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Re: OT Christmas tree/ traditions

Well, David, I'm not an authority by any means.  My mom and I are VERY much 
into cultures and traditions of some parts of Europe as a hobby.  From our 
studies we found that very much comes from the early pagan beliefs, symbols, 
etc. the meanings of which are similar throughout the world.......these 
traditions, customs, designs were already in use, so when the monks, etc. 
were converting the people to Christianity, they used these things already in 
use to get the people to understand Christianity better.  It was impossible 
to try to change every aspect of their lives, including changing their belief 
system, so by incorporating christian doctrine into their everyday life 
...they were more easily accepted and understood.

For instance, the symbol of a tree coming out of a heart....the Tree of 
life...is used in cultures all over the world.  In pagan times and in some 
cultures today, it symbolized the heart of mother earth from which all life 
comes,.....when they became Christians, this same symbol became the heart of 
Jesus from where all life comes.  

Another example....the egg....used in practically every culture in the world 
also, having the same meaning.  During pagan times, and still in some 
cultures, it means Fertility and New Life, the blood of life, etc.  In 
Christianity it means the same except it symbolizes not only Fertility, but 
the Resurection of Jesus, the blood of Christ.  In Egypt in the ancient tombs 
two eggs were always found to be placed in with the entombed.....a black egg 
and a red egg.  The black egg was for the food along the journey to the 
afterlife, and the red for the blood to be reborn....and in many Christian 
cultures today, eggs are still placed in the caskets along with the dead, or 
on the graves.  

David, now aren't you sorry you asked??  LOL   This and plants are something 
I could go on and on about.....but won't bore you all.  LOL  Sorry, didn't 
mean to make this so long.

zone 9
Texas Gulf Coast

In a message dated 12/14/2002 11:49:07 AM Central Standard Time, 
dfranzma@pacbell.net writes:

> .  Another fascinating part (not looking to
> offend here) is how religions usurped pagen rituals and turned them into 
> their
> own.  I often wonder how they chose which rituals to bring in, what 
> criteria they
> used and ultimately how they incorporated them into the belief system.  
> Mexico's
> Day of the Dead (Dias de la Muerda...hmmm, sp.) is another wonderful 
> example.

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