Age of decadence
and Christmas mirth
we drink exotic wines
eating in abundance.
Old Cotton would wail
from his pulpit my friends
if he saw us today
in these ex-colonies.
Wasting work days
to revel and party
in the name of the Lord
on Christmas day.
Erotic and exotic
go hand in hand
of sexual desires …
The Puritans knew
as ascetics before
that pleasure’s not joy
but demonic delight.
© G.s.k. ‘14
“The exotic and the erotic ideals go hand in hand, and this fact also contributes another proof of a more or less obvious truth – that is, that a love of the exotic is usually an imaginative projection of a sexual desire.”
― Mario Praz, The Romantic Agony
“The exotic and the erotic ideals go hand in hand, and this fact also contributes another proof of a more or less obvious truth – that is, that a love of the exotic is y lewd gaming, by rude reveling!”― Cotton Mather in 1712
Last night was the last evening of my English Conversation meetings for 2014. We watched a classic cartoon, I read “The Night Before Christmas and then read about Christmas in the past … both in the North American colonies (and the new nation) as well as the Middle Ages in Britain. (Afterwards we toasted the festivity and ate chocolate cake and brownies 😉 )
Christmas was banned for many years in the future United States being seen as a licentious false holiday, in fact as a pagan left-over (which of course it is). It wasn’t until 1870 under the Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant did Christmas become a Federal Holiday.
In Britain too, under the reign of Oliver Cromwell, Christmas was banned:
A fervent Puritan, Cromwell was on a mission to cleanse his nation of what he perceived to be papist excess and decadence. He and his fellow Puritans regarded Christ’s Mass as an unwelcome remnant of Catholicism, “a popish festival with no biblical justification.” Nowhere in the Bible, they argued, were people asked to celebrate Christ’s nativity on December 25.
Moreover, in Cromwell’s mind, the wild, hedonistic excesses associated with the Twelve Days of Christmas, stretching from Christmas Eve to Twelfth Night, undermined core Christian beliefs.
On November 19, 1644, Parliament resolved that Sunday was the “only standing holy day under the New Testament” and within a week they decided that no other holy day would be recognized. The new national liturgy issued on January 4, 1645, made no provision for Christmas and thus its abolition was legally achieved, although a parliamentary ordinance declaring Christmas celebrations a punishable offence was not passed until 1647.
Merry Christmas and to all a good day!
Inspired by Eclectic Corner #2 (Thanks Justine!)