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With Christmas we celebrate the Birth of our Savior Jesus Christ... Contemporary people are always hasty and they ignore the mystery veiling the two holidays celebrated on December 25th, the winter solstice, like two firs in a t runk / like two eyes in a light (folklore rhyme): -The host holiday of the pre-Christian world – Forefather Cračun's day or Christ mas' day/ Invincible Sun Mithras’s birth. - The guest holiday belonging to the new Christian world - The Holy Infant Nativ ity day. Christmas celebration was first sanctioned in 354 B.C. in Rome1. As in the Bible there was not an appropriate day for Jesus Christ s birth and because the old p agan Sun Cult had deep roots in people s consciences and was ineradicable, Pope Liberius decided to place Nativity Day on the important date of December 25th an d to overlap it to Sol Invictus Mithras’s birthday. 1. The significance and the possible origins of the word Cračun / Father Christm as 1.1.Old Man Cračun ~ Old Father Christmas, as old as the time itself, is an arch aic divinity, the folkloric portrayal of Saturn senex, also named Deus Daciae, h aving many other surnames: Om, Cronos, Zalmoxe, Old Man-God. The Saturnalia feas t, of Carpathian origins, celebrated on December 25th, preceded lots of centurie s Rome foundation.2 During the Saturnalia, gifts were made by the wealthy to the poor in honor of the golden age of liberty, when Saturn ruled the known world. Cračun is the multimillennial mask of a shepherd old man-god, the Creator of all that exists, on whose face Time has got stuck: “Sit down, Cračun, saint old man and arise the Sion", "It's the birthday of Cračun, of Old Man Cračun the Old". He brought gifts: pressed cheese, soft cow cheese, apples, nuts, knot-shaped bre ad and wine:" That's the low since old men's time,/ since old men's time, good h earted men,/ Offer presents with Yule tide/ knot-shaped bread and a good wine" It is easy to notice that there is no connection between the multimillenary Fath er Christmas of tradition and Santa Claus, the journalistic image3 or the market ing symbol launched in 1930s by Coca-Cola company4, the old man dressed in white collared purple tunic, symbolizing the white foam red liquor of great commercia l success. 1.2. Christmas was the most important holiday of the pre-Christian era. Accordin g to old calendars, Christians celebrated New Year's Eve on Christmas Day for mo re than 1000 years: in Papal office in Rome it was still used during 14th - 17th centuries, under the name of stilus curiae Romanae, in Germany until 16th centu ry, in England since 7th up to 13th century, in France only in 1564 they decided to begin the New Year on 1st January, in Russia the change has been made under Peter the Great, in Romanian Countries up to the end of the 19th century5. The R omanians from Banat and Transylvania regions still call the 1st January day - Li ttle Christmas, not New Year. 1.3. From the highlands covered by woods and snow, full of hermitages, year afte r year old anchorites dressed in shaggy sheepskins descended to the villages in the valleys, carrying sacks full of mistletoe, a parasite plant considered panac ea, remedy for all human illnesses (heart disease, epilepsy, rheumatism, asthma, tumors, poison, sterility) and even for curing animals (against nose worms with lambs, and especially against scorbutic scars – as it is very rich in C vitamin – so that the cattle not lose their teeth and masters be obliged to slaughter t hem). Mistletoe contains viscotoxine, viscoli, amines, amine acids, C / E vitami ns etc.6 Mistletoe, the marvelous evergreen plant the roots of which don’t touch the eart h, was hung up to the ceiling on a wooden beam, as a talisman supposed to protec t the health and the house. When withering away, the mistletoe becomes like gold , that’s why G. J. Frazer named it so in his book The Golden Bough. Maybe the ca rol singing kids used these green boughs with little white grains to bless peopl e’s heads on New Year’s Eve according to the Romanian custom of sorcova. Therefore a possible origin of the word Kračun could be the holy golden boughs f
east. Craca-crač is the Romanian word for bough-boughs. Maybe the peasants used the name Old Man Cračun for the old men with boughs (krač), id est for Father Ch ristmas, as Gabriel Gheorghe presumes. 1.4. Christmas also measures the deep roots of the European civilization, reachi ng an autochthonous Sun Cult period. The fire is the symbol of the sun, of the d ivine light. Marija Gimbutas, researcher at UCLA – USA, considers that the Roman ians’ ancestors were the oldest European civilization – 6500~3500 b.Ch.7 They we re a stable people, building permanent settlements and living out of agriculture and breeding. They knew to worship the sun and needn’t borrow a Sun Cult from o ther parts of the world. Therefore, in Europe solarism was older than the cult of Mithra (which was suppo sed to be of oriental origin), in Petru Caraman’s opinion8. He brings as proof c ustoms that are wide-spread with almost all Europe’s people (Romanians, Germans, Serbian, Croats, Bulgarians etc): rolling the burning branch wheels down the hi ll, the Christmas knot-shaped bread that imitate the shape of the sun, burning t he Yule log on Christmas night (which is called badnjak in Serbian, badnje veče – Christmas night). Romanians used to lit cartwheels wrapped in straw and twigs in winter solstice n ights and roll them from peaks to the valley, spreading sparks on the fields to make them fruitful. The youths were running along the burning cartwheels jinglin g bells and yelling: “Look out, the fire wheels roll and roll,/ they bring good luck, rich store/ Look out, here comes the sun/ and burns your legs. Come on! / Look out! Look out!”9 It was a feast of the winter bonfire, admirable depicted by George James Frazer (Chapter 63. The Interpretation of the Fire-Festivals. Section 2. The Solar Theo ry of the Fire-festivals.) The Yule log, which figures so prominently in the pop ular celebration of Christmas, was originally designed to help the labouring sun of midwinter to rekindle his seemingly expiring light10. The holy folk dance hora round the burning Yule log was danced clockwise, in the sense of sun’s motion in the sky. The Romanian hora is a religious dance, helio latry relic, by means of which people prayed for all they needed. Rising up thei r hands while dancing, they worshipped the sun; trotting the earth with their fe et, they asked for good fruitiness in the fields, orchards and gardens: “Trot th e hora, step it, men, /Let sun rise on sky again; / Step the hora, trot it out, / So that make the basil sprout!”11 In Albanian crencia or kercü,-ni is the bough, branch or wood log that is burnin g on Christmas night, as E. Çabej mentions.12 Julia Maria Cristea talks of similar traditions. The most significant custom in France is to burn slowly the wood log in the fireplace or in the courtyard of ea ch house. Then, after Christmas Holiday the remaining ashes are spread over the field, in order to bring good luck and a rich harvest. In towns they only use to cook a special cake looking like a wooden block, named “buche de Noel”. In Scandinavia and in North Germany they use to light a huge bonfire on Christma s night. In Greece there is an old custom still lasting with Christmas, to burn the bigge st tree trunk called Christoxilo. They keep the Christmas Fire burning for 12 ni ghts, since 25th December to 6th January, in order to burn the little fiends nam ed Kalikanzari, which become very active in this period. In Italy they use to burn a huge ash wood (symbolizing the Christmas tree) in th e fireplace for 12 days (between Christmas and Epiphany).13 Sorin Paliga noticed that the similarity Christmas=wood log is also confirmed in the case of the Italian word ceppo, which has both meanings: Christmas and wood log, therefore Christmas holiday is in fact the wood log holiday, the feast of burning twigs and branches with Christmas.14 We can notice the same spiritual pre-Christian heritage with British people. At Allendale in Northumberland we can see men in fancy dresses carrying barrels of burning tar on their heads and throwing them on to an unlit bonfire just before midnight on New Year’s Eve, then dancing round the fire. Another custom happens at Stonehaven in Scotland. Balls of wire netting are filled with tar, wood shavi ngs and rags soaked in paraffin and people lit them at midnight on New Year’s Ev
e, swinging the fireballs round and round their heads.15 Here are some other instances from Romanian customs: “The fire mustn’t cease on Christmas night. They use to burn a wood log on this night, naming it Christmas Yule log”; “the ashes from Christmas wood log are spread through the gardens in order to get a good harvest”; “The heavens are open with Christmas”.16 Another b elief17 tells that the beginning year will be bright and rich for the families w ho will keep the lamp lit until dawn on New Year’s Eve. 1.5.The Romanians living in Bucovina (North-Eastern region of Romania) believe t hat God let the carols be sung so that all people could hear each year the holy name of Lord and leave wickedness. When carols will no longer sound on the earth , the world will fall into the hands of demons.18 I ought to mention a special custom: walking on carol pokers in Transylvania (No rth-Western region of Romania). The carol singers named pitarai prepare some spe cial cudgels. They remove the skin of some hazel rods and wrap them up in lime-t ree skin winding it spiral shape, then wet and blacken them with smoke, to make them motley. Then they gather on Christmas Eve, lit a bonfire and dance a round dance (hora), sing and tell fairy tales until midnight, when they start playing carols for householders: “Good is Christmas Eve/ But Christmas evening’s better/ Give me cracknels for my word /’cause I am the child of Lord”. The master of th e house used to put pitzarai in children’s sacks, which means little pieces of k not-shaped bread made of wheaten flour, and then he threw down apples, nuts and coins. Children crowded to pick them up. “When they enter the house, they used t o poke the fire in the fireplace with their carol pokers, namely their cudgels, so that make the fire burn until day time. (…) Carol singers leave and thank for the gifts they received uttering these words: We get out and God gets in. Our R omanian peasant is very fond of this custom of walking on carol pokers and every body sends his progeny for at least three years successively, because people bel ieve that Lord Jesus Himself went walking on carol pokers”19 Tudor Pamfile remarks the same tradition in North Oltenia (South-Western region of Romania): “They choose a sheriff which is called poker man because he enters first the household and pokes the fire… When the pitzarai come to a household, t he householder invites them all in the courtyard and brings a pumpkin shell call ed cotzovaica full of flax seeds, hemp seeds, wheat grains, and corn and pumpkin seeds and gives them to the poker man. The poker man grasps them and throws the m everywhere, on the house roof, in the cellars and says: Let them grow oodles! Let them increase! / Let them flourish for many years! / How many nails are in t he roof, /Let be on table as many oof (more heaps of oof)! Then the man brings s ome knapsacks and gives them all pitzarai. Under the name of pitzarai they give knot-shaped bread, round cracknels, boiled wheat grains, apples, pears, boiled p lum brandy, wine etc20. These maces or cudgels made of pyrographed torsel sticks (Romanian krač), which were used in the ritual of poking the Christmas fire, could as well have a contr ibution to the name of Cračun. Romulus Vulcanescu refers to the magic-ritual horse-head maces that symbolized t he sun rays in the Romanian folk dance of calusari (hobby horse). He mentions th e solar horses’ cult in Western Europe under the name of Pferd-Ritters with Germ ans, cheval jupon with French people and hobby horse with English21, as well as the little horses’ dance in winter solstice in Romania. This dance was correlate d with the antique dance of collisalii. In Oltenia region they used to dance a w inter version of calusari. While dancing, men held wood masquoide cudgels with w hite horse handles meaning solar horses, in order to dispel the evil spirits out of the earth and air. 1.6. The ritualistic consecration of the fir-tree in winter solstice festivals p recedes the Christian era. The Romanian researcher Romulus Vulcanescu demonstrat es that in his study Romanian Mythology22:”In the Romanian paleo-folklore the fi r-tree is consecrated as the cosmic tree in an impressive description: On the mo untain crest / Father Fir-Tree rest / So leafy and high / It covers all sky / Su n on green boughs lies / Moon on needle leaves / Stars by thousands crowds / Twi nkle through the boughs. The fir-tree has been part of ceremonies and rituals be longing to Romanian peasant’s life.”
The fir-tree has been a birth-tree, marking a symbolic twinning of the new-born baby and a little fir-tree; it has been a wedding-tree (the wedding pole on the top of which they used to knot the kerchief, the wine flask and the basil bunch which are handled to the bride); a judgment-tree (oath-tree and redeeming-tree); a funeral-tree that helps the soul to pass away over the Saturday River or Blac k Sea; an alms-tree on which are hung round cracknels and apples; an auspicioustree in carols and a sky-pole or heaven-pillar, axis mundi, having the crown of the tree in heavens and the roots in the earth. The Creator of the world hit the primordial waters with his cudgel and they opened in that place and a great sta tely phosphorescent fir-tree arose, dripping shinny water-drops (idem, page 484) . The custom of adorning the doors, the windows and the houses with fir-tree or pi ne-tree boughs on winter solstice, believing that they bring good luck, long lif e, prosperity and fertility, appeared long before Christianity. Northern peoples used the fir-tree twigs ornaments as means of fighting against demons and evil spirits which were supposed to walk among people during the period between the o ld year and the new coming year. The fact that those boughs were evergreen made them hope the light would be born again and spring would come. “The Advent Crown ,” made of fir-tree boughs with candles lit by turns until Christmas Eve in Dece mber, played the same role in Austria and Germany.23 1.7. The Sun Cult has been assimilated in the Christian holiday of Christmas. Greeks, Egyptians and Syrians celebrated the Sun’s birth on 25th December. In Eg ypt, the son of Isis (the Egyptian queen of heaven), was born about the time of the winter solstice. Yule is the Chaldee name for an "infant" or "little child". Egyptians used to personify the newborn Sun as a baby, which was shown to the c rowds at midnight, for joy: "The Virgin has brought forth, the light is waxing". 24 The very name by which Christmas is popularly known among British - Yule-day - p roves its Pagan origin. The Anglo-Saxon ancestors called the 25th of December Yu le-day, or the Child s day, and the night that preceded it, Mother-night, long b efore they came in contact with Christianity.25 In the Roman Empire the emperor Lucius Domitius Aurelianus built a temple in Rom e in 274 A.D., dedicated it to Sol Invictus – the Unbeatable God Sun, the empire protector, and decided to proclaim the Sun Cult as the official cult of the emp ire: dies natales Solis invicti. In order to celebrate victorious Sun, huge bonfires were lit, as terrestrial fig urations of the celestial god. The winter solstice holiday, called Julfest in the Germanic space (Yule with Eng lish), was celebrated by feasts, copious cooking and masque corteges, in all Nor th European countries, in close relation to the cult of the dead and the fertili ty cult.26 1.8. By Mithra’s birth “Old world celebrated the increasing light that overcomes the powers of darkness.”27 Mithra was known as the God of Truth, and Lord of He avenly Light. Echoes of Mithraism can be found in several Romanian carols, where Jesus takes all the attributes of Mithra, (worshipped both in Dacia, where 280 monuments were found, and in Moesia Inferior – 90 monuments): “On the sun’s face / Sun ray written is”.28 Echoes appear in the Romanians’ onomatology too: Mitra, Mitrea, Mitru, Mitre, Mitran, Mitrica, Mitranca, Mitrofan, Mitroi, Mitrus, Mitr elea, Mitrescu, Mitrican, Mitrici, Mitrin, Mitriev, Mitrovici, Mitrutoiu (even m y father’s name was Mitruta).29 Nelu Zugravu in his study “The Genesis of the Romanians’ Popular Christianity” s tates that: “Immortality and post-existence preached by Zalmoxe could anticipate and prepare Christianity”.30 Attaining immortality also meant a code of moral l aws: piety, abstinence, purity, courage. The Getae-Dacians used incineration to let the soul outlive purified in heaven, near the Father Almighty, Maker of all things, Father of Lights, released from the vesture of the corrupted body. 2. The circumstances in which the Nativity Day was established as a holiday The glorifying verses of this holiday (Nascere Domini) specify its meaning: “Thy birth, oh, Christ, our Lord…”.The Church tried to bring closer the Christmas Ho liday, which was “non-Christian, but which was celebrated by a population with a
Christian-like way of living,”31 and dedicated it to the birth of our Savior, n amed the Sun of Righteousness. 2.1. The New Testament (Mathew 1, 18) says the following: Cristi autem generatio sic erat (Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise). The Greek word genes is (birth) was translated in Latin in Vulgata by generatio,-onis (bringing forth , getting born of parents), which is a synonym to natalis. In certain researchers’ opinion (Ovid Densuşianu, Al. Graur and Al. Rosetti) the appellation Cračun originates in the Latin creatio. But the church language did not use the word creatio too, as it took into account the meaning of create - " faire naitre du neant". Therefore, it is a nonsense to etymologically connect th e name Cračun / Christmas to the term creatio,-onis, because the word create doe s not have the meaning bring forth, give birth to. As it is stated in the Creed, Jesus Christ was “begotten of the Father before all worlds, Light of Light, ver y God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made”, and, when the time came, He sinless “was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man.”32 2.2. For the Latin natalis there is the Romanian correspondent nat, as in the id iom Tot satul îşi are natul, meaning that all born villagers have their provenan ce, or the begotten have their progenitors, ancestors, backbones, that is everyb ody has his blood lineage. The Romanian word nat (Lat.natus) has nothing to do w ith the word Cračun/Christmas, as it happens in the case of the word Nativity wi th other countries.33 2.3. Alexandru Graur also derives Cračun of the Latin calatio, which means call, that is the calling launched by the priests each first day of the month, that e xplains the name kalendae, given to the first days of the month (derived forms: calendar, carindar). But Cračun/Christmas is not on the first day of the month a nd doesn’t presume any calling.34 2.4. In the Romanian church texts the word Cračun has been eluded for many centu ries (16th, 17th, 18th), because of the pagan meaning of the holiday, which asso ciated to Holy Infant Nativity Day a cortege of incomprehensible characters disg uised as Old Men, Shepherd, Dumb, Ploughmen, Gypsies, Hobby-horses, Goat, Bear. For example, in the Lore Book of Govora – 1642 and in the Varlaam Lore Book – 16 43, the name of the Cračun Holiday has been replaced by the Nativity Holiday. On the contrary, it appears in the laic texts as the name of the holiday as well; Gedeon – the metropolitan of Suceava and many boyars (nobles) write a letter to lord Racotzi to thank for a money aid, “which they promised to pay back until Cr ačun day”.35 Gheorghe Mihaila finds it mentioned in the 12th century: cračun (11 98).36 2.5. The old customs of Cračun associated to the royal holiday of Our Savior las ted during centuries up to present days, in spite of prohibitions. The martyrdom document of Saint Dasius of Axiopolis, (Hinog, Constanta county, R omania), tells about the parishioners of all social categories celebrating this holiday in the 4th century “during the calends of January… dressed in goat skins … following the pagans’ custom, though they call themselves Christians”.37 The same thing happened in the west of Europe, too. In 742 Saint Bonifacius wrot e to Zachariah Pope (pontiff during 741-752), scandalized that Christians in Rom e were singing and dancing day and night with New Year, disguised in animals, li ke pagans used to do, right on the steps of Saint Peter’s Basilica, refused (out of superstition) to lend embers and iron tools to their neighbors etc.38 In the Germanic space there appears a character named Julbock, at the Julfest ca rnival. This is a straw made buck, tied with a red ribbon. In the northern count ries mythology, Thor, the god of thunders, also named Donner, used to run on the canopy in a chariot dragged by bucks. In winter solstice, Thor used to descend among the people. In Finland, Father Christmas is called Joulupukki, word derivi ng from Julbock.39 Thor’s buck became a Christmas symbol in Scandinavian countri es. Church hierarchs also spoke against the pagan custom of giving gifts with 25th D ecember (which originated in Saturnalia). During the Saturnalia, gifts were made by the wealthy to the poor in honor of the golden age of liberty, when Saturn r uled the known world.
2.6. Here is an example of how the Romanian pre-Christian feast of Cračun and th e Christian holiday of Nativity naturally melted together on December 25th: “The y say Old Man Cračun received under his roof John Saintjohn and dined with him. The story goes that John Saintjohn was traveling with our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Mother and walked over Cračun’s mansion. After dining and drinking, Joh n Saintjohn said to Cračun: We are drinking and dining, but we are not asking wh o of us is the greatest. Father Christmas answered: Great art Thou, Lord, of ext olment, since You were born. But I happened to be there at Thy birth, and I prop ped You up into my vestment and You didn’t butt into the ground.”40 It seems as if we are witnessing the Candlemas, (celebrated on February 2nd), wh en the righteous old Simeon welcomed our Lord, putting in front of the Father Al mighty - the Holy Infant, Son of Man, first born of Virgin Mary and from the Hol y Ghost. 2.7. “Popular Christianity, states Nelu Zugravu, emerged from the cohabitation o f religions during the time of formation and ascent of our Savior’s religion in the Roman Empire, from the similitude of practices, from the survival of ancestr al mythologies, from the valorization of prehistorical symbols and from the Chri stianization of ancient gods, beliefs and customs.”41 Because Christmas / Cračun’s holiday had too deep roots in people s consciences to be eradicated, the church decided to keep it by dedicating it to our Savior’s birth. Ion Ghinoiu remarks that Christianity has spread many pre-Christian practices, u nwillingly and unaware of bearing them. Without Christianity, a lot of beliefs a nd superstitions wouldn’t have reached the 21st century42. Religious practices were assumed by tradition. There are no written rules or gui delines, for example, about prostrating oneself to the east while praying, orien ting easterly the graves and the churches’ altars, hanging the icons on the east ern walls in the house, the open palm with the fingers spread like sun rays (sun symbol) when the priests invoke the Holy Ghost and bless the congregation, ince nse fumigation, kindling the candles and the icon lamp, receiving candles lit fr om the Easter fire, asperges (blessing with holy water), alms giving etc. The historian Socrate Scolasticus, quoted by the above-mentioned researcher Nelu Zugravu,43 remarks that neither the Apostle Peter, nor the evangelists have imp osed to the converts how to celebrate the holidays: “Neither the Savior, nor the Apostles have imposed any precept for this and neither did they establish any p unishment against what would they commit… The Apostles have never thought to pre scribe holidays. They only cared to recommend piety.”44 The Savior Himself said: “I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”45 2.8. With the first Christianized people, as well as with all Slavs, the name of the holiday shows the Christian event of Lord’s birth solely, without hinting a t the old pre-Christian holiday: Latin - Natales, Italian – Natale, Spanish – Na vidad, Portuguese – Natal, Provencal – Nadal, French - Nativité/ Nöel, English Nativity/Christmas, Russian - Rozdjestvó, Ucrainean – Rizdvò, Polish – Bože Nar ozdenie, Serbian – Croat – Slovenian – Bozic, Bulgarian – Bozik, Czech – Vanoce, Slovak – Vianoce. Petru Caraman, studying the geographical spreading of the word Cračun, finds it solely at the Romanians and the inhabitants in the immediate vicinity of the Rom anian ethnic borders: with the Carpathian Ukrainians Kerečunj večery, with Slova ks Kračun as well, rarely and only with those from East, with Hungarians Karácso n, having the same meaning as with the Romanians. Therefore it results that ever ywhere the word is borrowed from the Romanians.46 To conclude, we remark that, with all European peoples, the elements associated to the multimillennial celebration of Christmas belong to a coherent system of m ythical-ritualistic representation of the world, which proves a continuity of a monotheistic faith in the God of Light and Righteousness. Everywhere we meet the same spiritual development: the Christmas Sun Cult is organically absorbed into the Christian holiday of Nativity; this is a decisive proof of the commune orig in of the European people. It is about an autochthonous, strictly European origin, not an Indo-European one
, as erroneously stated in the past. Why? That is because the Sun Cult is axioma tically related to agriculture. Recent archeological researches and radiocarbon corrected data have proved that agriculture’s origin is not in the arid land of India, but in the Carpathian-Danubian basin, in the very core of Europe47 (2700 km to the Atlantic Ocean – 2700 km to the Ural Mountains). The Carpathian Mounta ins have been the primitive habitat of the Aryans that populated India, as Briti sh researchers prove in The Cambridge History of India.48 The Carpathian-Danubia n aboriginal inhabitants have been familiar to agriculture since early Neolithic times (7800 b.Ch.). They were plowing using ploughs made of polished stag horns with silex plaque (flintlock). Deposits of carbonized gramineous seeds were dis covered inside Neolithic households. The archaeological researches of the Work G roup Schela Cladovei – Lepenski Vir developed during 1900-2000 reached the concl usion that agriculture began at the Iron Gates.49 At the same time, the Italian researcher Marco Merlini properly remarks the inte rnational recognition of the fact that the primordiality of the Carpathian-Danub ian civilization has important repercussions on the commune spiritual identity o f the peoples that inhabit the old continent Europe: “The classical theorem Ex O riente lux is now changed into Ex Occidente lux(…). This brings enrichment and e xpansion of the historical and cultural matrix upon which our European identity is based, because the Danube civilization is now considered one of the mothers o f the modern European culture.”50 As for the topic of our present essay, the solar holiday of Christmas/Cračun is one of the oldness marks of the Romanian people and of the European spirituality . Author: Prof. Dorina Suhanea 1 Julia Maria Cristea - Viena -:History and etnography series, Christmas Holiday (I) http://www.agero-stuttgart.de/REVISTA-AGERO/ISTORIE/Sarbatoarea%20Craciunul ui%20de%20JMC%201.htm 2 See antic authors Macrobius, Mnaseas, Diogene Laertios, Hesychius and others, quoted by Gabriel Gheorghe researcher in his essay The Origin of the Word Kračun , in his volume Studies on Romanian Culture and Civilization, “Thought” Foundati on, Bucharest 2001, page 117 or http://www.gandirea.ro/craciun.php; see also the essay about indo-European vowels â,î, p.97-99, www.gandirea.ro 3 Thomas Nast “invented” the image popularly recognized as Santa Claus for the 1 862 Christmas season Harper’s Weekly cover, see http://cartoons.osu.edu/nast/san ta_camp.htm 4 In 1927 the daily magazine New York Times wrote that Santa Claus’ appearance w as finally standardized according to the above prototype (…) the image of the go od old man we know arose from an advert for the Coca-Cola company . Haddon Sundb lom, the American drawer of Swedish origin, 1899 – 1976) was a United States art ist best known for the images of Santa Claus he created for The Coca-Cola Compan y, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haddon_Sundblom 5 Antoaneta Olteanu, The Calendars of the Romanian People, Ed. Paideia, Buchares t 2001, p.556 6 Gabriel Gheorghe, quoted essay, p.123, or http://www.gandirea.ro/craciun.php 7 Marija Gimbutas, foreword to the study Civilization & Culture: Prehistoric Tra ces in South-Eastern Europe, Bucharest, Editura Meridiane, 1989, Civilization of Old Europe, (translated into Romanian by Sorin Paliga): “Romania is the hearth of what we call the Old European Civilization, a cultural entity developed betwe en 6500-3500 b.Ch, based on a peaceful theocratic matriarchal society…a culture of an agriculturists’ society. It became obvious that this ancient European civi lization is preceding several millenniums the Sumerian civilization” 8 Petru Caraman, The mythological substratum of the winter holidays with Romania ns and Slavs, Iaşi, 1931 9Romulus Vulcănescu, Romanian Mythology, Ed. Academiei, Bucureşti 1985, p. 382 10 http://www.sacred-texts.com/pag/frazer/gb06302.htm 11 Romulus Vulcănescu, Romanian Mythology, Ed. Academiei, Bucureşti 1985, p. 372 -373
12 in Studia Albania, XVI, p.35-104, apud Romulus Vulcănescu, Romanian Mythology , Ed. Academiei, Buc.1985,p.330 13 Julia Maria Cristea, http://www.agero-stuttgart.de/REVISTA AGERO/ISTORIE/Sarb atoarea%20Craciunului%20de%20JMC%201.htm 14Roman and pre-Roman influences on south Slavian languages, 2003, second electr onic edition, page 48 egg.mnir.ro/pdf/Paliga_InflRomane.pdf http://www.unibuc.ro /ro/cd_sorpaliga_ro 15 Joan Sabin, Customs and Traditions, Oxford 1973, p.7-8 16 Antoaneta Olteanu, Romanian People’s Calendars, , Ed. Paideia, Buc.2001, p.55 7-558, apud Adrian Fochi, Folk Customs and folk superstitions since the end of t he 19th century, Ed. Minerva, Buc.1976 17Vasile Buta, "Hălmagiu on the steps of time", Editura Sophia, 1999 18Antoaneta Olteanu, idem, p.556, apud Ion Ghinoiu, Year’s Customs 19 idem, p.548, apud Teodor Bălăşel, Village evening sitting, year XXIV, no.3-4, 1916, pp.43-47 20 www.CrestinOrtodox.ro - Mos-Ajunul 21 Romulus Vulcănescu, Romanian Mythology, Ed. Academia, Bucureşti 1985, p.378: ”It seems that the Celtic acculturation of the solar horse has covered most of E urope” 22 idem, chapter Fito-mythology, 4.The model of the cosmic tree, p.485-486) 23see Julia Maria Cristea, op. cit., Viena AGERO Stuttgart® - Deutsch-Rumänisch er Verein e.V. Stuttgart 24 George James Frazer, The Golden Bough, Ed. Minerva 1980, vol.III, p.136, ap. Gabriel Gheorghe, op.cit., p.104) 25 Alexander Hislop, Christmas and Lady-day, http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com/2 006_12_01_archive.html 26 Julia Maria Cristea, quoted op. 27 I. Caselli, Christmas with Different People, apud Gabriel Gheorghe, quoted op ., p.104 28 Romulus Vulcănescu, Romanian Mythology, Ed. Academiei, Bucureşti 1985, p.387 29 Romtelecom, The official list of telephony subscribers, Buc.2002, vol.2, p.99 -102 (over 1500 persons registered) 30The Genesis of the Romanians’ Popular Christianity , The Romanian Institute of Tracology, XVIII, Bucureşti 1997,p.133 31 Gabriel Gheorghe, quoted op., p.115, or http://www.gandirea.ro/craciun.php 32Crezul niceo-constantinopolitan, www.crestinortodox.ro/Sfanta_Treime_art_subca t184_242.html 33Ion Ionescu, The etimology of the word Cračun, http://diverse.crestinortodox.r o/Etimologia_cuvantului_Craciun 34 http://www.crestinortodox.ro/Despre_cuvantul_Craciun-p53-11170 35 N.Iorga, Studies and documents, IV, p.44 -45, apud G. Gheorghe, quoted op., p .112 36 Gheorghe Mihaila, Words of autochthonous origin in the Romanian language, in Romanian Academy, Reception Discourses VIII. (1990–1995), Bucureşti, Editura Aca demiei Române 2005 37 The History of Orthodoxy, vol.8, p.93-105, Asterius of Amasia, Speech against the Calends Holiday , apud Nelu Zugravu, quoted op., p.46 38 Idem, p.48 39 Julia Maria Cristea, quoted op. 40 Antoaneta Olteanu, quoted op., p.557, apud Adrian Fochi 41 Nelu Zugravu, quoted op., p.32 42 http://datini-obiceiuri.crestinortodox.ro/Anul_Nou_civil-23-12019.html 43 Nelu Zugravu, quoted op., p.36 44 http://datini-obiceiuri.crestinortodox.ro/Anul_Nou_civil-23-12019.html 45 Matthew Goss 5.17 46 Petru Caraman, Substratul mitologic al sărbătorilor de iarnă la români şi sla vi, Iaşi, 1931, p.35-36 47 Marija Gimbutas, “Spirituality of Old Europe” in Civilization and culture. Pr ehistoric vestiges in the South-East of Europe, Meridiane, Bucharest 1989 “ The amazing discoveries made in Romania and other neighboring countries after the Se
cond World War, associated to the radio-carbon dating technique have made it pos sible to understand the importance of the beginnings of Old European civilizatio n, a culture belonging to an agricultural society. It has also become obvious th at this ancient European civilization and culture preceded Sumerian culture by s ome thousands of years” (author’s introductive word to her study). 48The Cambridge History of India, vol.I, chap., The Aryans, p. 67-71, Cambridge : University Press , 1922, apud Gabriel Gheorghe, www.gandirea.ro/gabriel_gheorg he.php - 148k 49“Since 1989 Clive Bonsall has co-ordinated a major interdisciplinary research project in the Iron Gates, in collaboration with specialists from Great Britain, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and the USA. The research has focused on the period fr om 7000 to 5000 BC during which farming was introduced to the region”. Studies: Bonsall, C.; Radovanovic, I.; Boroneant, V., , international conference on The I ron Gates in Prehistory: New Perspectives, Department of Archaeology, 30th March -2nd April, 2000, Oxford: Archaeopress; Mason, S., Boroneanţ, V. & Bonsall, C. ( 1996) Plant remains from Schela Cladovei, Romania, Mesolithic Miscellany, 17(2): 11–14; Cook, G.T., Bonsall, C., Hedges, R.E.M., McSweeney, K., Boroneanţ, V. & Pettitt, P.B. (2001) A freshwater diet-derived 14C reservoir effect at the Stone Age sites in the Iron Gates gorge.Radiocarbon 43(2A): 453–460 http://www.arcl.e d.ac.uk/arch/clivebonsall/page7.htm Marco Merlini, The deep roots of the European civilization, in Dacia magazine, n o.13, June 2004, Conference delivered at the 5th International Congress of Dacol ogy, 25-26th June 2004, Intercontinental Hotel, Bucharest
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