There has always been existence of the myths and truths about christmas in bizarre conflicts. Whichever way the tradition originated, they all worked in its miraculous ways buying the hearts and minds of the people for many centuries. For this christmas season’s specials, we have launched 3 limited edition pieces! Taking in some inspirational and notable facts and myths, with our imagination and interpretation.
The middle of winter has long been a time of celebration around the world. Centuries before the arrival of the man called Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter. Many peoples rejoiced during the winter solstice, when the worst of the winter was behind them and they could look forward to longer days and extended hours of sunlight. That’s positivity right there!
Also known as the Three Kings Day, is the day it is believed that three wise men finally found Jesus in the manger. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote a beautiful poem for it.
Three Kings came riding from far away,
Melchior and Gaspar and Baltasar;
Three Wise Men out of the East were they,
And they traveled by night and they slept by day,
For their guide was a beautiful, wonderful star.
The star was so beautiful, large and clear,
That all the other stars of the sky
Became a white mist in the atmosphere;
And by this they knew that the coming was near
Of the Prince foretold in the prophecy.
Three caskets they bore on their saddle-bows,
Three caskets of gold with golden keys;
Their robes were of crimson silk, with rows
Of bells and pomegranates and furbelows,
Their turbans like blossoming almond-trees.
And so the Three Kings rode into the West,
Through the dusk of night over hill and dell,
And sometimes they nodded with beard on breast,
And sometimes talked, as they paused to rest,
With the people they met at some wayside well.
“Of the child that is born,” said Baltasar,
“Good people, I pray you, tell us the news;
For we in the East have seen his star,
And have ridden fast, and have ridden far,
To find and worship the King of the Jews.”
And the people answered, “You ask in vain;
We know of no king but Herod the Great!”
They thought the Wise Men were men insane,
As they spurred their horses across the plain
Like riders in haste who cannot wait.
And when they came to Jerusalem,
Herod the Great, who had heard this thing,
Sent for the Wise Men and questioned them;
And said, “Go down unto Bethlehem,
And bring me tidings of this new king.”
So they rode away, and the star stood still,
The only one in the gray of morn;
Yes, it stopped, it stood still of its own free will,
Right over Bethlehem on the hill,
The city of David where Christ was born.
And the Three Kings rode through the gate and the guard,
Through the silent street, till their horses turned
And neighed as they entered the great inn-yard;
But the windows were closed, and the doors were barred,
And only a light in the stable burned.
And cradled there in the scented hay,
In the air made sweet by the breath of kine,
The little child in the manger lay,
The Child that would be King one day
Of a kingdom not human, but divine.
His mother, Mary of Nazareth,
Sat watching beside his place of rest,
Watching the even flow of his breath,
For the joy of life and the terror of death
Were mingled together in her breast.
They laid their offerings at his feet:
The gold was their tribute to a King;
The frankincense, with its odor sweet,
Was for the Priest, the Paraclete;
The myrrh for the body’s burying.
And the mother wondered and bowed her head,
And sat as still as a statue of stone;
Her heart was troubled yet comforted,
Remembering what the angel had said
Of an endless reign and of David’s throne.
Then the Kings rode out of the city gate,
With a clatter of hoofs in proud array;
But they went not back to Herod the Great,
For they knew his malice and feared his hate,
And returned to their homes by another way.
Re-invention of Tradition:
Christmas was initially celebrated raucously in a drunken, carnival-like atmosphere similar to today's Mardi Gras. Each year, a beggar or student would be crowned the "Lord of Misrule" and eager celebrants played the part of his subjects. The poor would go to the houses of the rich and demand their best food and drink. If owners failed to comply, their visitors would most likely terrorize them with mischief. Christmas became the time of year when the upper classes could repay their real or imagined "debt" to society by entertaining less fortunate citizens.
There was an outlaw on christmas imposed in between for a couple of centuries then came the 19th, when a different approach had been reinvented in America by certain upper class members due to the chaotic situation of conflict and turmoil at that period of time. The festival had changed into a family-centered day of peace and nostalgia. Best-selling author Washington Irving wrote The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, gent., a series of stories about the celebration of Christmas in an English manor house. The sketches feature a squire who invited the peasants into his home for the holiday. In contrast to the problems faced in American society, the two groups mingled effortlessly. In Irving's mind, Christmas should be a peaceful, warm-hearted holiday bringing groups together across lines of wealth or social status. Irving's fictitious celebrants enjoyed "ancient customs," including the crowning of a Lord of Misrule. In his book, however, was not based on any holiday celebration he had attended — in fact, many historians say that Irving's account actually "invented" tradition by implying that it described the true customs of the season.
Also around the same time, English author Charles Dickens created the classic holiday tale, A Christmas Carol. The story's message emphasizes the importance of charity and good will towards all humankind. It struck a powerful chord in the United States and England and showed members of Victorian society the benefits of celebrating the holiday. The family was also becoming less disciplined and more sensitive to the emotional needs of children during the early 1800s. Christmas provided families with a day when they could lavish attention and gifts on their children without appearing to spoil them. As Americans began to embrace Christmas as a perfect family holiday, old customs were unearthed. Although most families quickly bought into the idea that they were celebrating Christmas how it had been done for centuries, it had really re-invented a holiday to fill the cultural needs of a growing nation.
No matter how the stories come about, what we love most about this festive season is the contrast and positivity it brought, or rather have been instilled in the minds of people all around the world.
HAUS OF PESH wishes you the loveliest and merriest white christmas!