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The Aztecs were well aware of the poinsettia, but apparently didn’t use them for any specific religious purpose. More than just a giant piece of wood, the Yule Log was part of a large procession before entering a home, ending with a round or four of drinks for everyone who delivered it safe and sound.Many Christmas revelers attached supernatural power to the Yule Log; its burning was said to keep a home safe from harm for the next year.It’s all in good fun, but the information is accurate. Decorating with holly (and ivy) is an ancient pagan tradition (1) and was used by the Romans to decorate at Saturnalia celebrations. Thus while some outward rejoicings are preserved, they will be able more easily to share in inward rejoicings. .”: Holly and Ivy are most certainly Pagan Traditions, but to be fair, if you are looking to decorate in December with greenery your choices are pretty limited.Like most plants (or trees) on this list early Christians were well aware of the pagan origins of decorating with holly. It is doubtless impossible to cut everything at once from their stubborn minds . Mistletoe: Mistletoe was a popular decoration at Roman winter festivals and is probably better known for killing Balder in Norse Mythology (darn Loki!(4) The first “Christmas Tree” dates back to the early 1520’s in Germany and spread from there, becoming popular in the United States and Britain during the Nineteenth Century.(5): Probably mostly Christian, but with a touch of Pagan on the side.Pagans certainly decorated with it, as did later Christians, but it was Christians who began the kissing custom.Christmas Tree: The Christmas Tree has a possibly long and tangled history.
Christmas is a confluence of religious traditions, capitalism, story telling, and the human need to simply connect with those we love.Christmas is more powerful What follows are twelve different holiday traditions (of course it had to be twelve, twelve days of Christmas and all that) and an outline of their various origins.At the end of each tradition I render a verdict on whether that tradition is Pagan, Christian, or Secular. Holly remains a popular Christmas decoration with its distinctive green leaves and red berries, but sadly about the only time ivy turns up during the holidays is when someone is singing the song I just mentioned.Ancient Romans and Greeks decorated their homes with evergreen branches and there’s even a Roman mosaic depicting Dionysus with what appears to be an early version of the Christmas Tree.Pagans certainly used evergreens, but pictures of Dionysus aside, no one is completely sure if they used entire trees.