Celebrating The Midwinter Festival without the Nativity      

The Midwinter Festival  is not about celebrating religion it is about understanding the seasons 

Celebrating the festival without the Christian paraphernalia of 'the nativity'  enables it to be enjoyed by all,  a learning experience relevant to all humanity. It  reclaims the celebration of the celebration of the 'new sun'  at the winter equinox, from the hijacked version of 'Christmas' as the property of a religion, celebrating  the birth of its new 'son', a messiah. 

Yuletide, Xmas, Midwinter Festival, Noel, Saturnalia, Winterval, is not intrinsically a religious festival. Even 'Christmas' strictly speaking is not relevant to Protestants, it is the Mass said to celebrate the birth of Christ by Catholics.

In pre Christian times, in the Middle East, ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, pagans celebrated the winter equinox (the birthday of the 'unconquered sun' ) and many religions used the symbolism of the birth of a baby boy, a son, to represent the birth of their different  'saviors'

The Midwinter Festival has been celebrated by people  for as long as there have been People.  In cold northern Europe  people had more reason than most to celebrate the turn of the year from winter to spring.  They thought of the year as being like a 'wheel - 'Yule' . As it turned, spring turned to summer, summer to autumn, autumn to winter and winter to spring to complete the circle. "The wheel was a universal solar symbol"

What was the most important time of the year for people in the days before electric lights, central heating and supermarkets?  When winter turned to spring.

What is small children's experience of seasons?

Why is it summer warm in summer and  cold in winter?

Why in summer is it light when you go to bed and in the morning, and in the winter it is dark by tea time and dark in the mornings as well?

Do  hot countries, or cold countries, have seasons?

So what does the sun do and  why is the it important.

The practicalities.

Being a new idea gives a lot of scope for creativity.

Instead of the characters of the nativity, children can act out the seasons of the year. Making the SUN the centre of attraction and importance, and  not the baby Jesus.

Take 25 children as an example.

5 could be allocated to each season. They could enjoy choosing, during which they will discuss what they like or don't like about the seasons - a good introduction. - That's 20 children.

1 child as the central role, link, or narrator  and  1 child per season could represent the sun in that season. That's the rest.  - Keeping it simple!

The seasons would have its 'team' choosing for themselves  things that  represent  the season.

Spring - seeds, shoots, spring flowers, rain, Easter

Summer - Holidays, sun hats & sunglasses, sunflowers, bar-b-qs, swimming costumes travel etc.

Autumn - harvest, apples, rustling leaves, Wellington boots & umbrellas, fireworks

Winter - cold & rain, snow & ice, skating, Lights & cosy homes, presents & parties

There could also be discussion of what music or sounds could represent the seasons.

Spring - birdsong

Summer - lawnmowers

Autumn - rustling leaves

Winter - jingle bells