Christmas is an international festival of gifts, food and goodwill. It’s a time when families come together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. But how much do you know about this famous holiday?
The name ‘Christmas’ comes from the old English phrase Cristes maesse, which means ‘Christ’s mass’. Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus on 25 December, although some Orthodox Christian groups also celebrate Christmas on 7 January.
In the UK, it’s common for families to enjoy a big meal on Christmas Day, including turkey or roast beef, with lots of vegetables and ‘all the trimmings’. It’s often followed by a dessert such as mince pies and chocolates.
Eggnog, a festive drink, has been around for thousands of years! Monks used to enjoy this alcoholic drink in medieval times.
Every single state in the US grows a Christmas tree! It’s believed that the tradition of decorating a Christmas tree started in Germany.
Tinsel has its roots in 1610, when it was first made of real silver!
Santa Claus didn’t always wear red, he originally wore green, purple or blue! However, when Coca Cola decided that they wanted him to match their brand colours he started wearing red.
It’s now a common practice for people to leave cookies and milk outside their homes for Santa Claus to have a snack on his way to your house! The idea is that he’ll have more energy to give out presents.
In the Netherlands and Germany, it’s a tradition for children to leave their shoes out on the night of Christmas. If they’re good, St. Nicholas will leave them a present. But if they’re naughty, he’ll leave them hay and carrot for the reindeer to eat!
The Grinch is a popular character that’s become deeply ingrained in our Christmas lore. He was created by Theodor Geisel, who also invented the classic ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ story.
Many of our Christmas traditions come from the history of winter solstice rituals and pagan festivals. These include mistletoe, which has been traditionally considered a symbol of love and good luck. It’s thought that kissing under the mistletoe will bring you luck in your love life!
Almost 28 Lego sets are sold each and every second during the Christmas season.
It’s a popular tradition for children to ask for Lego sets as presents. This is because it’s the perfect way for kids to have fun, learn and build.
Krampus is a demonic creature from Central Europe that punishes naughty children at Christmastime. He’s also the Austrian equivalent of getting coal in your stocking from Saint Nicholas!
There’s also a ‘feast’ for the reindeer on the evening of Christmas, where kids leave out their shoes filled with hay and carrots.
During the Middle Ages, there were a lot of traditions that reflected the Catholic faith, such as giving gifts to children and having them attend church. There were also a number of religious holidays that merged into Christmas, such as Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.