It’s that time of the year, that almost everywhere in the world a lot of festivities and traditions are being celebrated; Diwali, haloween/st. Martin/all souls day, Thanks giving, Sinterklaas, Christmas, Chanouka, new years eve/silvester/chinese new year, National days. Just to name a view.
A lot of these traditions do have it’s origins from long before the great religions.
Imagine, It’s 5000 years ago, it’s winter on the nothern hemisphere;(which does have the largest human settlement, -historicaly-. The southern hemisphere exists more out of water); It’s dark and it’s cold, no farming, gathering or hunting is possible; The weather can be scary; with mist, darkness, cold, snow; People stay together for warmth and safety. There’s time for stories, rituals and/or handicraft.
People were (and often are) afraid of the dark; nothing grows, you can’t see predators, you can’t see were you’re going, you can get lost.
5000 years ago they didn’t had the knowledge that the sun, the light and the warmth would come back automatically as the worlds rotating. To cope with the fear, they thought of all kind off reasons and rituals to scare the dark away or attrack the sun again. Many of those rituals used light (= fire), to attrack the sun and/or make lots of noise/sing to scare the darkness away. Many of those rituals and ceremonies were hand over from generation to generation and became traditions. Think the bonfires, laterns, christmas lights, christmas crackers, fireworks, and traditional music and/or songs.
Multicultural wise it’s interesting to see how the same tradition developed in different rituals for everybody all around the world. Think about the darkness during winter. and how the same tradition/occasion (like christmas or ramadan) is been celebrated differently everywhere . I can tell from experience that the christian celebrations of christmas in america is completely different then in the Philippines. Rituals concerning the christmas tree are depending on the availability of pine trees.
For everybody who’s celebrating.