Why SNOW at Christmas?

I lived in Rhodesia during the mid-late 1970’s. Every year at Christmas time the city of Salisbury would erect plyboard cut-out Christmas trees in the park, sprayed with white on the tips to signify snow. Gee, that was nice, huh! But it got me to thinking ……. how much snow was there in Bethlehem when Jesus was born, anyway? The Africans must have thought we were idiots!

So what gives? Why the Christmas snow in the southern hemisphere? What does it have to do with the birth of Christ?

I’m guessing that Christmas started to get mass-marketed in Hollywood in the 1950s era with the likes of “Miracle on 34th Street” in 1947 and “White Christmas” in 1954.

Santa lives at the North Pole with reindeer and snow.

Christmas isn’t really about Christ any more and hasn’t been for decades. People may pretend it’s about the birth of Jesus, but it’s really about commercialism, Santa Claus, time off from work, and maximizing credit cards in an attempt to impress kids and family members.

Ho, ho, fucking ho.

Santa drives a sleigh. Traditional greeting cards feature happy couples in sleighs. Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan took a romantic sleigh ride in Christmas in Connecticut. Snow is required.

WAG aren’t many of our Christmas customs from Germany and Scandinavia? I know the decorated tree is from Germany. Sleighs and reindeer are obviously Scandinavian.

This must certainly be the best answer! :slight_smile:

Yes, I think Santa Klaus originated in Holland but I don’t know how the reindeer got into the picture. Most of the Slavic people have something similar to Santa Klaus (I’ve forgotten the name) that keep to orthodox traditions and well … lots of snow in the Russian wilderness.

A lot of the modern impression of Christmas has its origins in Victorian England and the trend that were brought there by Prince Albert - so there are a lot of German traditions.

However there is a good case that this is underpinned by the fairly early mass media of the beginning of 19th Century because one of that period’s greatest proponents was Charles Dickens. His descriptions of Christmastime seem to have been heavily inspired by his childhood, which took place during the ‘Little Ice Age’, and this was during the first 8 years or so of his life.

Add to this that the calendar changed in 1752, which had effectively placed Christmas in what is now the middle of January - when snow is more common in England - and you can see some influences. I would not state completely that this is the whole reason but its generally agreed that these are significant contributors to our Christmas traditions.

I have always heard that most of the iconography of the modern Christmas (not just the snow, but robins, holly, mistletoe, and the like) comes from Victorian England, and it does (sometimes) snow in England at Christmas. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (and his other, now lesser known, Christmas stories) had a lot to do with how we think Christmas ought to be (and DIckens was very popular in America, and elsewhere, not just in Britain). In England these days, it rarely snows until well into January, but in Dickens’ time Europe was still in the grip of the Little Ice Age, and snow would have been common and often thick in December. I do not find it at all hard to believe that white Rhodesians, especially, would have been anxious to have as British a celebration of Christmas as possible.

Christmas trees (and perhaps other aspects of the Victorian British Christmas) were supposedly introduced into Britain from Germany by Prince Albert, Victoria’s husband. In Germany, fir tress like that are, I think, particularly associated with the Black Forest, which is quite high ground, and so also probably often snowy in December (especially during the Little Ice Age, but perhaps even now). Thus the German Christmas may traditionally be snowy too.

ETA: Darn! Semi-ninjaed by casdave!

Jesus was a Swede, his best friend is Satan Claws. Did everyone enjoy the cold blooded butchering of an otherwise innocent fir tree? [sigh] Just another case of what is good and Godly, while in the hands of whitie, gets twisted and perverted. For example, it used to snow in Rhodesia, but now that it doesn’t … IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD … so typical of whitie, “what is good is evil, what is evil is good”.

Whitie pays full price to commercialize Christmas … darkie pays half price commercializing Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan 20th).

Rally round the red gold black and green
Marcus say sir Marcus say
Red for the blood that flowed like the river
Marcus say sir Marcus say
Green for the land Africa
Marcus say
Yellow for the gold that they stole
Marcus say
Black for the people it was looted from

– Steel Pulse

I remember a card a friend sent me many xmas’s ago. Made by hand, it read:

I get weepy just recalling it.

First, please take a look at these Egyptian snow-capped pyramids. Okay, they’re completely covered in snow, but what really matters is the image is not a photoshopped one.

Second, Christianity actually took off in Europe, not the Middle East, and the symbolism of snow is really rich here (I’m a European).

Plus, snow looks festive and fun, and that’s why people always wish for snow when they celebrate Christmas. Especially children - don’t forget Christmas is about Santa bringing joy to kids. If you still wonder why snow is so important for Christmas, my educated guess you’ve never talked to a child, or never been one. :smiley: (Just kidding, of course.)

So, you’re equating Christ with Martin Luther King, Junior?

Listen, I believe strongly in the message of both, but I’m not sure we’re comparing apples to apples here.

(FWIW - I’m a white atheist.)

Being a Swede myself, I can say that Jesus was no Scandinavian. We didn’t even get Christian-ized till somewhere round the 10th century. As far as Egypt goes well, it isn’t in the southern hemisphere, but the photo is nice.

I buy the Charles Dickens theory – makes quite a lot of sense in explaining Christianity in the southern hemisphere as well as the Indian subcontinent, what with the sun never setting. But for it to really make sense we need to understand what Leaffan said about Christmas not really being about Christ. That’s the A-Z of it I recon.

Whoa whoa whoa… Time out… Are you actually claiming that obvious fake image is real and NOT a photoshop? You do know there are actual real images of the snow fall right? Why pick one that has been debunked to death already and claim it as real?

No, I’m equating commercialism with commercialism as methaphor for equating whitie with darkie. Check the OP again … Christmas … Rhodesia … 1970s … 53-year-old white men … not a pretty picture for celebrating the birth of God.

FWIW - My faith rests in the resurrection.

Snow in Egypt (http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/12/13/snow-egypt-middle-east_n_4438571.html)

Here’s the site.

I never said it didn’t snow. I said that the image she used is fake.

Here is a snopes article on the subject


Being a Christmas topic, I would assume she means Jesus?

Okay, it is fake, I had no idea, I should have checked more carefully. Mea culpa. :slight_smile:

But now that we can compare the images, the real and the photoshopped one, which would you chose to illustrate the Christmas celebrations? It feels so weird for me, as a European dweller, to watch Christmas movies in which there is no snow. My fault again, probably.