Keep the Ziemas in Ziemassvētki

My latest piece for The Week is on Christmas – and Noël, and Navidad, and Weihnachten, and Jul, and Ziemassvētki… Christmas has different names in different languages, and most of them don’t mention Christ. In fact, many of them are retained names of pagan festivals. Does that seem inappropriate? Do you mind Christmas trees, or mistletoe, or – for that matter – the name Easter?

Almost every language has a word for ‘Christmas.’ Few reference Christ.


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