Christmas is the ‘season to be jolly’, a time for rejoicing and celebration.Christmas is a very important festival in the Christian faith, attached with much fervor and worship but it is also a great occasion for enjoyment, particularly for children and the young generation.But the roots of Christmas celebration go back a long way, to the bleak and uncertain times faced by our ancestors especially during the severe winters. In the days when hunters hunted for food and braved the onslaught of the bitterly cold season when food was scarce, nights colder and longer and days shorter because of the Sun retreating to the poles from the Equator leaving the land with less sunlight. In anticipation of the Sun returning during Spring, the ‘Norsemen’ or people of Northern Europe worshipping the Sun referring to it as “Houl”. Probably, this is where the word ‘Yule’ originated from. They lit a special fire with special Hule logs to ward off winter’s darkness and bitter cold. That’s another reference to the now popular Yule Log Cake, which is a feature of every Christmas.The severe winters were particularly hard on livestock so the ancient people including pre-Roman Britons and much of Northern Europe fattened their livestock during the mid-Winter period, possibly around the beginning of Autumn. It would have been near impossible to keep all the livestock alive during the bitter winters so many of them were slaughtered and stored to be used as part of the festivities during Houl season. However, over time this resulted in a surfeit of food and that perhaps became one of the reasons for the extended partying that is associated with Christmas celebrations; a party season with no end!The legend of Santa ClausContrary to popular belief, Santa Claus, the round, white bearded, red suit with white fur trimming, gift-giving and sleigh riding individual was not an advertising strategy put out by one cold drink company, although their marked campaigns during the 1930s and 40s were singularly effective in popularizing the image. The history of Santa Claus goes back to the early 1800s when Clement Moore’s ‘A Visit from St Nicholas’ and later artist Thomas Nast and then later Norman Rockwell’s creations went through a series of disguises before settling on the iconic red suit and bearded countenance.The name Santa Claus is rooted in the informal reference by the Dutch to St. Nicholas or Sint Nikolaas, which became shortened to Sinterklaas. St. Nicholas was a 4th century saint from ancient Greece, who legend believes was known for ‘secret gift-giving’ to people in poverty and need. He is said to leave coins in old shoes left out for him.In later years, there are references to St. Nicholas around 1294 from Novgorod churches, where he was the patron saint of children. As we can see, there are enough parallels to draw from for modern-day Christmas celebrations. The Dutch ‘Sinterklaas’ is believed to visit homes in the dead of night, riding a huge white horse over rooftops and helped by his mischievous band of people who listened through chimney tops to see if the children had been good or bad. The references also link Sinterklaas to the legend of Odin, a popularly worshipped God worshipped in western and northern Europe before Christianity emerged as a single unifying faith.Ultimately, German and Norse legends combined to create the sleigh riding ‘Saint Nicholas and his favorite reindeer Rudolph’! During the Middle Ages and the reformation in the 16th century, the celebrations of ‘Sinterklaas’ died down except for Holland.
Who uses snake repellers?Snake repellers keep homes and other designated areas snake free and safe. There are a variety of snake repellers on the market that effectively remove snakes from locations they are not wanted. There are environmentally friendly repellers, natural repellers, homemade repellers, electronic repellers, chemical repellers and simple constructions like fences that are used to keep snakes off property. These repellers work by generating odors, feelings, sounds or smells that make the snake feel uncomfortable in the area so that they go elsewhere. In areas where snakes are pests, there are many different types of repellers, not only because the snakes react differently to different stimuli but also because there are several different types of users. These include:The FarmerThe main aim of the farmer is to take care of his livestock and snakes threaten the sustainability of the livestock and to a greater extent the livelihood of the farmer. Snakes will eat eggs and smaller animals and some snakes can emit deadly poison that can kill very large animals. Snakes make homes in tall grass and in cozy areas on a farm where they are not easily seen and come out to feed. Losing livestock to snakes means a loss of income and so farmers will gout of their way to get the best in snake repellers to protect their investment. They usually use fences and electronic devices to keep snakes at bay.The environmentally friendlyThe environmentally friendly person would want to keep the snake away from their property without harming the snake or upsetting the processes of nature in any other way. They want to repel the snake just as much as the next person but they prefer to use natural elements to influence the activities of the snake. The urine or feces of predators are used to make snakes think that there is a predator in the area and make them go in another direction. This does not always work and is sometimes reinforced by electronic devices the emit pulses that gives the snake the same impression that makes them afraid to enter the area.The Home makerThe home maker is tired of cleaning up after snakes and sacred of attacks on children and pets. They reduce the bushes in the yard and ensure that the grass is cut low to ensure the snake cannot find a place to hide. The home maker would be more inclined to use chemicals like mothball flakes and sulfur to ward off snakes.The property owner or caretakerHaving a property with snakes devalues the property and does not do much for it aesthetically either. The caretaker will want to have a pristine looking property with no predators or pests. Therefore they will stop at nothing to keep snakes out. The property owner or caretaker will ensure that the grass is cut to prevent snakes from hiding and nesting on the property, they will put up fences to keep snakes out, they may use electronic devices to redirect snake and as an additional precaution they will use chemicals to eliminate the pest nuisance.The type of environment is a definite indicator of what type of snake repeller will be used to get rid of snakes from properties. The preference of the individual is a major deciding factor also. Some persons have their own personal beliefs and agenda in addition to their need to get rid of the snakes. This coupled with the state of the infestation and the type of property ultimately determines the type of action the user will take.