hristmas time is here! But Xmas is more than just gifts and caroling. There are plenty of traditions and background for this holiday season. Let’s discover together the origin of Christmas and 15 interesting facts about the jolliest time of the year. If you love Christmas time and can’t get enough jingles and cozy family moments, we bring you 15 fascinating facts about Xmas and some cool pointers about its origin!
The Origin of Christmas
The term Christmas comes from the words Christ’s Mass, and it’s the religious celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The gospels didn’t describe a specific date for this birth, so the 25th of December was selected for a series of reasons. This is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year.
Since Jesus is represented as the Sun of Righteousness, this makes symbolic sense. His arrival marks the steady lengthening of the daytime hours and the number of hours the sun remains upon the sky.
In the gospels, the birth of Jesus is narrated. He is born in Bethlehem to Virgin Mary, with Joseph as his stepfather. Mary gave birth in a manger and visited by three wise men following a star leading them to the baby.
Further research on the origin of Christmas revealed Christmas wasn’t officially celebrated until the year 336, in Rome. Throughout history, there have been periods when it didn’t hold a good reputation. Puritans forbade it from 1659 to 1682, believing it was associated with drunkness and arguing that it wasn’t mentioned in the sculptures. There was even a fine for those who chose to celebrate it.
Fortunately, authors such as Charles Dickens gave it the festive and wholesome status it holds nowadays.
Keep Reading: The Origin of Christmas and 15 Fascinating Facts You Probably Never Knew
15 Fascinating Facts About Christmas
- The traditional colors associated with Christmas have a symbology of their own. Green represents rebirth and the beginning of a new life; red stands of the blood of the savior and the gold is a symbol of the star that guided the three wise men, as well as light and royalty.
- The Santa Claus we know in modern times didn’t always look the way it does today. He wore different clothes in several depictions and was based on the real Saint Nicholas of Myra. He was a pious man who donated his entire inheritance to help the poor and was well known for his love of children. Coca-Cola was the one who commissioned the red-suited Santa Claus in 1931 to cartoonist Thomas Nast. He gave Santa his characteristic red suit and thick beard.
- The tradition to leave Santa milk and cookies came from the Dutch: Children used to leave food and drinks for Saint Nicholas during his feast day.
- Though Santa is supposed to deliver gifts to all the children in the world in a single night, the math makes it even harder than you’d imagine this feat being. He should reach 822 per second, and travel at 39000 miles a minute to reach his goal in time.
- The most popular Christmas jingle ever sang was Bing Crosby’s White Christmas, which managed to sell over 50 million copies around the world since it was first released in 1942.
- The U.S. military radar that works as Santa’s official tracker began with a typo in an ad. In 1955, Sears published a number where children could call Santa. By mistake, it led instead to a general’s personal line at the Pentagon. This turned into a yearly tradition, where the Pentagon officially tracks Santa’s sleigh as it delivers his gifts across the world.
- One of the most popular Christmas stories in the world, A Christmas Carol, has 202 reported film adaptations. This figure doesn’t take into account the multiple times it was featured as a plot for an episode in almost all of your favorite tv shows.
- The X in the abbreviation Xmas actually comes from the Greek language. In it, the first letter of Jesus’ name is an X.
- Though this is a religious holiday, many of those who celebrate it in the US aren’t Christian. It’s considered that 95% of Americans celebrate this joyous day, but only 51% actually go to church during the festivities.
- Not all of the US states declared Christmas a legal holiday at the same time. Alabama was the first one to do so, in 1836, and Oklahoma was the last one, in 1907.
- Christmas is not without accidents: Apparently, over 14700 people in the US alone are taken to the Emergency room each December due to accidents related to decorating their house for the festivities.
- While Santa Claus brings gifts to good kids, there is a dark European myth that deals with naughty kids. The Krampus, which can be translated as the claw, follows Santa around and punishes bad kids. He kidnaps, beats and sometimes even beats those children who didn’t behave through the year.
- Though Christmas is all about joy and love, it’s also the time of the year where most couples break up, according to a facebook study. It could have to do with the stress of the season, or maybe people just don’t want to buy presents, who knows?
- Rudolf the reindeer almost didn’t have a red nose. People were worried he’d be perceived as being an alcoholic. In the end, Montgomery Ward, the store that commissioned its creation, was convinced to accept this trait by its creator, Robert L. May.
- Even during wartime, Christmas manages to bring people together. In 1914, during WWI, Germany and the UK decided to call a truce. Soldiers from both sides of the trenches came together to play a game of football and offer gifts to one another. It was a warm moment in an otherwise grim period of history.
Now you have the Origin of Christmas and 15 fascinating facts to impress your friends and family this holiday season. Also, the following article discusses 12 Fun Family Christmas Traditions From Around The World.
We hope you enjoy a merry Christmas, find lots of gifts under your tree and spread love and joy to everyone you know.
Merry Christmas and happy new year to you!