Sunday, January 4, 2009

YSA Fireside Tonight 1/5/09

YSA Fireside Tonight 

Clear & sunny
Wind 5-7 mph
Temp -14c

Tonight we again had a fireside at 6:30 pm in our living room. I think we had 19 finally. We are having lessons based on the church's Strengthening Marriage program that's also being used in other missions. I gave the lesson on the importance of traditions in marriage using Ena, a returned missionary, as my interpreter with Lydia's (former Temple Square missionary) help.

I took several chances in speaking about incorrect traditions, starting with the Lamonites, that have caused problems in many lands i.e. blacks in America, Jews in Russia, Croats & Serbians. It went over pretty well and when I used Fiddler on the Roof several had seen it and helped the discussion. I think they got the message that positive traditions bring families together and false traditions hurt everyone.

In the process, I did some research on Father Frost and Santa Clause and found that both are modern constructs based on ancient traditions. I found this about them that shows their common beginnings:

"Among Roman Catholics and conservative Protestants, there is a near universal belief that St. Nicholas of Bari once lived in Asia Minor, and died in either 345 or 352 CE." "He is honored as a Patron Saint in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Sicily, and Switzerland. 2 He is also considered the patron saint of children and sailors." "Some religious historians and experts in folklore believe that there is no valid evidence to indicate that St. Nicholas ever existed as a human. In fact, there are quite a few indicators that his life story was simply recycled from those of Pagan gods." "When the church created the persona of St. Nicholas, they adopted Poseidon's title "the Sailor." They seem to have picked up his last name from Nickar. Various temples of Poseidon became shrines of St. Nicholas." " St. Nicholas was superseded in much of Europe by Christkindlein, the Christ child, who delivered gifts in secret to the children. He traveled with a dwarf-like helper called Pelznickel (a.k.a. Belsnickle) or with St. Nicholas-like figures. Eventually, all three were combined into the image that we now know as Santa Claus. "Christkindlein" became Kriss Kringle." "Before the communist revolution, large numbers of Russian Orthodox pilgrims came to Bari to visit St Nicholas' tomb. "He and St Andrew the apostle are the patrons of Russia."

For the full history of Santa Clause, his elves and reindeer, I refer you to a website that I found very useful. It is I am a sucker for useless details and I found their history of Santa in the US from 1600 to 1997 most fascinating.

1 comment:

Trisha said...

You go! Way neat to have that many in your home. I do miss those gatherings.