Time Traveler’s guide to Christmas: Pre-Christian roots

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to think about the other winter holidays! Please enjoy my Time traveler’s guide to the holidays… from pre-Christian Roman roots to early medieval and Viking beliefs, this series of articles covers just about anything you might want or need to know about the winter holidays of the past. I posted this series last year, but all of the information still applies and nothing has changed so I will try to re-post the series throughout this month for your convenience and enjoyment!

Time Slips

Music to accompany your holiday time travel journey: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/musical-inspiration-christmas-music/

 History of Christmas in early England

Previous post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/12/12/time-travelers-guide-to-christmas-part-one/


As I mentioned in the previous post, this next discussion will focus on earlier forms of celebrating Christmas. As we work through the history, you will find that many of the customs and traditions you follow now as Christmas celebrations are passed on from much earlier pre-Christian winter Solstice celebrations.  Some of them are remnants of Roman traditions but the majority of them that we are most familiar with stem from ancient Germanic and Nordic beliefs and customs. As we saw in the previous post, the earliest Norse migration into northern Scotland and the later Saxon and Viking migrations into the southern portions of the British Isles infused the cultures there with those Germanic and Norse traditions.  The earliest Romans also left their mark in some ways, but towards the end…

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3 thoughts on “Time Traveler’s guide to Christmas: Pre-Christian roots

  1. I think it was Pope Gregory the Great. Different priests were concerned about the celebration of pagan celebrations. Pope Gregory told them as long as they are not being sexually immoral, using drugs,(called Pharma-Kay-A in Greek) to hallucinate, or drinking to excess, they could keep all their traditions and fun things. They could even celebrate them in the exact same place at the exact same time. Gregory was an extremely shrewd Roman Nobleman. He was a native Roman and a highly educated man. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregorian_mission The Eastern Church considers him the last True Roman pope.

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  2. http://www.inquisitr.com/2401064/season-4-of-vikings-absolutely-everything-we-know-so-far/ I found this interesting. Maybe you can do a post on the EArl of the Orkney islands. The legend says the Rollo’s father was the Earl Rognvald and the brother of Harald Fairhair and I believe cousin of Halfdan the Black. Perhaps we are going to find out just WHY Rollo’s parents didn’t like him. hint hint, maybe he wasn’t their real son. There’s a dispute on whether Rollo was a Dane or a Norweigian. So maybe, they are going to play it as, he got dropped off in Kattegat, or maybe Rollo’s mom was married before, and Rollo was her son, but Ragnar has a different father. THere are strange similarities in the DNA of the Earls of The Orkney islands and the people of Southern Italy very strange indeed. Of Course we know Rollo’s kids ended up in Southern Italy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earldom_of_Orkney Compare flag of Island of Mann and Flag of Sicily.

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    • Sorry it’s taken me a while to get back to you on this! Been fighting with my computer, trying to get windows 10 installed and working. You bring up an interesting point here. Hirst always keeps assuring us that he will use some historical accuracy and reference in telling the story of Rollo and Normandy… but which version will he use and how much? If he uses the Norse sagas for a reference point, then there is some connection between Rollo, the Orkney islands and yes… even possibly Harald Fairhair! I may have to delve into this more- thanks for the suggestion!


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