Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Upon some pondering the past days, I realized that I want to revisit what Christmas means, how it is celebrated. I guess that is why I am collecting some thoughts about this season. I wanted to explore more about how this seasonal celebration came to be. I know that this season is defined differently by each person. At the very basic of it is a celebration of life, an expectant season, a time to celebrate a birthday. But it is not just any ordinary birthday.

For starters I looked for the basic definition of nativity from the American Heritage Dictionary. Nativity is 1. Birth, especially the place, conditions, or circumstances of being born.
2.Nativity a. The birth of Jesus. b. A representation, such as a painting, of Jesus just after birth. c. Christmas. 3. A horoscope for the time of one's birth.

I was surprised by the 3rd one. I asked Amats why do you think that it was defined like that? I didn't expect that one. Amats said that maybe because during the birth of Christ it was associated with the appearance of a great star in the sky. So maybe that is the why the 3rd definition was associated with nativity. We all know the story that a great star guided that three wise men to Bethlehem. They are called by many names the three kings, the three magi and some say they are actually astrologers from the East. These wise men noted the prophecy that a King will arrive marked by the appearance of this great star. Some believe that that great star might have been a comet.

By the way in a couple of days on Dec 13 and 14 there will be the Geminids meteor shower. Meteor showers are caused by the debris left in the orbits of comets. When the earth passes the debris-laden orbit, the particles are heated to incandescence by the Earth's atmosphere and once a year we have a meteor shower more info here.

Meteor showers is one of my most favorite events to watch ever! Not the quick "oh there it goes and its gone". It is really really different I've watched a meteor shower where the "shooting stars" carve a huge bright line not once or twice but almost every minute for more than 4 hours until my neck and back hurt and they continue to fall all over the sky until dawn. Incredible! This was in the year 2002.

Well a thought passed through my mind that maybe two thousand years ago there was a comet in the sky. And now many many years later we might be looking at the trail of that same "star". Wow! Imagine?


1 comment:

Sidney said...

I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.
-Charles Dickens-