The 12 Days of Brumalia was an internet event presented by The Residents and Residents.com. For 12 days, starting on December 25th, a new song was posted on Residents.com web site along with an illustration and a quote. On the 13th day, The Residents presented the epic musical work, The Feast of Epiphany.
Brumalia: Birthday of the Sun
Thousands of years before Christ, so-called pagans worshiped the Sun as a god. When winter approached, the sun dipped lower and lower in the sky each day. It seemed to the people that their god was forsaking them. The shortest day of the year came around December 21 (winter solstice). Several days later it became evident that the sun was coming back. When the people were sure the sun was returning, a great celebration called the Brumalia began on December 25th.
On the eve of Brumalia, people exchanged gifts, sang songs, played games, and feasted. They kissed under mistletoe, which was considered sacred to the Sun-god and thought to have miraculous healing qualities. Holly berries were also considered sacred. Holly wreaths, round like the sun, decorated houses and places of worship during Brumalia.
The Roman Catholic Church absorbed the Brumalian rituals around 350 A. D. In the fifth century the church ordered Christmas to be celebrated forever on the Brumalia, December 25, inasmuch as no certain knowledge of Christ’s birthday existed. The birthday of the sun, became the birthday of the son.
What you celebrate is not important. The important thing is to notice the circle, the cycle of life and acknowledge it with a bit of celebration. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. Take a walk and check out a dead leaf. That will be you one day. Each human is allowed a limited number of year cycles. Make 2004 count and do something cool this year.