Interesting Facts About Christmas

5 Dec

Every festival has a tradition attached to it. There are myths, customs and innumerable practices which can be baffling to the mind. It is amazing how even to this day there are people who are extremely superstitious regarding certain signs. In India these signs are mainly symbolized by animals or events. Be it the black cat or certain astronomical upheavals, superstition prevails even to this day.Several interesting facts always back significant celebrations. One of the most renowned festivals of this chilly season, Christmas is round the corner. There are several interesting Christmas facts attached to it which may astonish you. Here are a few of them:
• Auspicious spiders: An interesting Christmas fact about spiders is that they are considered auspicious in Ukraine. According to folklore there was once a woman who could not afford Christmas decorations for her family. On a cool Christmas morning, she woke up to find that her children’s tree was trimmed with spider webs. As the early morning’s sunlight shone on them the webs turned silver and gold, thus enhancing the look of the tree.
• Mistletoe tree: It is a tradition to exchange kisses beneath a mistletoe tree. Ancient Scandinavians believe that a mistletoe tree is associated with love and friendship.
• Klaxon: So far you might have thought that it is the name of Santa’s reindeer. Well on the contrary it is a powerful electric horn and is actually a German word meaning ‘shriek’.
• Trinket in Pudding: As family members sit at the table to relish Christmas pudding, there is a tradition of finding a missing trinket. If it’s a ring then it denotes marriage, a coin denotes wealth and buttons signify bachelorhood. The idea dates back to a tradition in the ‘Middle Ages’, where a bean lay hidden inside the cake which was served on the Twelfth Night. The one who found the bean was declared king, for the rest of the night. This is indeed one of the fascinating Christmas facts.
• Frumenty: Another famous Christmas fact is that frumenty is a porridge, which was once consumed as Christmas pudding. It is essentially a spiced porridge and is linked in legend to the Celtic god Dagda. It is believed that he stirred a porridge made up of all the good things found on earth.
• Burning salt and shoes during Christmas: The pungent odor is believed to drive away malicious creatures called Kallikantzaroi, who are believed to play troublesome pranks during Christmas.
• Christmas Flower: The poinsettia originally from Mexico is the traditional Christmas flower. It is also known as the flower of the holy night.
• Merry Christmas Cards: Introduced by a Bavarian-born lithographer Louis Prang, who moved to the USA from Germany in the 19th century. He developed chromolithograph techniques for printing cards, with the traditional ‘Merry Christmas‘ message.
• The “Urn of Fate”: The “Urn of Fate” is a tradition introduced to add fun to the event of receiving Christmas gifts. This tradition is followed in Italian homes. The “urn of fate” is brought out on Christmas Eve and holds a present for everyone. The mother tries her luck first, followed by other members of the family. If the present is in your name you keep it, else you put it back and try your luck again.
• Goat figurine: In Sweden, a common Christmas decoration is the ‘Julbukk’ which is a small figurine of a goat and is mainly made of straw. Straw decorations in the form of stars, angels, hearts and other shapes, as well as the ‘Julbukk’ are a common feature in Scandinavian Christmas festivities.

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