Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way;
Oh! what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.
Christmas is just knocking at the doors and it is time for celebrations. Millions around the world are prepping themselves up for this much-awaited time of the year when there is boundless fun, food, drinks and more… But the question is, did you ever try finding out facts behind this enormously popular festival? Here is your chance to learn 30 interesting Christmas facts that you and most of us were probably unaware of. Let’s begin!
Interesting Christmas Facts: 1-10
1. Two words – Christ’s Mass are the sources of the word Christmas. Christmas in Old English was referred to as Cristesmæsse, which in modern English literally translates into Christian Mass.
2. Whenever the word Christmas comes to our minds, one name that we invariably think of is Santa Claus but there are other popular names too!
3. Most popular of them is Saint Nicholas. The other two popular Christmas figures are Father Christmas and Christkind.
4. Christmas holidays were referred to as ‘nativity’ and ‘midwinter’ by the Anglo-Saxons.
5. Edward Johnson was the person who first invented the Christmas lights in year 1882.
6. Christmas caroling is a very old custom and originated as old English custom. Christmas caroling was originally a toast to long life and was known as wassailing.
7. Dutch customs gave birth to the stockings hanging tradition. Dutch people originally used to put food in shoes for the donkey of Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas in return used to leave small gifts as a gesture of appreciation.
8. 13th century saw the birth of the Christmas carol singing custom in churches. It was St. Francis of Assisi who started this tradition.
9. In 12th century, socks filled with nuts were left at the doorsteps of poor people by nuns. The nuns also used to stuff the socks with tangerines and fruits. This gave birth to the tradition of stuffing tangerines in socks.
10. If ever Santa actually tried to visit every home at Christmas Eve, he would have to visit a minimum of 822 homes per second.
Interesting Christmas Facts: 11-20
11. The largest ever Christmas tree to have been put on display was in Washington Mall in the year 1950. The tree was a staggering 221 feet high!
12. Maine was the place where world’s tallest snowman was built. The snowman was 113 feet tall.
13. Santa Claus is known by different names in different countries. In France he goes by the name Pere Noel. In Germany people call him as Kriss Kringle and his Italian name is Le Befana.
14. In 1857 James Pierpont wrote the famed Jingle Bells. Funny fact is that it was actually composed for Thanks Giving and not for Christmas. The original name of Jingle Bells was ‘One Horse Open Sleigh’.
15. Several decorative items are used during Christmas. Most popular of them is the Christmas tree. Did you know that Europe grows 60 million trees a year just for selling them on Christmas? In US, 25-30 million real Christmas trees are sold every year!
16. Did you know that America once tried to give Thanks Giving Day and not Christmas the fame of being the most important festival of the year?
17. The names of the 8 original reindeers of Santa are Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder and Blixem. Rudolph came in last!
18. English parliament in 1647 passed a law which made Christmas illegal!
19. Santa wearing a red coat (as depicted today) is only a recent development and was standardized on in 1920s. Prior to this Santa wore purple, blue and green coats.
20. Turkey was not always the traditional food during Christmas. Before turkey became a standard food, people used to enjoy boars, peacock, goose and swan!
Interesting Christmas Facts: 21-30
21. In America, Christmas was standardized as a national holiday on June 26, 1870.
22. Brace yourselves for the ‘yuk’ moment! In early England, the traditional Christmas dinner was a pig head prepared using mustard.
23. Christmas turkeys are wrapped in aluminum foil. Nearly 3,000 tons of aluminum foils are used for this purpose every year.
24. The first ever Christmas card that was created was in England in year 1842. The date was December 9.
25. A Christmas wreath that hangs on the front door is a welcome sign and symbolic to long life to those who enter through the door.
26. In UK, Christmas tree became popular only from 1841 when Prince Albert, following a German tradition, erected a tree in the famed Windsor Castle.
27. The day after Christmas is the Boxing Day. Well, boxing here has nothing to do with the boxing sport. It is so called because on 25th December, money and Christmas gifts are collected in church boxes.
28. December 25 was declared as official Christmas by Pope Julius I in 4th century.
29. The first US state where Christmas was officially declared as a legal holiday was Alabama. This was done in year 1836.
30. Kissing under mistletoe dates is a custom that originated in 17th century England. For every kiss, a berry was removed. No berries meant no kisses.