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The Bells of Christmas

Why Bells??

Bells announce the coming or arrival of an event, activity, or occasion. They toll for good times. They toll for bad times. They ring out warnings. Bells herald in the New Year. Bells are rung to announce the union of a man and a woman. They are rung during Christmas to announce the arrival of the season, to proclaim the birth of Christ.

Ringing of bells can be traced back to pagan winter celebrations. During those times, noisemakers were used to scare away evil spirits in the night. Among those early noisemakers were bells. People had fun ringing the bells and making noise. It was too much fun to just use bells to scare demons away. So over time, bell ringing was incorporated into other events and activities. Bells are rung at churches to call people to gather, as warnings, and to bring people together to make announcements.

From these ancient roots, the ringing of bells began to be used in the Christian Christmas season. The soft, cheerful tones blended well and enhanced the sounds of the season. Today, they play an important, traditional role during the holiday.


More Information:

Christmas Bells a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, written during the Civil War.


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