THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Lurch Set Date of Holiday
IN FREER, CHEAPER WORLD:
Students Await Vacation
Only After Severe Struggle
By CHARLA'iNE ACKER*A4N
the problem of the origin of
It was not until the fourth cen- divinity remained.
tury that the Christian world es-
tablished December 25 as the date
of the birth of Christ, a date no
more historically correct than any
In the early years of the reli-
gion, Christianity's followers were
more concerned with the teach-
ings of Christ than with his physi-
cal birth. To celebrate it would
have seemed at best pointless, at
worst a sin to even think of keep-
ing the birthday of Christ as some
sort of pagan festival.
By the third century, many
people began to debate the possi-
biity of observing the birthday
of Christ. But their opponents re-
fused to accept the idea that so
divine a being could have been
born at all, and invented ingenious
ways for explaining the Gospel
The question of His divinity
eventually resulted in the celebra-
tion of Christmas. The Church was
certain that Christ was divine, but
Some followers felt that Christ's
divine nature was intrinsic and
disregarded the idea of birth at
all. Another widespread belief was
that Christ was born completely
human, but that, when at last
baptized by John in the Jordan
River. the spirit of God descended
into Him and He, too, became
Thus in the early church, it was
the day of His baptism, Epiphany,
Jan. 6, that was a great feast day.
Divine Birth Established
The modern holiday of Christ-
mas came after a severe and pro-
longed struggle, during which the
Church repudiated the notion that
Jesus had never been born at all
and further decided Christ was
born, not made, divine.
By at least the third century,
Jesus' birthday was being cele-
brated-but at various times dur-
ing the year. Some celebrations
were held as late as April, but
January 6, the day of the Epi-
phany, was most favored. How,
then, was the date of December
It was in the western part of
the Christian world that thisdate
was decided on. By the middle of"
the fourth century, the Feast of
Isolated and separated from the
whirl of metropolitan clamor, Uni-
versity students eye the 19th of
December as pushing off date for
the hallowed two weeks known as
Christmas Vacation and a chance
to see the freer and cheaper out-
from Willow Run to Wayne Major York and Miami with the new
Airport startled a few of the more Lockheed Electras and airline of-
economical students but they man- ficials expect continental services
aged to adjust their moneybelts. in the not-too-distant future. Al-
Jet flights-the future for most ready in operation are jet flights
of the major companies-have al- between New York and the Euro-
ready begun service between New pean continent.
the Nativity was being celebrated side world. dh
in Rome. With a student population that
Saturn Worshipped comes from all parts of the globe,
In the early years of Christian- the distribution list of destinations
ity, the Romans were concurrently reads like the World Almanac.
worshipping pagan deities, one of Most of this list, in fact 60% of
whom was the god of the harvest, the University community, relys
Saturn. on air traffic to get them to and
A great feast in this god's honor from Ann Arbor.
began each year around the mid- 'To whit, airline reservations to
die of December-with the spirited key cities on the Eastern seaboard
cry Ho, Saturnalia!-and lasted plus the warmer southern climes
until January 1. become more desirable as the
In the midst of the festival was weather gets colder and vacation
December 25, the day, as the time gets nearer.
Hand Wrought Jewelry 6
0 ~ a
L.AK E D ESI GNS.
209 South State Sret
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Open Monday-Friday 'til 9
Romans calculated, when the sun
was at its lowest ebb, ready to
again increase its strength and
help perpetuate the growing things
of the earth.
Called False Homage
To the Christians, the Satur-
nalia festival was a false homage
to a disreputable god. The follow-
ers of Christ, moreover, were dedi-
cated to the slow, improving task
of converting their pagan neigh-
bors, which concurrently involved
debasing their customs.
But the habit of the Saturnalia
proved too strong to be left be-
hind. The Church at first forbade
it, but later wisely sought to in-
corporate the festival into its own
ritual. The Church Fathers there-
fore attempted to turn the festival
away from Saturn and toward
On this account, some people
have thought that the ChristiansI
invented Christmas to compete
against the pagan celebrations.
The church did finally succeed in
taking the merriment, greenery
and gifts and giving them to
Christ, but far from being able to
swallow the pagan rites, it was
almost consumed by them.
WASHINGTON (P)-An annual
Christmas message from the Fed-
eral Trade Commission:
Beware of fly-by-night peddlers
who offer you fancifully labeled
"French" perfume at a rare bar-
The stuff may never have been
closer to Paris than New Jersey.
The commission says every year
it gets itself set for Christmas
perfume complaints, and these
show that "once again the word-
ing of the ads and labels is more
flagrantly fragrant than the per-
It recalled that one company
in Newark said its perfume was
"Fabrique avec essence importees
de France" worth $25 a bottle,
whereas the truth was it ordinarily
sold for $3 and was made from
"essence importees de somewhere
The biggest nag this year, how-
ever, came in when airline me-
chanics decided to go on strike-
paralyzing transportation early
last month, they struck fear into
the hearts of many who had hopes
of going long distances.
Eastern Airlines, which caters to
most of the Miami bounld passen-
gers, has caused the most trouble.
The large amount of traffic be-
tween Ann Arbor and the vacation
paradise has been stalled with
most of the other airlines either
being too swamped toaccommo-
date or not scheduling Florida
"We have been able to reroute
most of the ticket holders to other
flights, but we have certainly put
a crimp into their vacation time,"
commented a local travel bureau
representative. He also mentioned
that it has been hard to get places
for people moving /to the exotic
places-Jamaica, Havana, Caracas
and San Juan.
Mundane' Trips Easy
The more mundane trips to Chi-
cago, New York, Philadelphia and
even isolated Milwaukee were
handled with comparative ease.
Moving some of the major airlines
1IF T S IE A1I hufE 1K
A Christmas gift that will be appreciated! Many
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We have a large selection of notes; plain,
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UNUSUAL GIFT ENCLOSURE CARDS
CHRISTMAS PLACE CARDS
CHRISTMAS PARTY INVITATIONS
Fine selection of assorted and single cards at prices
that will please YOU! Christmas notes (for that
personal message) in many designs.
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