We know little about this but can assume it resembled the Nordic midwinter festival of Jul (pronounced the same as “Yule”).

If the elite Nordic Varangian guard of Byzantine Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus are anything to go by, then we can see that Germanic pagans were happy to celebrate Jul with Christians. De Ceremoniis Aulae Byzantinae, written in the 10th century, describes how the Emperor’s guard, dressed in masks and furs, would march around the feasting table beating drums and shouting “Jul, Jul Jul!” before composing poems in clumsy Latin in honour of their Christian Emperor.

King Haakon The Good
King Haakon The Good

But there is also evidence of conflict between pagans and Christians at this time of year. The Old Norse kings’ sagas tell how King Haakon The Good of Norway, who was fostered by a Christian English King, tried to convert his pagan countrymen. He sometimes had to conceal his religion in order to avoid angering his people, so strong was their hatred. In one story he gets in trouble for refusing to eat sacrificial horse meat at a pagan feast. At the following year’s Yule feast he is confronted by the pagan reactionaries and is again encouraged to eat horse meat as part of their counter-attack on Christianity in Norway.

Clearly some pagans thought Christians were threatening to Yule, but what exactly was Yule about? Like Saturnalia and modern British Christmas, it involved drinking and feasting. Haakon preserved these aspects and made a law that Yule had to coincide with Christmas and that “everyone was to have ale for the celebration with a measure of grain, or else pay fines, and had to keep the holiday while the ale lasted.”

We know from the same saga that in Norway the first Yule toast was drunk to Odin but that was more than 300 years after the Anglo-Saxons converted, and they may have had very different traditions. The Venerable Bede wrote that the English held a festival called Mōdraniht (Night of the Mothers) all night on Christmas Eve. There are many theories on what this might have been, but it is probable that a cult of maternity was related to fertility, which is in many cultures connected to the passage of the sun. It is worth mentioning that in Norse mythology, it is the moon that is male and the sun female. Also, when thinking of sacred Mothers, the Virgin Mary obviously comes to mind. One can see how a festival celebrating a sacred Mother and her son (sun) who conquers death, could easily merge with these older traditions.

These distinctly European traditions did not die. They continue in Christmas. Some pagans resisted conversion, others welcomed it, but the idea of the festival stolen from the pagans is a simplification. Every Northern culture in all times has honoured the winter solstice. While Christians will begin the 25th in solemn prayer and pagans may save their prayers for the 21st, all Europeans can feel a marvellous sense of pride in this unbroken chain which is a reflection not only of changing beliefs but of the very fabric and order of our universe. It is the sun that gave life to our race and its annual absence that made our minds keen and our blood strong. During this time the greatest virtues of our race are most evident; we celebrate community, we honour the family, we strengthen friendships, we are charitable to the less fortunate and we celebrate with gratitude the bounty that our Earth provides.

It is not a time for division. It is a time for unity.

Good Yule and Merry Christmas to all true Europeans!

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3 thoughts on “Yuletide for European Unity

  1. Here’s an excellent video presented by the lovely Lana Lokteff from Red Ice Creations on this very subject. The following is from the description of the video…

    “In the multicultural west we are told to say Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas or these days Happy Holidays as to not offend others. Lana tells about the true origins of newcomer holidays such as Kwanzaa and Hanukkah. Where did these holidays originate? Are they original? Why are they also in December, like Christmas? She’ll also talk about the true origins of Christmas, which is entirely borrowed from Yule, the pre-Christian European celebration of the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Christmas are all imposters, culturally appropriating from the ancient European Winter Solstice celebration. Learn about the myth, symbolism and tradition of Yule.”

    Insight – The True Origins of Kwanzaa, Hanukkah & Christmas

  2. I am not sure where to plaster this but plaster it I will.Perhaps admin will decide to move it?Another report of the devastation Merkle has unleashed upon Germany, and the rest of Western Europe

    Please share far and wide!

    A Female Physician in Munich, Germany sends a message to the world . . . .

    Yesterday, at the hospital we had a meeting about how the situation here and at the other Munich hospitals is unsustainable. Clinics cannot handle emergencies, so they are starting to send everything to the hospitals.

    Many Muslims are refusing treatment by female staff and, we, women, are refusing to go among those animals, especially from Africa. Relations between the staff and migrants are going from bad to worse. Since last weekend, migrants going to the hospitals must be accompanied by police with K-9 units.

    Many migrants have AIDS, syphilis, open TB and many exotic diseases that we, in Europe, do not know how to treat. If they receive a prescription in the pharmacy, they learn they have to pay cash. This leads to unbelievable outbursts, especially when it is about drugs for the children. They abandon the children with pharmacy staff with the words: “So, cure them here yourselves!” So the police are not just guarding the clinics and hospitals, but also large pharmacies.

    Truly we said openly: Where are all those who had welcomed them in front of TV cameras, with signs at train stations?! Yes, for now, the border has been closed, but a million of them are already here and we will definitely not be able to get rid of them.

    Until now, the number of unemployed in Germany was 2.2 million. Now it will be at least 3.5 million. Most of these people are completely unemployable. A bare minimum of them have any education. What is more, their women usually do not work at all. I estimate that one in ten is pregnant. Hundreds of thousands of them have brought along infants and little kids under six, many emaciated and neglected. If this continues and Germany re-opens its borders, I’m going home to the Czech Republic. Nobody can keep me here in this situation, not even double the salary than at home. I went to Germany, not to Africa or the Middle East.

    Even the professor who heads our department told us how sad it makes him to see the cleaning woman, who for 800 Euros cleans every day for years, and then meets young men in the hallways who just wait with their hands outstretched, want everything for free, and when they don’t get it they throw a fit.

    I really don’t need this! But I’m afraid that if I return, that at some point it will be the same in the Czech Republic. If the Germans, with their nature, cannot handle this, there in Czechia it would be total chaos. Nobody who has not come in contact with them has any idea what kind of animals they are, especially the ones from Africa, and how Muslims act superior to our staff, regarding their religious accommodation.

    For now, the local hospital staff has not come down with the diseases they brought here, but, with so many hundreds of patients every day – this is just a question of time.

    In a hospital near the Rhine, migrants attacked the staff with knives after they had handed over an 8-month-old on the brink of death, which they had dragged across half of Europe for three months. The child died in two days, despite having received top care at one of the best paediatric clinics in Germany. The physician had to undergo surgery and two nurses are laid up in the ICU. Nobody has been punished.

    The local press is forbidden to write about it, so we know about it through email. What would have happened to a German if he had stabbed a doctor and nurses with a knife? Or if he had flung his own syphilis-infected urine into a nurse’s face and so threatened her with infection? At a minimum he’d go straight to jail and later to court. With these people,so far, nothing has happened.

    And so I ask, where are all those greeters and receivers from the train stations? Sitting pretty at home, enjoying their non-profits and looking forward to more trains and their next batch of cash from acting like greeters at the stations. If it were up to me I would round up all these greeters and bring them here first to our hospital’s emergency ward, as attendants. Then, into one building with the migrants so they can look after them there themselves, without armed police, without police dogs who today are in every hospital here in Bavaria, and without medical help.

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