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Christmas falls near the time of older pagan feasts. These feasts celebrated light over darkness at the winter solstice. The Celts and Romans both believed that evergreens such as Holly were sacred. Holly was especially prized because of its shiny leaves and its ability to bear fruit in winter. The Romans used it to honour their god Saturn. The word holly is derived from the Saxon word 'holen' meaning holy. These festivals merged with Christian celebrations over the years.

17th Dec 2005 by Diane Earl

Biology, Science

Key Stages:
Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

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