Opinion: Claremont councillor might need to dig deeper into history with call for more Christian symbols at Christmas

A Pagan seasonal ritual in Latvia. Stock image.
A Pagan seasonal ritual in Latvia. Stock image.

CLAREMONT councillor Chris Mews may like to dig a bit deeper into the past to see what other symbols lie forgotten about Christmas.

In pre-Christian Europe, pagans celebrated near the shortest, darkest day of the year, with the expectation of new life in spring.

This is thought to have fitted the new religion’s story of Christ, and so the two festivals intertwined, with one taking over the other.

Just what pagans did before then we can only guess, but we know it involved at least bringing into the home those green signs of life in wintery Europe.

They included mistletoe on the door and fireside pine trees, which became the Christmas tree made popular by Queen Victoria’s German husband Prince Albert.

If Cr Mews wants truly original symbols of Christmas, then he might like to think about some pagan ones along the streets of his town too.

That could rev up the excitement.

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