cut above the rest

Saturday, December 30, 2006

christmas bells

Bells announce the start of an event, activity or occasion. They toll to signify good or even bad times.

Ringing of bells can be traced a long time back, to pagan winter celebrations. Noisemakers were used to scare away evil spirits in the night.
Among those were the bells. They could be easily obtained or made and everyone had the know-how. It was believed that with the outset of winter, evil spirits would move around to bring harm. So during the dark days after the harvest or the hunt, people would engage in ceremonies to keep bad things from happening to them, while they waited for spring and warmer days. It can be safely presumed that people had such fun ringing the bells and making noise that it was incorporated into other events and activities.

From these ancient roots, the ringing of bells was carried over into the Christian Christmas season. The soft, cheerful tones blended well and enhanced the sounds of the season. Bells are also used to announce the union of a man and a woman. They are rung in churches to call people to gather, as warnings and to bring people together to make announcements. They also herald in the New Year. For centuries now, the bells of churches in every land have rung the glad news of the birth of Jesus. These bells would ring for an hour before midnight on Christmas Eve as if to warn the powers of darkness of the approaching birth of the Saviour. Then, right at midnight, they would change to a joyous pealing, ringing out the announcement, ‘Christ is born’.

The movie, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ made popular the quote ‘Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings’. But over a hundred years ago, this was a very common saying amongst kids.Back in those days, kids believed that making noise was just as much a part of Christmas as anything else. And bells came in handy. The bright and cheery sound of the bells was also acceptable to parents as proper tools to celebrate and make noise at Christmas. Bells were inexpensive musical instruments and so people could easily carry them while caroling or wassailing and almost every family had one or more.

And bells have always had a place in Christmas songs. The famous Christmas hymn ‘Christmas Carol’ comes from the poem, ‘I Heard the Bells of Christmas’ written by H.W.Longfellow on December 25, 1864. The poem is actually about the tragedy of the Civil War and my favourite stanza of the poem is
“God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail
With peace on earth, goodwill to men!”

Christmas bells also feature in classic holiday songs such as ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘Silver Bells’ and ‘Christmas Bells are ringing’.
This thus is the significance and beauty of Christmas Bells.

So keep ringing bells through Christmas into the New Year, for a joyful and fun filled year.


  • these bells are simply great to hear ... however its great to know that it can scare evil ..very nice and informative post

    By Blogger ankurindia, at 10:00 AM  

  • Thank u and welcome to the blog.

    By Blogger rowdyrascal, at 4:30 AM  

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