December 27, 2012

Petula Dvorak’s Dec. 25 Metro column, “Christmas for many faiths,” was welcome for its advocacy of religious tolerance, especially in this holiday season. But Ms. Dvorak did not mention the most obvious reason for good fellowship: the pre-Christian celebration for centuries in connection with the return of the sun. The Romans called it Saturnalia, and it featured much revelry, but it must have been an even bigger event in Northern Europe, where the sun practically disappears by late December.

We all share the sun, and religion has nothing to do with that — except among those few who still worship a sun god. So we can go back in our thinking to the days before Christians stole the celebration from us heathens and wish a Happy Solstice to everybody without giving offense.

Alan E. Johnsrud, Arlington

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