The Atheist Ireland Christmas Party starts at 7 pm on Saturday 13 December in Dublin. Here’s the Facebook Page. Don’t be put off by the name. Christmas is as much about Christ as Thursday is about Thor. It is the age old tradition of celebrating the turning of the seasons, which was only adopted by Christianity as late as the 4th Century.
Christmas combines the evolving tradition and myths of the old winter solstice, the Greek festival of Dionysus, the Roman festival of Saturnalia, the Persian god Mithras, the Roman festival of the unconquered sun Sol, the baby Jesus, Santa, Bad Santa, Santa Baby, Ebenezer Scrooge, Jimmy Stewart, Bing Crosby, Merry Christmas Everybody, Fairytale of New York, White Wine in the Sun, It’s a Wonderful Life, Trading Places, Home Alone, the Morecambe and Wise Show, Knowing Me Knowing Yule, A Christmassy Ted, The Office Christmas Special, the Annual Nugent Family Christmas Day Playstation Football Tournament between Bohemians, Barcelona and Juventus 1996, and whatever you’re having yourself.
The Atheist Ireland Christmas Party will start off at 7 pm in the Third Space (Unit 14 Block C Smithfield Markets) on Smithfield Square, Dublin, and then head to Oscar’s Bar for a late drink. The Party is free for members of Atheist Ireland and €10 for non-members, but you can join on the evening for €25. There will be platters of finger food on the night. The cafe sell beer and wine or you have the option of bringing your own. There will also be a raffle.
Some Christmas Trivia
Father Christmas is Norse.
Saint Nicholas is a 4th century Greek saint.
Santa Claus is a mix of the two.
“My God! The Dukes are going to corner the entire frozen orange juice market!”
The 12 days of Christmas began as a Scandinavian celebration of burning a yule log for 12 days to celebrate the start of the suns return journey. Mistletoe and holly are sacred plants of the druids.
“Does your granny always tell you
That the old songs are the best
Then she’s up and rock ‘n’ rolling with the rest.”
It was as late as the 4th century that the Christian Church adopted 25 December as the date of the birth of Jesus, to make it easier for pagans to convert while keeping their old traditions.
[Dougal and Ted looking at the Advent Calendar]
“God, Ted, I can’t wait to find out what’s behind tomorrow’s one. I bet it’s a donkey or something.”
“Oh right, so you’ve changed from your initial prediction. What was it again, Rudd Gullit sitting on a shed, wasn’t it?”
There is nothing in the Bible about the time of year that Jesus was born. The first Gospel, called Mark, has no mention of Jesus’ birth. Shepherds didn’t watch their flocks in fields at night in midwinter. And if you believe the census story, that wouldn’t have been in midwinter either.
“I really like Christmas
It’s sentimental, I know, but I just really like it
I am hardly religious
I’d rather break bread with Dawkins than Desmond Tutu, to be honest.”
Pope Benedict highlighted that the Bible does not mention any animals in the crib, presumably because that’s what makes the story implausible.
“So here it is Merry Xmas
Everybody’s having fun
Look to the future now
It’s only just begun.”
If you know anyone who would like to attend our Christmas Party please do send them an invite. Again, here’s the Facebook Page.