Tag Archives | Christmas

Yule Lads Rival Santa In Iceland

Yule lads in Dimmuborgir.JPG

“Yule lads in Dimmuborgir” by lusinemarg (CC)

Remember the infamous Necropants housed in Iceland’s Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft? Well just in time for Christmas comes this tale from the National Museum of Iceland of the Yule Lads, descended from trolls and a whole lot scarier than Santa Claus. They visit the museum on the 13 days before Christmas, starting today, December 12th:

The Icelandic Yule Lads bear little similarity to the world-famous Santa Claus, who is descended from St. Nicholas, patron saint of children and sailors. In contrast, the Icelandic Yule Lads are descended from trolls and their original role was to strike fear in the hearts of children. As it happens, they are the sons of two of the most hideous ogres ever known in Iceland, Grýla and Leppalúði.

No doubt most children would have wanted to avoid the Icelandic Yule Lads in the old days, since they were used by parents to frighten their children into behaving – just as Grýla and Leppalúði are today.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Harking back: the ancient pagan festivities in our Christmas rituals

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

By Marguerite Johnson, University of Newcastle

In the movie The Life of Brian (1979), Reg, played by John Cleese, asks fellow members of the People’s Front of Judea:

… apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health; what have the Romans ever done for us?

“Brought peace” is the answer he receives.

In hindsight, Christmas could be added to the list.

When we think of the Romans, gift-giving, carol-singing and celebrating the birth of Christ don’t immediately present themselves. Waging wars, general oppression and a never-ending desire to rule the world are more likely to spring to mind.

What have the Romans ever done for us?

But various Christmas traditions come from ancient pagan festivities, including the Roman celebration of the Saturnalia.

Historian and cultural investigator, Polydore Vergil (c.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Glenn Beck Turns Santa Claus into the Warrior Protector of a Young Jesus Christ

I kid you not, this is an actual post from Glenn Beck’s blog:

The American Dream Labs are changing the face of faith-based films. Alongside Ben McPherson, head of the American Dream Labs, Glenn unveiled two projects they are working on: ‘The Immortal’ and ‘The Revolutionary’. While there were few details revealed about the latter, Glenn did go into detail about ‘The Immortal’. It’s a gritty action-adventure film that marries a rugged version of Santa Claus with the eternal story of Jesus Christ. It is unlike any movie faith film ever conceived, combining the greatest story Glenn has ever conceived with mind-blowing production value.

Glenn plans to release the book in December of 2015, followed by the film in 2016. He unveiled a trailer for the film to his staff at the end of last year, one he shared with the audience on his TV show Wednesday night:

Glenn described more details during the show:

The Immortal is really a story that starts from my frustration.  All the stories that we’re doing come from my head, and this one is really deeply personal, because it started two years ago when my kids were getting ready for Christmas, and all they could talk about was presents, toys, and Santa and elves.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Butt Plug or Christmas Tree?

Paul-McCarthys-Tree-creation

The age-old question: is it a butt plug or Christmas tree?

via The Mirror:

An arty Christmas tree in the centre of Paris that appears to resemble a giant SEX TOY is leaving locals red-faced.

The festive blow-up art was pumped up into life to take pride of place in the capital city’s Place Vendôme.

City chiefs hope it sparks interest ahead of the International Contemporary Art Fair to kick off next week.

But bemused locals claim the big green monster looks more like a butt plug – a gadget for bedroom fun freely sold in Paris’ notoriously seedy Pigalle district.

The 80ft object – simply called ‘Tree’ is the brainchild of American artist Paul McCarthy.

Continue reading.

h/t Boing Boing.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Edward Snowden’s Alternative Christmas Message

First, a little bit of context for those of you not in a part of the British Commonwealth: on Christmas Day at 3 PM GMT the BBC broadcasts the Queen’s annual Christmas message. The UK’s underdog broadcast television network, Channel 4, has its own alternative message and this year its programmers chose Edward Snowden, the infamous NSA whistleblower, to deliver it. Channel 4 has been hard at work taking down the message from YouTube as fast as it can, so this version is via CNN with some commentary.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Happy Saturnalia To All!

SaturnaliaA celebration dear to the hearts of the Disinformation team at this time of year is Saturnalia, one of the most popular Roman festivals. It was marked by tomfoolery and reversal of social roles, in which slaves and masters ostensibly switched places, with expectantly humorous results. Saturnalia was introduced around 217 BC to raise citizen morale after a crushing military defeat. Originally celebrated for a day, on December 17th, its popularity saw it grow until it became a week-long extravaganza, ending on the 23rd. Our favorite exposition of Saturnalia has long been the Electric Sheep comic strip, no longer easily available on the web, but we dug in the crates and are pleased to bring it to you. We did find it here and in a video created from the original website posted to Funny or Die:
Continue Reading