The hanging of Santa Claus – 12/25/2022 – Luciano Melo

Each person has their own beliefs🇧🇷 The set of these can be fixed or changeable, temporary or lasting. It can be superficial or deeply structured, it can be judged as rational or absurd. delirium is a false belief, built on incorrect inferences about reality. It is firmly held despite not being compatible with what everyone else believes, nor does it break down in the face of obvious evidence to the contrary.

Ida believes in a magical man who constantly watches over her. She is certain that, once a year, the enchanted being visits her and leaves her gifts, but only if he judges her behavior to be proper. Does Ida’s belief violate scientific principles of reality, is it therefore a delusion? Depends on the context. When I say that Ida is five years old, worries about the mental health whether

The fantastic Christmas environment continues to provoke good discussions. The essay “The Torture of Santa Claus”, by the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, published in 1952 in the magazine Les Temps Modernes, is very worth reading. The text was republished in the recent edition of the collection, by the same author, “Somos Todos Canibais”, and refers to events in 1951. The facts narrated give rise to reflections relevant to our time, let’s go to these.

French ecclesiastical authorities denounced the increasing substitution of Christian themes for pagan symbols during Christmas celebrations. Santa Claus had contaminated the real purpose of Natal🇧🇷 To Catholic dissatisfaction, forces from the Protestant Church were added, which made the movement grow even more. The climax, then, occurred on December 24, when Santa Claus was hanged on the bars of a French cathedral and then burned in front of orphaned children. The clergy had condemned the heretic character, an intruder who usurped the place of Christ and banned the nativity scene.

These circumstances brought precious opportunities to the anticlericals to attack the religious, accusations were made of Christian meddling in the private decisions of celebrations. After all, Santa Claus offers a momentary escape from logical reality, a rest that helps with later coping. It also enhances purity and childlike magical ideation, something beautiful to behold and to be encouraged. But there is a paradox, the Church criticized a fantastic symbol while atheists became guardians of superstition. This contradiction only exists because there is a continuous mixture of Christian motifs with pagan motifs.

Lévi-Strauss reminds us that the difference between Santa Claus and a traditional deity is that adults do not believe in him, although they force children to believe. Therefore, the fat old man separates the youngest from the teenagers and adults. The childish illusion, cared for by adults, dissolves as if it were a rite of passage, a milestone of maturation, when the very young come to know what only the oldest know. The initiation rites help the adults to keep the little ones obedient and to discipline their demands.

This expedient appears in other cultures. The pueblos, natives of the southwest of the USA, have a character similar to Santa Claus. Members of the tribes periodically appear in costume and mask, embodying gods who return to the villages. These are the Katchinas, who punish or reward the children, while the latter do not recognize their kin under the guises.

The tradition of Santa Claus was built from combinations of legacies of ancestral characters. For example, in classical Rome, there was the festival of Saturnalia, which took place in December. Its participants exchanged gifts with each other and celebrated Saturn, a deity who devoured children, while kindly elderly people protected them. In Scandinavia, in turn, the demon Julebok brought gifts to the little ones on special dates.

Santa Claus is a solid bastion of modern paganism.

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