DECK THE HALLS WITH BOUGHS OF HOLLY

By Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension Professor
University of Vermont
Holly has become almost synonymous with the holiday season. Its bright red berries and shiny green leaves are found on holiday wrapping paper, greeting cards, and of course, live in garden shops.

But did you know that “decking the halls with holly” is an ancient custom

DECK THE HALLS WITH BOUGHS OF HOLLY

By Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension Professor
University of Vermont
Holly has become almost synonymous with the holiday season. Its bright red berries and shiny green leaves are found on holiday wrapping paper, greeting cards, and of course, live in garden shops.

But did you know that “decking the halls with holly” is an ancient custom several thousand years old? The ancient Romans, Greeks, and Druids all decorated their homes with this plant.

The Druids of pre-Roman Britain believed that holly was a sacred tree that was never deserted by the sun. That belief stemmed from the fact that holly growing in a deciduous forest remained green all winter long.

The Romans considered holly to be a symbol of good will and sent wreaths of it to newlyweds as a token of good wishes and congratulations. Holly also was used during the Festival of Saturn, which was held each year beginning on Dec. 17 to honor the Roman god of sowing and husbandry.

 


When you read and analyse the lyrics of “Deck the Halls” you see it has nothing at all to do with Xmas (or maybe everything to do with it?) and is, in fact, a song about Saturnalia: Debauchery, drinking, loud boisterous parties and burning the Yule Log (A symbol of the FIRST antichrist, Nimrod)

Here’s a quick glossary: (source:  Family Christmas online)

Boughs of holly – branches from the holly tree, a winter decoration that some people say traces back to the druids
Gay apparel – party clothes
Troll – to sing boisterously, especially in a round or other counterpoint.
Blazing Yule – the Yule log – tradition said that on New Year’s Eve (Yule), it was good luck to bring in a log that was long enough to burn all night long.
Strike the harp – This probably implies both: “strum a stringed instrument,” and “play the piano,” since the array of strings on pianos and harpsichords are called “harps” to this day. Or “strike” could be a sort of shorthand for “strike up,” in the sense that we might say “Strike up the band.” Whatever this phrase means exactly, there is to be no hitting.
Merry measure – keep in time while singing along on a fast song

Deck the hall with boughs of holly! (symbol of Nimrod)
Fa La La La La, La La La La
‘Tis the season to be jolly!  (Jolly in the sense of partying – Saturnalia)
Fa La La La La, La La La La
Don we now our gay apparel!
Fa La La La La La, La La La
Troll the ancient Yuletide carol! (Yule Log is symbol of Nimrod’s death and resurrection as Tammuz)
Fa La La La La, La La La La

See the blazing Yule before us!
Fa La La La La, La La La La
Strike the harp and join the chorus!
Fa La La La La, La La La La
Follow me in merry measure!  (Dancing and celebrating the Yule, or Nimrod’s death and ascension as the Sun God)
Fa La La La La La, La La La
While I tell of Yuletide treasure!
Fa La La La La, La La La La

Fast away the old year passes.  (Seeming death of the Sun god)
Fa La La La La, La La La La
Hail the new, ye lads and lasses.  (The ascension of the Sun(god)
Fa La La La La, La La La La
Sing we joyous, all together,  (Celebrating Tammuz, the risen Nimrod)
Fa La La La La La, La La La
Heedless of the wind and weather,  (Drunken revelry knows no bad weather)
Fa La La La La, La La La La


“Deck the Halls” was first printed in “Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards“, preserved by tradition and authentic manuscripts from REMOTE ANTIQUITY; never before published…” by Edward Jones, London, 1784. The music appears on p. 64 under the title “Nos galen”. The title and words are in Welsh only, the title meaning “New Year’s Night.” The melody may date from the days of the Druids, 2000-3000 years ago, as the statement “…The Druids always commenced their celebrations from the proceeding night…” in “Caeser’s Commentarys”. The book goes on to say that they (Druids) worshipped the “arcane eternal fire”, which was, of course, what Nimrod discovered and also worshipped.

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