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Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Trivia

Christmas is one of the important Christian festivals, celebrated with great fanfare across different countries of the world. The festival, which commemorates the birth of Lord Jesus, brings with it good cheers that are spread. People living in different corners of the world would make it a point to visit their hometown, to celebrate the auspicious occasion with their loved ones. Although seasonal rush in shops and hospitality industry is customary, but when it comes to Christmas, the rush is at its maximum. Such is the importance of the festive season. While majority of us are well aware of the importance of the festival and the popular legends associated with it, there are many interesting facts that are little known. In the article, we have compiled a list of Christmas trivia.

Interesting & Fun Facts About Christmas
  • The Christian church fixed 25 December in 440 AD as the day for the celebration of Christmas.
  • The word 'Christmas is an old English word and is a contracted version of 'Christ's Mass'.
  • The word 'X-Mas' is derived from Greek, because in Greek, 'X' symbolizes Christ.
  • The tradition of ringing church bells on Christmas morning dates back to the medieval times. The ringing bells symbolize the birth of Jesus Christ.
  • The tradition of gift-giving during Christmas has originated from the legendary characters of the Three Wise Men, who brought presents to Jesus, when he was born.
  • Many people believe that the legendary character Santa Claus is based on a real person named St. Nicholas. It is also believed that St. Nicholas brings in Christmas gifts, on the Eve of the festival.
  • According to the legends, St. Nicholas lived in 4th century AD. The Christian leader was very shy. He wanted to help the poor and the needy, therefore the decided to give money to them in secrecy.
  • Franklin Pierce was the first US President to decorate the White House with a beautifully adorned Christmas Tree.
  • The tradition of eating turkey on Christmas Day can be traced back to the Tudor Times and the reign of Henry VIII. He was the first man to eat turkey on the auspicious occasion.
  • While people generally greet each other by saying 'Merry Christmas', some priests in Australia prefer believe that one should say 'Happy Christmas', because the word 'Merry' has connotations of 'getting drunk'.
  • Christmas cards were invented in 1843, a period of the Victorian Era.
  • Alabama was the first state to declare Christmas as an official holiday. It was recognized as a national holiday in America on June 26, 1870.
  • Poinsettia, the popular Christmas plant, reached the United States from Mexico in 1880s. The plant was named after Joel Poinsett.
  • People began to make use of electric lights for their Christmas tree, in 1895.
  • Rudolph, the legendary reindeer of Santa Claus, was a creation of Montgomery Ward. He created it for the purpose of a holiday promotion, in the late 1930s.
  • The world's tallest Christmas tree was erected in America, in 1950. The tree was as high as 76 m.
  • Candy canes, one of the popular sweet treats used for Christmas, originally were straight white sticks of sugar candy. They were used as an embellishment for Christmas tree. The ends of the candy were bent by Cologne Cathedral, to symbolize shepherd's crook. The candy canes were given red stripes only in 20th century.
  • Although 'Jingle Bells' was first written for Thanksgiving, it gained immense popularity as a song associated with the celebration of Christmas.
  • Holly berries, the berries traditionally used for decorating Christmas mistletoe and wreath, are actually poisonous. On the other hand, poinsettia plants that are believed as poisonous are non-toxic.
  • Holy represents the crown worn by Lord Jesus Christ, when he was crucified and the red color of the berries represents his blood.
  • Christmas is the season, when the world witnesses the maximum sale of diamonds.
  • Every year, during the Christmas season, more than a billion cards are sold in UK.
  • Christmas stockings were first hung in southern Europe.
  • In some parts of the world, banana trees are decorated at Christmas time, due to the unavailability of the original Christmas tree.
  • Original Christmas trees are grown predominantly in Alaska and Hawaii. All around the world, as much as 1000000 acres of land have been planted with Christmas trees.
  • The majority of artificial Christmas trees are manufactured in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea.

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