8 Weird and Wonderful Christmas Facts
Christmas is fast approaching and while we associate the season as one of giving and sharing, there are some weird and fun Christmas facts we know about the occasion or have forgotten about. Here they are:
1. We celebrate Christmas on 25 December but no one knows when Christ was born
Christians around the world gather on 25 December to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Although it has been the case for a number of years, we are still not clear on when exactly Jesus was born. Yes, it is celebrated on the 25th of December, but there is no evidence pointing to that day being the date of his birth. It’s not even given in the Bible!
2. Christmas has pagan roots
History tells us that pagans existed before Christianity dominated the world. When early Christians were spreading their religion across Europe, they met people who subscribed to different local and regional religious creeds. These people were grouped together under the umbrella term “pagan.” Although they were trying to convert the pagans, they also found their traditions fascinating. As such, pagan traditions remained even when Christianity was on the rise. For instance, the Christmas tree may be a 17th-century invention, it derives from the pagan practice of bringing greenery indoors during midwinter.
3. Midwinter was a time for partying
Those who came before us lived in an agricultural society and midwinter signalled the end of the harvest. As such, it was a time for celebration as there was nothing more to be done in the fields. Historians have said that midwinter was the time people could devote time to religion. That and people celebrate to prevent themselves from going into a depression, particularly for those who lived in regions where winters were so cold.
4. The Church embraced Christmas rather late
There are many weird Christmas facts and one of them is the church not embracing the occasion. There was no biblical directive to celebrate the birth of Christ and the date is not specified in the Bible either. So it took until the 4th century for the church to embrace the holiday.
5. The Puritans banned Christmas
Christmas was banned in England under Oliver Cromwell. It was also illegal to celebrate the occasion in New England during the 1600s – for a period of about 25 years. Why did the Puritans not like Christmas? It most likely had to do with the way the occasion was celebrated: rowdy and raucous.
6. “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” wasn’t always joyous
Here’s a funny Christmas fact: the song was originally sung as a threat. Servants who demanded more alcohol from their masters would sing the song or else they won’t go home.
7. Telling ghost stories was a Christmas Eve tradition
Although some do continue to read ghost stories during the Christmas season (after all, Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is still a very popular read during the season), the practice used to be pretty common back in the days. British humorist Jerome K. Jerome wrote, “Nothing satisfies us on Christmas Eve but to hear each other tell authentic anecdotes about spectres.”
8. Fistfights on Christmas settle old scores
Takanakuy is a practice that involves fighting among community members in the Chumbivilcas Province of Peru. It is held to settle old scores in order to start the New Year afresh.
Christmas truly is a weirdly wonderful time of the year. Should you want to send flowers to friends and family for the occasion, we at Clare Florist can help you out. We have a selection of Christmas bouquets that are perfect for the celebration. Get in touch with us if you need to send one!
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