AO Magazine - December 2018
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Christmas is just around the corner, so we couldn’t let December go by without shining a spotlight on the ancient origins of an occasion celebrated by an estimated two billion people every year.
Christmas preserves our roots as we live out the traditions our forebears started so long ago – gift-giving and feasts from the Romans; wreaths and evergreen trees from the pagans; cooked turkey from Native Americans; Santa Claus from an ancient Greek saint; and the Yule log from Old Norse traditions.
From the Celts to the Christians and the Vikings to the Victorians, they have all added traditions to the rich tapestry of the holiday we call Christmas.
And while we are talking about the endurance of old customs, we also turn to a particular luxury item beloved by many – chocolate. A rich concoction created in South America over 3,000 years ago, and once seen as a gift from the gods, chocolate has made its way from the hands of Aztec nobles to the pockets of children across the world.
Along with beliefs and ritual, ancient wisdom has been passed down through the ages to help make the wintertime a little more bearable. We’ve included some easy-to-do traditional remedies that have been used since time immemorial to help you beat those winter bugs.
You will also find a feature on a very unique Australian town, where 80 percent of residents live underground. Plus, we examine the bizarre and unexplained phenomenon of raining objects, from frogs to fish, snakes, rocks, and even money!
No matter how you observe or relive ancient traditions, we hope you will enjoy our last issue for 2018 and join us in celebrating the season of new beginnings.