Friday, December 19, 2008

only 6 more sleeps!

Advent Calendar - December 19

Christmas Fact:
Angels played a big part in the first Christmas. And what do angels actually look like? Opinions about that have changed over the centuries:

The very first depictions of angels date back to the time of the Roman Empire. Early Christian paintings of angels rendered them as ordinary men rather than as winged, spiritual beings. Some artists, however, garbed their angels in white robes, resembling a Roman senator’s toga, in order to symbolize their power and dignity. . . . By the fifth century Christian artists from the Byzantine Empire began to depict angels with a disk of light, called a nimbus, behind their heads.

In medieval times most western European artists portrayed angels as masculine in face and form. This trend reversed itself from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries. After that time western European angels acquired softer, more feminine or androgynous looks. Sometimes they appeared as chubby children or toddlers. Artists often depicted angels with harps or other musical instruments. These emblems signify what some consider to be the primary occupation of angels – praising God.

Encyclopedia of Christmas, pp. 27,28

Lots of links to angel craft projects here and here.

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