Shauna

 

8 minutes minute read12 Dec 2019

Christmas Traditions: Where Do They Come From?

Well…. Santa Claus, Father Christmas, St. Nick—no matter the name, everyone knows the story of this white-bearded, rosy-cheeked, all-round jolly guy, bringer of gifts, and children [and adults] love gifts!!  His historical journey is even longer and more fantastic than his annual, one-night circumnavigation of the globe in a sleigh drawn by his trusty reindeer.  The man who would capture the imaginations of children the world over was a fourth-century Greek bishop in what is now Turkey.  Born a rich man’s son, he took his inheritance and gave to the poor, in anonymous gifts that some say were dropped down the chimneys of homes because the people of Myra, where he was Bishop, were too proud to accept a gift.   Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.  He was a Bishop of the early church, so he wore red bishop robes – Oh! Is that where the garb comes from?

Santa With His Reindeer in His Village at The North Pole

So how did he get from southern Turkey to the North Pole?  After all, “Santa's official North Pole residence” is in Rovaniemi in the Arctic Circle in Finland.  Well it seems that was all due to famed political cartoonist Thomas Nast, who in 1863 drawing from the poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”, created a series of cartoons depicting the jocund, jolly Father Christmas.  On the 25th December there is often snow in the Northern Hemisphere and the Pole was unoccupied, Santa and his elves could toil the year away without interference from prying eyes; and, because it was unclaimed, Santa could remain a bastion of benevolence for every nation.

And the Christmas Tree?  Well, in 2004, Pope John Paul called the Christmas tree a symbol of Christ. “This very ancient custom”, he said, “exalts the value of life, as in winter what is evergreen becomes a sign of undying life, and it reminds Christians of the "tree of life" of Genesis 2:9, an image of Christ, the supreme gift of God to humanity”.  The lights on the tree?  Well Jesus is the light of the world!

Jesus Born In A Stable in Bethlehem and The Tree Wise Men Bringing Gifts To The Light of the World

December 25 was the Christianizing of a popular holiday of the Roman Empire that (“day of the birth of the unconquered sun”), that celebrated the winter solstice as a symbol of the resurgence of the sun, the casting away of winter and the heralding of the rebirth of spring and summer. Indeed, after December 25 had become widely accepted as the date of Jesus’ birth, Christian writers frequently made the connection between the rebirth of the sun and the birth of the Son.  In the early 3rd Century it was decided that conception of Jesus took place at the Spring equinox on 25 March, and then added nine months for His birth which took them to the 25 December.

Christmas Day, for Christians one of the most holy days, has been adopted by the secular world as a time for celebration, and a mythical figure named Santa plays the pivotal role.  But the Christian spirit of uBantu, love and giving is pivotal and pervading and makes the world a better place. 

So, Feliz Navidad and blessings to you all from Getlocal Africa.

 

Learn the secrets

Get Local Advice

 

Wonder of Migrating Butterflies

Look out for the captivating clouds of butterflies flying in a north east direction as you travel around Johannesburg right now? This is one of the great wonders of nature. These tiny exquisite Brown Veined White or Pioneer Butterflies are on the move and heading towards Madagascar.

 

Plettenberg Bay – Best Casual Eating Places

With some of the best beaches in the world along the Plettenberg Bay coast, a casual meal is best enjoyed in one of the many restaurants on, near or overlooking the sea. Don a bathing costume, slops, throw on a wrap and head for your favourite eating haunt.

 

Plettenberg Bay: SA’s Favourite Holiday Destination

You know that you have arrived in the best place you could be as the sheer spectacle of shimmering sea and golden sands takes your breath away as you descend Marine Drive . This is South Africa’s favourite holiday playground with Blue Flag beaches, great surfing spots, adventure activities and some great eating places.

 

Exciting Things To Do in Cape Town These Holidays

Cape Town has exquisite beaches to chill at, amazing mountains to hike, historic wine farms to visit, exceptional restaurants to linger in. It is all a matter of choice and preference. Here are a few activities and experiences that you may not have thought of. Time to get out of your comfort zone and stretch the mind, the body and the imagination.

Your adventure in Iceland starts here

Here are some great tours we recommend

 

Siyafunda Wildlife Experience

A unique experience in the African bush that gives you the opportunity to observe and be a part of the research and monitoring teams on the reserve. Special focus on elephants, lions & hyenas

R 10,101 7 Days

Book Now
 

Soweto Tour - Half Day

Our guides are local, entertaining and know the real Soweto. Experience the best of bustling Soweto from informal settlements to up market Orlando. This is the best value-for-money half day tour in South Africa right now!

R 900 5 Hours

Book Now
 

2 Day Kruger National Park Safari - Johannesburg

A whirlwind 2-day Kruger Wildlife Safari, enjoy some of South Africa’s finest wildlife including the big 5 (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo, Rhino), game drives, outdoor meals and rustic accommodation!

R 6,500 2 Days

Book Now
 

Cape Point & Penguins Tour - Cape Town

Get to experience the BEST of the Fairest Cape. Scenic coastal drives, dramatic landscape of Cape Point, boat cruise to Seal Island, Boulders Beach Penguin Colony. A day of staggering beauty!

R 1,300 8 Hours

Book Now