Its origin and associations, together with its historical events and festive celebrations during nineteen centuries:
Depicting memorable celebrations, stately meetings of early kings, remarkable events, romantic episodes, brave deeds, picturesque customs, time-honoured sports, royal christmases, coronations and royal marriages, chivalric feats, court banquetings and revellings, christmas at the colleges and the inns of court, popular festivities, and christmas-keeping in different parts of the world, derived from the most authentic sources, and arranged chronologically.
This book by William Francis Dawson was first published in 1902. He wrote in the Preface, My aim is neither critical nor apologetic, but historical and pictoral... to give an account of the origin and hallowed associations of Christmas, and to depict ... the important historical events and interesting festivities of Christmastide during nineteen centuries... I have endeavored to give in the present work a chronological account of the celebrations and observances of Christmas from the birth of Christ to the end of the nineteenth century.
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Some say Noel is a corruption of Yule, Jule, or Ule, meaning, The festival of the sun. The name Yule is still applied to the festival in Scotland, and some other places. (Pg. 9)
Clement, one of the Apostolic Fathers and third Bishop of Rome, who flourished in the first century, says: Brethren, keep diligently feast-days, and truly in the first place the day of Christs birth. And according to another of the early bishops of Rome, it was ordained early in the second century, that in the holy night of the nativity of our Lord and Saviour, they do celebrate public church services and in them solemnly sing the Angels Hymn... (Pg. 11-12)
The opening up of these Catacombs has brought to light many most interesting relics of primitive Christianity. In these Christian cemeteries and places of worship there are signs ... (of) the festive joy with which they commemorated the Nativity of Christ. (Pg. 18)
The great Reformer, Martin Luther, took much interest in the festivities of Christmastide, including, of course, the Christmas-tree. (Pg. 105-106)
Notwithstanding the adverse acts of the Puritans, however, and the suppression of Christmas observances in high places, the old customs and festivities were still observed in different parts of the country, though with less ostentation than formerly, and various publications appeared which plainly showed that the popular sentiments were in favour of the festivities. (Pg. 212)
Christmas itself has never been a national Scottish festival since the Reformation. (Pg. 284)
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