Christmas traditions: Five surprising things to know
Stringing of the christmas lights, kissing under the mistletoe and santa Claus coming down the chimney; you may know the Christmas traditions, but do you know how they started?
Santa claus, Christmas trees and the colors red and green are examples of improper “religious iconography” during the holidays, according to a paper handed out during a “Respect Religious Diversity” event at the University of Minnesota.
“Jewish Hanukkah” is addressed, also with menorahs and blue and white colors also described as being “not appropriate.”
“Consider neutral-themed parties such as winter party,'” the handout read. “Decorations, music, and food should be general and not specific to one religion.”
It was part of a Dean’s Dialogues “Religious Diversity and public Holidays” event in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Sciences, earlier this month, and was first reported on by the board.
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“Our religious/spiritual beliefs and practices can play an important role in our identity, but can be ‘off limits’ for discussion, especially in public spaces,” a part of the event description read.
The controversial hand-out mentioned about a dozen items “not suitable for meetings and shows in this time of the year because they usually represent specific religious iconography.”
The U of M (@UMNews) shared this letter with a number of teachers and students and employees this week, with The colors red and green, blue and white/silver verboten during the “winter celebration” period. Images of Santa, wrapped gifts, and clocks are also considered to be “religious iconography.” #BahHumbug pic.twitter.com/sxzqDXLLqY
— Jon Miltimore (@miltimore79) December 14, 2017
These items are the bows, angels, Christmas trees, dreidels, nativity scenes, wrapped gifts, menorahs, bells, birds, Santa Claus, and the Star of Bethlehem. Also mentioned avoiding the colors red and green for the connection of the “Christian tradition” and in the blue and white for the connection of the “Jewish Hanukkah.”
Students were encouraged to report a bias incident of “inappropriate religious celebrations in your work or learning environment” to the Office of Equal Opportunity and affirmative Action.
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The document is a “conversation piece, to facilitate dialogue on a voluntary, internal college event in the respect of the religious diversity in the workplace,” university spokesperson, Emma Bauer, told Fox News.
While the hand-out refers to EOAA to as “us,” Bauer said that it does not match with the university, EOAA or CFANS official guidelines.
Colleges across the country, including the University of Minnesota, have guidelines prohibiting Christmas-related items – Santa, Jesus, in the name of inclusiveness.
Caleb Parke is an associate editor for FoxNews.com. You can follow him on Twitter @calebparke