Fes­tive time

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - JELLYBEAN JOURNAL - Tyler Roodt

IT’S A time of fam­ily fun, presents, and cheer for ev­ery­one. Christ­mas has been around for quite a while, but there might be some things about it you don’t know.

Christ­mas is a cel­e­bra­tion of the birth of Je­sus Christ held over the world by Chris­tians and non-Chris­tians alike. A tra­di­tional Western Christ­mas sea­son lasts for 12 days, be­gin­ning on Christ­mas Day and end­ing on Jan­uary 6.

The ac­tual date of Je­sus’ birth is un­known, but the Western Chris­tian Church had de­cided to place Christ­mas on De­cem­ber 25 some­time in the 4th cen­tury. To­day, that date has been adopted over the world and is held as a pub­lic hol­i­day in most coun­tries.

The idea of Santa Claus, a man who gives gifts to good boys and girls, came from a bishop who lived some time in the 4th cen­tury, Saint Ni­cholas of Myra. Ni­cholas was a Greek man who be­came fa­mous for his gen­eros­ity to the poor of the world, par­tic­u­larly to chil­dren. It was his life that fu­elled the leg­end of Santa Claus and is the rea­son why we give each other presents on Christ­mas to­day.

There are sev­eral an­cient cel­e­bra­tions that are sim­i­lar to Christ­mas, such as Yule, which was cel­e­brated by Ger­manic peo­ple (north­ern Eu­ro­peans) be­tween late Septem­ber and early Jan­uary, dur­ing which they be­lieved the Norse god Odin would lead a com­pany of war­riors through the skies on a Wild Hunt.

An­other an­cient fes­ti­val re­sem­bling Christ­mas is the Ro­man Satur­na­lia; the cel­e­bra­tion of the Ro­man god Saturn.

Satur­na­lia is thought to have been held be­tween De­cem­ber 17 and 23, and peo­ple would have a pub­lic feast and give each other gifts. This is of­ten thought of as the main rea­son why gift-giv­ing hap­pens dur­ing Christ­mas time.

Schools across the coun­try close their doors dur­ing this time so you can cel­e­brate with your fam­i­lies and friends by en­joy­ing as much fun ac­tiv­i­ties as you can.

The next Jellybean Jour­nal will be pub­lished mid-Jan­uary 2019, so stay safe this hol­i­day sea­son, and have a merry Christ­mas and the hap­pi­est of New Years, beans!

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