8 Festive Christmas Facts You've Probably Never Heard Before

Christmas - a time for joy, giving, and spend time with loved ones. But how much do we really know about this magical holiday season? Beyond the tree decorations, gift exchanges, and merry making, there are some truly interesting facts about Christmas that you've probably never come across. So, sit back, sip on some hot cocoa, and let's uncover 8 intriguing Christmas facts that are sure to warm your heart and add another layer of wonder to your festive season.

The Origin of Christmas Celebrations

The first fact takes us to the roots of the festive season. Christmas is celebrated to honor the birth of Jesus Christ. However, the exact date of his birth remains unknown. The 25th of December was chosen to coincide with pagan winter solstice festivals, in order to incorporate existing celebrations. In fact, the first recorded date of Christmas celebrations wasn't until 336 AD during the time of Roman Emperor Constantine.

Astounding Christmas Tree Facts

Ever wondered about the history of the much-adorned Christmas tree? While decorating homes with evergreen branches traces back to the Romans and Ancient Egyptians, the tradition of modern Christmas trees originates from 16th Century Germany. Astonishingly, it takes 15 years on average for a Christmas tree to grow to 6-7 feet. In the United States alone, around 30 to 35 million real Christmas trees are sold every year!

The Inception of Santa Claus

The concept of Santa Claus, or Father Christmas as many know him, originally originates from St. Nicholas, a Turkish monk who lived in the third century. Known for his piety and kindness, St. Nicholas had a reputation for secretly giving gifts to the poor, which later gave birth to the legend of Santa Claus.

The Mystery of Santa’s Reindeer

The famous Christmas song 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' was actually created as a marketing gimmick by Montgomery Ward, an American department store. Whilst popular culture gives Santa 8 flying reindeer, in reality, reindeer can't fly! However, Laplanders, in Finland, utilize reindeer to pull their sleds through the snow.

Traditional Christmas Meal

The traditional Christmas feast has an interesting story too. The popular choice, turkey, was not widely consumed until the 16th century, when American birds were introduced to Europe by explorers. Before that, people feasted on boars, goose, or even peacock during the festive season.

Meeting of Cultures: Christmas Around the World

Christmas might be celebrated worldwide, but customs and traditions vary drastically across countries. For instance, Australians are known to hang Christmas wreaths on their doors, and in Ethiopia, people often play a fast-paced ball game named ‘Ganna’ on Christmas day.

Christmas Cards and Gifts

Contrary to popular belief, the tradition of gift-giving didn't start with Christmas but dates back to the Roman celebration of Saturnalia. Similarly, the first commercial Christmas cards were commissioned by civil servant Sir Henry Cole in London, 1843. Today, nearly 2 billion Christmas cards are sent in the United States each year!

Fascinating Christmas Superstitions

Many of us have grown up hearing superstitions associated with Christmas, such as kissing under the mistletoe for good luck. However, on a more eerie note, a very old English tradition tells that all bees would hum in unison at midnight on Christmas Eve, supposedly to usher in the festive day.