Christmas Facts You Would Love to Share & Enjoy
Christmas is the holiday season that is celebrated all over the world. Christmas celebrates the anniversary of the birth of Lord Jesus. On this day, people celebrate by spending time with family, giving presents to each other and attending mass at churches. Christmas trivia includes elements that you would have otherwise overlooked or ignored.
Sprigs of mistletoe are usually hung in houses during Christmas. Do you know where the word comes from and what it means? Long ago, people noticed that a certain fern grew from bird droppings on the branches of trees. The word therefore comes from the Anglo-Saxon “missel” meaning dung and “tan” meaning twig.
Another bit of trivia is about a custom that originated in England. Young girls would take leaves of mistletoe and put them under their pillows and dream about the boy that they wanted to marry. The next morning, the girls would burn the leaves. If they crackled while burning, then the girls would have an unhappy marriage otherwise, they would have a smooth sailing marriage with the one that they love.
A lot of people don’t really like using the term ‘Xmas’ and some even get offended by it. But the ‘X’ in Xmas actually comes from the Greek letter ‘chi’ which happens to be the first letter in Christ. ‘???st??’ is Christ’s name in Greek and therefore, Xmas is considered similar to Christmas.
In 1644, Christmas was banned in England. Shops were open for business and people were to fast all day. From 1659 to 1681, Christmas was also banned in Boston, US.
The Legend of The Dead Children
Saint Nicholas is said to be the patron saint of children and he even brought three children back to life. It is said that three children were murdered and pickled in brine when they stayed over at the house of a butcher. The butcher gutted and killed them and wanted to sell their remains as pork. Saint Nicholas, who happened to pass by, brought the kids back to life. Sometimes, you might see a painting of Saint Nicholas with children standing in tubs, and now you know why! This legend is also a part of the French Song “La Legende de Saint Nicolas”.
During Christmas, we have people knocking on our doors and singing carols. Popular called caroling, it is also called wassailing. However, originally, wassailers were more like an angry mob. They went around knocking on peoples’ doors and after singing, they demanded compensation. If the owner refused, these people would invariably threaten them, direct curses at them and sometimes, even vandalize homes. Today however, it’s a different concept altogether.
Saint Francis and The Nativity Figurines
Saint Francis was the saint who was said to have great control over animals. He is said to have travelled to the Middle East to convert the Muslims. In the 13th century, Saint Francis was the person who actually invented the nativity sets that are now an indispensable part of Christmas celebrations worldwide.
In 1939, Robert L. May, who was a copywriter for the Montgomery Ward Company, created the legendary reindeer, Rudolph. Robert L. May created a reindeer that didn’t have any friends and had a shiny red nose. This gifted reindeer was chosen by Santa on a foggy night to help light up the path. May was credited for having designed the skeleton of Rudolph for marketing purposes and even tested this design on his daughter.
Did you Know?
- Christmas is associated with traditional folklore and the legends of Santa. However, there is a lot more to the festival than just the story of Santa Claus and his reindeers. With this Christmas trivia, you now know a lot more about the festival and its origins.
- “The Nutcracker” is the most famous Christmas ballet.
- The word Christmas is a contraction of Christ’s Mass.
- Germany made the first artificial Christmas trees. They made it from painted green goose feathers.
- “Jingle Bells” was originally written for Thanksgiving.
- President Franklin Pierce was the first one to decorate a Christmas tree in the White House.
- The first postage stamp that commemorated Christmas was issued in Austria in 1937.
- Mexicans call the poinsettia flower the “Flower of the Holy Night”; Holy Night is the Mexican word for Christmas Eve.
- The names of Santa’s reindeers are – Dancer, Dasher, Comet, Prancer, Vixen, Cupid, Donner, Rudolph and Blitzen.