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The time of year has come again where so many of us adopt behaviours and rituals which we have done all our lives, yet few ever question the origins, or symbolic meanings of these gestures.

Guesting is prolific researcher and author (and curator of the annual Glastonbury Symposium) Andy Thomas, who expands upon the contents of his book ‘Christmas: A Short History From Solstice to Santa.’

Along the way he gets into various aspects of the Christmas experience and examines their roots – Astrotheology and Pagan/druidic practices to mark the winter solstice; the Norse tradition of Yule; the Roman Festival of Saturnalia; the real origins of the figure known as Father Christmas; why kissing gets done under mistletoe; why Christmas was officially banned in the Middle Ages; how Christmas trees came to be part of the tradition in the Victorian era, and more.

All of Andy’s work can be found at


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