12 Days of Christmas: 'Kwanzaa is close to our hearts' - Tony Rebel says no to Santa Clause
Many Jamaicans revel in the Christmas season by going on shopping sprees and running up their electricity bills by stringing their domiciles with pepper lights. But there are also many others who don't get into the 'silly season' at all. In particular, some Rastafarians do not embrace the Yuletide festivities, labelling it pagan. Reggae music stalwart Tony Rebel told us why.
"I don't celebrate it, because from I reading Bible - I don't see the word. If you look in your Bible, you never see the word 'Christmas'. What does that mean? It means mass of Christ. But when you look around, you see Christ less in that time of year," Tony Rebel told THE WEEKEND STAR.
The Bible Chant singer posited that the holidays force people to consume products en mass - that they don't really want or need. "So when January come, you still have those leftovers. Somebody tricking yuh!"
Instead, Tony Rebel suggested Kwanzaa as an acceptable alternative tradition.
"Kwanzaa begins when Christmas ends. It actually starts on the 26th and ends on January 1st - seven days of celebration. On the final day, it's a day of giving gifts. It has the same 'mass' element of gifts - not really a Santa Claus. 'Cause we bun Santa!" he exclaimed.
"Kwanzaa is close to our heart," said of the period used to celebrate African cultural heritage and traditional values.
Speaking of Christmas, Tony Rebel said: "It's a European celebration for the 'SUN' god - until they converted into the SON of God. Plus them lie to us that "man will live forever more, because of Christmas Day. Where dem get that from? If the Bible is the guideline throughout your Christianity, why I don't see it in there?"
"And how you seh when Jesus was born - shepherds were in the field watching their flock by night. Dat never happen inna dem place deh inna Israel. The latest shepherds would be out in the field watching their flock by night is maybe until October 18th, because it would be a rainy and cold time! It could not be that time. So somebody's lying. Because of that, we don't deal with none of them celebrations deh," the singer rationalised.
Regardless of his belief, the season is a fruitful one for Tony Rebel. As a successful reggae artiste, many holiday seasons find the entertainer on the road - unable to participate in any kind of celebrations anyway.
"Those are times when people having celebrations and hire me," he said.