One of my favorite times of the year, Christmas is well-known for its festivity. I love those soothing and fabulous sounds of Christmas songs, and those breathtakingly beautiful Christmas decorations. All these little things always put me in the festive spirit. Since I live a hectic and busy life, I rarely see my family and Christmas is a great opportunity for me to meet my family and friends and spend more time with them. I always enjoy learning some new and interesting facts about Christmas and I love telling my kids about them. Read on to find out 10 interesting and little-known facts about Christmas and be sure to pass them on and surprise your family and friends during your dinner.
1. Unlucky things
There are a few strange things that are considered to bring misfortune around Christmas season. For instance, it’s not lucky to cut the Christmas cake before Christmas Eve. It’s also unlucky to cut mince pies using a sharp knife, and eat this pie during Christmas. But it’s lucky to enjoy a mince pie each day during the twelve days of Christmas. Although I think these unlucky things are myths, I still believe in them. After all, it’s Christmas time, so everything is possible.
2. Burning a Yule log
Have you ever burned a Yule log on Christmas? This custom began with the ancient Scandinavians and it’s believed to bring good luck. Moreover, it’s believed that if you save the remnants of the log, you will have good luck the whole next year. I know many people who add the ashes from the Yule log to water to make it safer for drinking. Personally I have never tried to burn a Yule log on Christmas, but this year I will definitely try. I want to have a happy and successful year! I have lots of career plans and I hope this custom will help me. I also learned that people in many European countries believed that burning the Yule log brought beneficial magic and the log was kept burning for 12 hours and often 12 days, warming the house and people who lived in it. When the fire was quenched, people saved a little fragment of the wood and used it to light a Yule log of the next year. People believed that it would protect their houses from witchcraft.
3. Every Christmas people use 3000 tons of aluminium foil
It has been found that every Christmas we use about 3000 tons of aluminium foil to wrap turkeys and a great number of the other dishes that we put into the oven. Christmas dinner is a happy and important event for almost every person in the world, which is why a lot of cooking and baking is done each year, so it seems usual that we use so many aluminum foil. I don’t know about you, but the facts that we use 3000 tons of aluminium foil each Christmas astonished me. I didn’t expect to see such a great number!
4. It was once illegal to celebrate Christmas
Unbelievable! Can you imagine never celebrating Christmas? The thing is, from 1647 to 1660, it was illegal to celebrate Christmas in England. A leader of England, Oliver Cromwell thought it was immoral to eat and drink on Christmas Eve. He wanted people to think about the birth of Jesus on Christmas. In London, many soldiers went round the streets and took, by force, dishes being cooked for a Christmas dinner. All traditional Christmas decorations were banned, and if anyone showed any signs of celebrating Christmas, they were immediately arrested. For me, it’s really hard to believe!
5. Guard the brooms
Most Norwegians once believed that witches along with evil spirits came out on Christmas Eve to steal their brooms for riding. They hid their brooms as well as shovels and tongs so that evil spirits couldn’t steal or play with them. They also burned spruce logs to keep the witches away. They believed that the hot sparks rising up the chimney kept the witches and evil spirits from coming into the house. No one knows for sure whether this legend is true or not. I personally think that someone got together with their friends and simply stole their neighbors’ brooms. Maybe I’m wrong and it was true. Nevertheless, I don’t believe in this legend but my kids do, and it’s so funny to see them hiding our brooms and shovels on Christmas Eve.
6. Many diseases after Christmas are because of leftovers
Over 400,000 cases of diseases are caused by spoiled leftovers after Christmas dinner. I know it’s hard to throw away those leftovers, but do you really want to spend your holiday season in the emergency room? I usually allow my family to eat Christmas leftovers for a couple of days but then I throw them away. If you have a dog you can give him your Christmas leftovers. He will thank you!
7. Mistletoe and marriage
In the 18th century, if a man kissed a woman, it was a promise to marry. On Christmas a woman standing under a sprig of mistletoe couldn’t refuse the kiss. The kiss could also mean long-lasting friendship, great love, and goodwill. The myth about mistletoe states that if you don’t venture under mistletoe and don’t receive a kiss you will not get married in the next year. Though, nowadays it’s considered to be good luck to kiss your significant other under a sprig of the greenery, but it doesn’t mean that you will get married and be happy in your marriage. Many people believe that mistletoe is a symbol for joy and peace and it brings good luck, so why not have this greenery this Christmas?
8. Gifts for pets
A research shows that over half the American population buys their pets gifts and sings carols to them during Christmas season. I know many lonely people who always celebrate Christmas with their pets and they say they have lots of fun together. There are also many families who can’t imagine their Christmas dinner without their beloved pets. Pets are fantastic creatures that really mean a lot to their owners and most of us consider our pets to be our family members. My sister’s dogs get new sweaters every Christmas and my mom’s cats always get some new toys they like. My kids also sing carols to our cat Amanda and we always give her a special treat or gift.
9. Pig’s head
In early England, a pig’s head was the traditional main dish for Christmas dinner. This strange dish was served with a mustard sauce. I’m so happy that this tradition is gone. I can’t even imagine myself cooking this dish and my family eating it. I’m sure many of you will agree with me. I would much rather cook the honey glazed turkey for Christmas dinner. Although I’ve never eaten a pig’s head, I think a turkey is much more delicious than a pig’s head.
10. Christmas is the season to be elbowed
Christmas shopping is never an easy and fun experience, unless you do your shopping well in advance. It’s believed that you are elbowed about three times while you are doing the shopping during Christmas season. I believe that this number mostly depends on if the shopper is avid or not. If you fight with crowds of avid people in lines, you are going to get over three blows with an elbow. I hate to do my Christmas shopping the day before Christmas so I try to do it well in advance. Waiting in long lines, getting through a large group of people and hurry are not for me.
These are just a few incredible facts about Christmas. Some of them might seem weird these days, but I think it’s always interesting to learn something new. Christmas is the perfect time to make wonderful memories with family and friends and enjoy the festive spirit. What do you think about the facts about Christmas mentioned in this little article? Do you know any other facts? Please share them with us in the comments section.