Posted 20 November 2019
People have been celebrating midwinter far longer than the 2,000 years since the birth of Christ. And even then, the date was something of a moveable feast. Whilst Pope Julius declared the 25th December as the ‘official’ birth of Christ back in 340AD, prior to that, a host of other dates were marked by midwinter festivals – none of which actually occurred in December. Contrary to popular belief, the idea of Brits getting sozzled over Christmas was not invented by the Pogues – Saint Augustine was tasked with the founding of the Western Church (and indirectly Western Christianity) – a mission made easier in Britain because of the range of pre-existing pagan festivals. It seems that the adoption of a new religion is far simpler if no one interferes with the established annual piss-up.