In the past few weeks, we have been inundated with memes, billboards and other images that are all shouting “Jesus is the Reason for the Season”. However, there are a couple of problems with this and those are that nobody knows the actual day of the year of Jesus’ birth and — based on the Bible account — Jesus was born when the shepherds were “guarding their flocks by night” (which doesn’t happen in winter in Israel even now). I propose that we instead remember Helios and Hestia at this time. Helios because he is the Titan God of the Sun and Hestia because she is the Olympian Goddess of the Hearth are more appropriate to the family celebrations surrounding the Solstice (either winter in the Northern Hemisphere or summer in the Southern).
The ancient peoples around the world were not silly or stupid to emphasize family traditions in the harsh months of the year when it was more appropriate to stay close to the hearth. It is because of this that Hestia is one of the Gods that I consider to be part of the REAL “Reason for the Season” along with Helios because of the Sun’s annual journey through our skies to the north and south. The Sun appears to stand still in the sky at the solstices making this one of the days that many ancient cultures marked with celebrations, if their celebrations were not specifically tied to the agricultural year.
All Hail to Helios and Hestia! THEY are the real “Reason for the Season”!