What? I can't believe my day to blog is Christmas! So here I am - Christmas morning, writing a blog before I start the cooking and preparations. NO! I'm writing this earlier in the month and doing that 'schedule ahead' process. Go be with your treasured relationships - after you read this!
I've been researching the meaning behind Christmas Carols and why music is such a big part of the holiday season. Literally hours have gone by while I've sat and went from article to article trying to decide what to post on the Facebook Page.
Be sure to follow as many posts will be about how Caroling started; how the holiday music affects our mood; trivia on Carols etc.
The main message is : No matter what the time of year, music will be a part of the festivities and has been since the beginning of time. It is an integral part of who we are. Humans instinctly use music in their every day lives and always have. Holidays just make it a bigger occasion.
Daniel Levitin - as always - gives a very insightful piece of the brain research behind it.
Carols were first sung in Europe thousands of years ago as pagan songs celebrating Winter Solstice. The word Carol meant to dance to something. These Carols used to be sung during all four Seasons, but only the tradition of singing them at Christmas time has continued on. Christians took over the Solstice celebrations and replaced pagan songs with Christian ones. In AD 129, a Roman bishop said a song, "Angel's Hymn", should be sung at Christmas. St. Francis of Assisi took this further by creating the first Nativity Plays in the 1200s. For more information, please visit : History of Christmas Carols
Because of its Pagan roots, the celebrations were banned by Cromwell in New England. People were actually punished for singing! Imagine!! Today, this practice is being picked up again as schools ban Christmas music. Ridiculous! Part of a music teachers job description is to familiarize children with all cultures through music. Celebrating the season of Christmas should not be banned. There is too much history and benefit in the ritutals. As long as religion is not being taught, children should sing songs from all holidays. Christmas is a big part of American tradition. (Many of the most famous Carols are written by Jews.)
When creating your family traditions, I know music will be a part of it, intentionally or not. And when the season is over, keep the music playing.