Tag Archives: randomness

The Reason for the Season

Since it’s now officially after Christmas, I can post this without being a humbug. I am bothered by people that go around with bumper-stickers, buttons, signs, what have you that say “remember the reason for the season.”

Well, I do remember the reason for the season, and it’s not what they think. The reason for the season is this: Earth wobbles.

The planet is tilted between 21.5 and 24.5 degrees off the plane of its orbit, with the end result that, as the earth moves around the sun, the sun’s relation to the planet’s equator changes. From our earthly perspective, the sun would seem to cross north or south of the equator. When it crosses north, the northern hemisphere gets hotter and the days grow longer there. When it crosses south, the northern hemisphere gets colder and the days grow shorter there.

The shortest day of the year is called “Winter Solstice,” and it ushers in the cold season we temperate-zone types call “Winter.” All evidence suggests that even primitive people were aware of the Solstice, and a lot of them thought it was pretty darned neat.

In fact, the pre-Christian peoples of Northern Europe celebrated the Winter Solstice as “Yule,” a word still used to describe Christmas.

Enter the Catholic Church. Going forth to convert the Germanic peoples of Northern Europe, they found it easier to reinterpret the old feasts than to stop them. They coopted the Winter Solstice Holiday as a celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth. (And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a tad odd, mind you, but it seems to work well enough.)

Centuries later, I get people telling me to Remember the Reason for the Season (because they’re too ignorant or misinformed to know what it really is — how ironic,) but the fact is that Jesus Christ, while he surely did live, almost certainly wasn’t born on December 25th, and that Christmas had no existence before Yule was converted, so I submit to you that Yule has been corrupted, first by Christian missionaries and then by corporate interests. But you know what? It’s still a hell of a party. Stop trying to convert me and have some eggnog.

Didn’t notice before I’d been tagged by LiaoFan, but I have, so here goes:

The rules: list five songs that you are currently LOVIN’. it doesn’t matter what genre they’re from, whether they have words, or even if they’re any good, but they must be songs that you’re really enjoying right now. post these instructions, the artists and the songs in your blog, then tag five other xangans/friends to see what they’re listening to.

1. It’s the End of the World As We Know It(And I Feel Fine) — R.E.M.
2. Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong — Spin Doctors
3. Jellyhead — Crush
4. Just What I Needed – Cars
5. Is This Love — Whitesnake

I am going to break the rules, though. As I matter of policy, I don’t pass on chains or pyramids. For me, they’re not fun. I don’t like recieving them, though this one was amusing enough, and so I don’t give them out. It stops here.