Christmas fun facts to share
Do you know why roosters are taken to midnight mass and spiders adorn trees?
HERE are some interesting facts that you may or may not have known about Christmas.
1. The first artificial Christmas tree was made in Germany out of dyed goose feathers.
2. All the gifts in the Christmas carol Twelve Days of Christmas would equal 364 gifts.
3. In 350 AD, Pope Julius I, bishop of Rome, proclaimed December 25 the official celebration date for the birthday of Christ.
4. The traditional three colours of Christmas are green, red, and gold. Green has long been a symbol of life and rebirth, red symbolises the blood of Christ, and gold represents light as well as wealth and royalty.
5. The world’s largest Christmas stocking measured 32.56m long and 14.97m wide. It weighed as much as five reindeer and held almost 1000 presents. It was made by the Children’s Society in London on December 14, 2007.
6. A real Christmas tree usually grows for about 15 years before being sold.
7. Bolivians celebrate Misa del Gallo or “Mass of the Rooster” on Christmas Eve. Some people bring roosters to the midnight mass, a gesture that symbolises the belief that a rooster was the first animal to announce the birth of Jesus.
8. The British wear paper crowns while they eat Christmas dinner. The crowns are stored in a tube called a “Christmas cracker”.
9. In Poland, spiders or spider webs are common Christmas tree decorations because according to legend, a spider wove a blanket for Baby Jesus. In fact, Polish people consider spiders to be symbols of goodness and prosperity at Christmas.
10. Christmas wasn’t declared an official holiday until June 26, 1870.
11. Santa Claus is based on a real person, St Nikolas of Myrawho, who lived during the fourth century. Born in Patara (in modern-day Turkey), he is the patron saint of banking, pawnbroking, pirating, butchery, sailing, thievery, orphans and royalty.
12. Early illustrations of St Nicholas depict him as stern, commanding, and holding a birch rod.
13. The first printed reference to a Christmas tree was in 1531 in Germany.
14. Christmas is a contraction of “Christ’s Mass,” which is derived from the Old English Cristes maesse (first recorded in 1038).
15. The letter “X” in Greek is the first letter of Christ, and “Xmas” has been used as an abbreviation for Christmas since the mid 1500s.
16. The Viking god Odin is one precursor to the modern Santa Claus. According to myth, Odin rode his flying horse Sleipnir (a precursor to Santa’s reindeer), who had eight legs. In the winter, Odin gave out both gifts and punishments, and children would fill their stockings with treats for Sleipnir.