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Christmas Traditions

jp1958, flickr

Have you ever wondered why we have certain traditions to go along with Christmas?  A lot of it has to do with our amazing country.  We are a melting pot of different ancestral backgrounds and our immigrant forefathers brought their own spin on December 25th.  Here are some interesting facts about Christmas.

  • In Greece, the first slice of their Christmas bread must go to the homeless
  • The German phrase ‘Christkindl’ translates to “Christ child,” and it eventually evolved into “Kris Kringle.”
  • Also in Germany, they believe people who haven’t sinned will witness a miracle on Christmas Eve
  • The candy cane represents two things, first is a shepherd’s hook and secondly the letter ‘J’.  Both represent Jesus and the red/white color symbolize the crucifixion.
  • Kiss under the mistletoe was brought over from Scandinavia.  It was believe that it was a symbol of healing and fertility.
  • The Yule Long is a slow burning wood and the Romans believed that by burning it in your home gave good luck.
  • Australian Santas are not allowed to say “ho, ho, ho” because it is thought to offend women.
  • Hungarians are not allowed to eat their Christmas meal until they see a twinkling star.
  • The Dutch version of Santa Claus is named ‘Sinterklaas’ and he fills the children’s wooden shoes with presents.
  • ‘Mos Craciun’ is the Romanian Santa and he also fills children’s shoes with gifts.
  • Mexican ‘Feliz Navidad’ has this crazy tradition, if you wear red underwear on Christmas you will find a new love in the coming year.
  • The poinsettia is from Mexico and is actually nontoxic
  • Russians tell the story of Babushka – and old woman who met the Wise Men on Christmas Eve, she also wanted to give baby Jesus a gift but by the time she got there they had already left.  They say she still is searching for Him.
  • The fabled ‘King Arthur’ pulled the famous sword from the stone on Christmas Day.
  • Queen Elizabeth I is believed to have served the first gingerbread men.
  • Christmas was originally called ‘Christ’s Mass’.
  • The term ‘Merry X-Mas’ is actually religious.  ‘X’ is a Greek Letter ‘chi’ which they use represent the name Christ.

 

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