by Abby Westover
Long ago people believed that they could use bells to frighten away evil spirits. Bells were a simple form of noisemaking. They could be easily obtained or made and everyone knew how to use them. Many people thought that as winter began, evil spirits would come to harm them. 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.
The tradition of using noisemakers like bells during these times carried over into the celebration of Christmas. But instead of making noise to keep away evil things, people made noise to celebrate something happy.
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