With Christmas just around the corner, we thought we would round up some fun and magical facts about this time of year that you probably haven’t heard before. Consider it our yuletide gift to you – feel free to impress your colleagues and family with your festive knowledge!
1. Happy Birthday Jesus?
The Christian Church co-opted the winter pagan festivals that they disapproved of by declaring December 25 as Christ’s day of birth, though no one really knows when he was born.
2. Spider decorations
Spiders may seem an unlikely festive decoration, but in Polish legend a spider wove a blanket for Baby Jesus, so they are celebrated as symbols of goodness and prosperity.
3. How old is your Christmas tree?
Did you buy a real Christmas tree this year? It’s likely to have been left to grow for around 15 years before being cut down and sold to you.
Santa impersonators in America are given practical training on everything from how to be jolly to declining bribes from parents and avoiding food that can cause bad breath!
5. Fined for celebrating Christmas
Thanks to the Puritans, who evidently hated anything fun, anyone celebrating Christmas between 1659 and 1681 would be served a fine. What a festive bunch!
6. Tinsel used to be deadly
Early tinsel manufacturers used to make tinsel that contained lead, which could poison you! Luckily modern versions are made from plastic which is better for your health (but not so great for the environment).
7. Mince pies used to contain beef
The original mince pies weren’t the sweet treats we enjoy with a cup of tea today – they used to contain savory beef mince and spices.
8. Pass the pigs head
We all think of Turkey as the traditional Christmas meat, but in England a whole pig’s head with mustard was considered fine festive dining!
9. Call me Santa
Different countries have different names for Santa Claus: in Germany he’s know as Kriss Kringle, Italians call him Le Befana, he’s Pere Noel in France and Deushka Moroz (Grandfather Frost) in Russia.
10. The real meaning of Boxing Day
The real meaning of Boxing Day has been mostly lost in modern times – the name comes from the collection of ‘alms boxes’ in churches to donate to the poor.
However you’re celebrating this year, The Let’s Go Out Team wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!
The Let's Go Out Team
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