Sunday 12 December 2010

Countdown to Christmas Day 12: Eat, Drink and be Merry

OK hands up if you honestly don't overindulge at Christmas? .... Just as I thought not many hands went up! Most of us make the most of the "it's Christmas time" excuse to eat lots and lots of our favourite highly calorific foods and drink far much more alcohol than we normally do. Then come January 1st we all make resolutions to lose all the excess weight we've gained over the previous few weeks. And we repeat this cycle every year!

This is more as a result of the old Yule celebrations which were merged into Christmas when the date of Jesus birth was cunningly chosen to match the date of the celebration of the Winter Solstice when the Julian calendar was created. The people would sacrifice animals in honour of the festival and drink large quantities of ale to celebrate.

In fact the origins may go even further back to Roman times and the Saturnalia which was a week long party from the 17th to 23rd December. They even exchanged gifts in a similar fashion to Christmas.

So it looks like our desire to eat, drink and be merry in mid winter goes back way before the birth of Christ and having it re-packaged as a Christian festival doesn't take anything away from our ancient roots. It may only an official birthday and not the real one but hey the Queen has two! 

So go ahead and over indulge for a couple of weeks after all it is Saturnalia, Yule, Hannukah, Christmas, Pancha Ganapati and Hogswatch!

More Christmas delights at Cafe Bebe

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