Geeky Historical Christmas Facts 17 & 18

Today you get a double whammy (because we didn’t post yesterday) of Christmas fact, that we hope has been making you feel a little bit Christmassy! And Today’s pic is of the lovely Velma Von Bon Bon’s Blue Moon act from our Blue Christmas show, Dec 2013 

Fact #17 The Star Of David.

Could it be Haley Comet, as is widely believed? Haley’s Comet did make an appearance around that time (12BC) but that means Jesus’ birth must have been earlier than estimated. Could it be a nova (white Dwarf)? Chinese Astrologers recorded that a new star entered Capricorn in March 5BC and it was visible for 70 days. it would have appeared in the East several hours before sunrise, but the bible states the star was later visible in the south and according to astrologers, a White Dwarf would not move that much. Ivor Bulmer-Thomas’ theory is that the Bethlehem Star was Jupiter. In 7Bc, Jupiter came in near conjunction – or eclipse – with Saturn and mars in Pisces, making for an astrological phenomenon which occurs every 800 years, which may have alerted the three wise men (magi/astrologers, who, looking to the stars, might have predicted the alignment) to an event of importance – Jupiter being the star of royalty and luck, Saturn the star of the Mesopotamian deity who protected Israel. This could have been interpreted by early magi that a great king was to be born in Israel. If you couple that with the fact that in 6BC Jupiter was in conjunction the sun and moon, and a jupiter eclipse symbolises the death of a king, this certainly gave Herod a reason to be worried by the three wise men’s prophesy… A new king can only come to power on death of the old one.

Fact#18 ‘Twelve Days Of Christmas’ 

Who knows whether this is true or false (but it is interesting!) but apparently the song was written in the time when Catholicism was outlawed in England during Elizabeth I’s reign – if you were a Jesuit or seminarian, you were committing treason in 1571 and priests celebrating mass could be hung, drawn and quartered. The Twelve Days Of Christmas was penned as a secret code so catholics could learn the main tenets of their faith (rhymes and songs are, apparently, great for remembering shit – unless you are me and can’t remember anything!). So, the ‘True Love’ being god, apparently ‘me’ is every baptised catholic, the Partridge in a pear tree is Jesus. This is what there rest of the code is meant to mean:

‘two turtle doves’ – Old and New testaments

‘three French hens’ – the virtues of faith, hope and charity

‘four calling birds’ the four evangalists Mathew, Mark Luke and John / the four gospels

‘five golden rings’ is the first five books of the Old Testament, which outline man’s fall from grace

‘six geese a laying’ – the six days when God created

‘seven swans a swimming’ – the seven sacraments

‘eight maids a milking’ – the eight beatitudes

‘nine ladies dancing’ – the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit

‘ten nlords a leaping’ – an easy one, the ten commandments

‘eleven pipers piping’ the eleven (faithful) apostles

‘twelve drummers drumming’ – twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle’s creed

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