Christmas Bells

As Christmas fast approaches, decorations are certainly one of the main activities around the house. And for a number of people, Christmas bells are surely part of this.

As cities have expanded, the ringing of bells on Christmas Eve has taken a back seat, making these bells as just part of the Christmas décor. A lot of songs that we sing on Christmas refer to sleigh bells, which is just proper with Santa’s reindeer on the scene. But really, what is the ringing of these bells tell us about Christmas in the city?

Just with a lot of our modern practices, the use of bells has its pagan origins. People experienced grey and dark winter times in northern Europe when the clouds hang together in thick masses all throughout these chilly, short days. For the pagans, having less daylight hours means that there is plenty of time for the evil spirits to wander around the land of the living during night time to cause mischief or harm to people. They believed that the noise created by bells will produce unpleasant sounds that would deter demons from coming near. This idea became vital during days following harvest or a great hunt where winter supplies have to be taken cared of to last them throughout winter until the spring days come.

With the spread of Christianity, most of these practices have been christened in Jesus’ name. The pagans who were converted to Christianity easily associated the idea of eradicating wickedness with Jesus as the savior, they attached the practice of ringing of bells with the birth of Christ. For those who believed in him, the advent of Christ into the world through his lowly birth in Bethlehem’s stable had forever drove out the evil spirits. This idea helped the believers’ transition smoothly into the Christian faith while preserving their practice. Churches have been built to have belfries for the bells to be heard by a lot of people as a sign of celebration and festivities of the town or the village.

In time, smaller bells went on to be cheap instruments that one can carry when going out to sing carols and some songs have even been sang about it!

The jingling of bells gives people a warm memory of the Christmas season.

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