20 FUN FACTS ABOUT CHRISTMAS… that maybe you didn’t know.
- ¿A Christmas icon? There are many others besides Santa! In Italy, for example, an enchanting witch named La Befana is reported to fly around on a broomstick bringing presents to children! In Iceland, youngsters place shoes under the window for the Yule Lads, a group of 13 mischievous trolls.There ‘s also the Dueshka Moroz (‘Padre Frost’) in Russia, Kriss Kringle in Alemania and Père Noel in France.
- St. Nicholas is Santa’s original ancestor, the unmatched bringer of gifts, celebrated on December 6th. The saint took on some aspects of earlier European deities such as the Roman Saturn and the Norse Odin, who appeared as white-bearded men with magical powers such as flying.
- The Christmas stockings originated from the Dutch custom of placing shoes full of food for Saint Nicholas’ donkey, which would thereafter be filled with little presents from Saint Nicholas.
- During the Christmas season, 28 LEGO games are sold per second, about $6 million is spent on ugly Christmas sweaters, and more than 1.76 billion candy canes are manufactured.
- Children in the United States who send letters to Santa Clause get them at Santa Claus, Indiana. It is a village about 6,000 kilometers south of the North Pole, whose volunteers respond to letters sent by children and adults. Also, if the zip code is HOH OHO (“Ho, Ho, Ho”), letters to Santa Clause from millions of children throughout the world are delivered to a Canadian post office.
- If you really like recycling, you can actually eat your Christmas tree! Needles provide vitamin C. You can also eat pine nuts, if your tree comes with pineapples! Some Christmas trees become food for zoo animals.
- The Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, first held in 1570, is one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe and aims to be the largest in Europe. It sells gluhwein (spicy wine), sweets, sausages and Christmas ornaments.
8. The term Noel derives from the Latin word natalis, which means “day of birth.”
9. ‘Jingle Bells,’ originally titled ‘One Horse Open Sleigh,’ was written in Massachusetts by James Pierpont as a Thanksgiving song and was the first song sung in space by astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra on December 15, 1965.
10. Rudolph the Reindeer was created by the U.S. Montgomery Ward department store. For the kids to buy Christmas coloring books, however, his nose wasn’t red because they didn’t want him to look like a chronic alcoholic.
11. You can eat more than 7,000 calories at Christmas if you add meat, dressing, mashed potatoes, other toppings, cake, nougat, rolls and drinks.
12. In 1901 U.S president Roosevelt banned the Christmas tree in the White House due to environmental concerns, but his sons decorated a little tree cut into the White House grounds and hid it in a closet until Christmas morning.
13. Since 1947, Norway has donated a tree to Britain to thank it for its support during World War II. The chosen tree is carried to the UK by boat and then transported by lorry.The Poetry Society commissions a poem on the Oslo Christmas Tree every year. It is intended for children and is normally recited at the tree-lighting ceremony. The spruce will be chopped and composted after being in Trafalgar Square until the first week of January.
14. The greatest Christmas gift ever delivered is the imposing Statue of Liberty, which was given by the French government to the people of the United States on December 25, 1886.
15. The rounded shape of mistletoe crowns symbolizes eternity, which has neither beginning or end. It is also thought to represent Christ’s crown of thorns, and the red berries as the blood he shed during his Passion. Their origins are Celtic, and it was utilized to protect the home from evil outside.
16. Traditional crystal balls are one of the most recognizable Christmas tree decorations. Its origins may be traced back more than two centuries to the people of Bohemia, Germany. At the time, glass blowers fought to make the ball larger, discarding any that did not meet their standards. The women then rescued them and adorned their Christmas doorways with them.
17. According to popular beliefs, brand new shoes on Christmas day is bad luck. Even in Greece many people burn their old shoes on Christmas Day, as a ritual of good omen for the coming year.
18. Eating cake is one of the most current Christmas customs. This is an Anglo-Saxon superstition that states that having cake at Christmas supper keeps us from losing a friend the following year.
19. The icon of Santa Claus in the Coca-Cola ads does not form the origin of the image of Santa. The reality is that the image of Santa Claus is more of a figure that has evolved over time, shaped by writers, artists and even historians. Thus, the images of the well-known fat and bearded man in a red suit appeared in magazines, posters and advertisements long before the joyful portrait of this well-known brand of soft drinks.
20. Christmas colors include green, red, and gold. Green represents life since it is the color of young leaves; red symbolizes Christ’s blood; and gold represents riches, majesty, and brightness.