On this day of days let there be light today Saturnalia and Apollo.
And as we share best wishes to all our friends and family around the world to Pope Gregory and my Greek buddy Evi from Athens and Kythera expeditions.
For it was Greg who set this date (kinda) as Christmas Day.
And Evi who reminded us, like everything in Western civilisation, that its roots are Greek.
All Greek to me
Dies Natalis Invicti Solis as astrophysicist Dionysis P. Simopoulou probably says today.
Dionysi who? Well, only that Dionysius, the honorary director of Evgenidius Planitarios, which is the Athens Planetarium.
Take it away Dionysius who tells us in The Sky of Greece…
The sky is the limit
‘December as one may see it, is inseparable linked to celebrating Christmas on the 25th.
‘The gentleman, in fact, reason that made the Church to identify the celebration of Christmas on December 25 is the attempt of the Fathers, as Pope Gregory, states…
‘To gradually convert the festivities of Nationals into Christians.
‘Since December 25th was for Rome the central celebration of the Saturnalian and the birth of the “Sunlightless”, known as Dies Natalis Invicti Solis.
‘At the same time, the ancient Greeks celebrated the Chronos (dedicated to the Chronos) and the Dionysia.
‘As well as theophants or surface of the solar god Phoivos – Apollo.’
Now you don’t have to be a Latin and Ancient Greek scholar to follow where he’s going with theophants or Phoivos.
Heaven help us
Only to say that just like the Maji 2,000 odd years ago we look to the heavens at this time of year.
Or for Santa and his sleigh.
OK, it’s not The Nativity Story or Elf but Dionysius is onto something here.
Whatever is up there has brought us here in the first place.
And isn’t it exciting and poignant that today is the day the James Webb telescope is launched from the European Space Centre?
In French Guiana (no, me neither!)
But we should look to the skies, as I did in Tenerife, and who needs a reason, but it’s calming and humbling.
Happy Evi after
And Evi’s words here… ‘In nature, these days, light always begins to record its first small victories, minute by minute, on the every power of the night..
‘I hope so true light enters our lives, expelling the darkness of the false.
‘Even when it is combined with the most loved sheep.
‘Let there be light! Many years to come, Health and Prosperity!’
And mine’s too… Let there be light today Saturnalia and Apollo.