Facts About Christmas History

By | February 3, 2015



Fascinating Facts About Christmas History



The celebration of Christmas has been a long-held tradition for centuries. From the first Christmas celebrated in 4 BC to the modern-day traditions and decorations, there is much to learn about this festive holiday. To help you explore the past and appreciate what Christmas is today, here are some interesting facts about Christmas history.



Origins of Christmas Celebrations



Christmas is believed to have originated from pagan winter solstice festivals that celebrated the rebirth of the sun. Early Christians adopted the practice of celebrating on December 25th as Jesus' birthday and replaced the pagan rituals with Christian ones. Thus, Christmas festivals were born! Some popular customs that are still seen today such as the exchange of gifts, decorating the home, and attending church services, all originated from Christianity.



The Christmas Tree



The Christmas tree first became popular during the Middle Ages. According to legend, Martin Luther, the founder of Protestantism, was out walking one night when he was awestruck by the beauty of the stars twinkling amongst the evergreen trees. He then brought home a fir tree, decorated it with candles, and the tradition of the Christmas tree began.



Santa Claus and Gift Giving



The figure we now recognize as Santa Claus has evolved significantly since the 4th century AD. Saint Nicholas was a Christian Bishop who was known for his generous gift-giving. The stories of him giving presents to the poor children grew over time and eventually, his image was altered to look like the modern-day Santa Claus. While gift-giving has been a part of Christmas celebrations since the early days, it wasn’t until the 19th century when exchanging presents became popular among family and friends.



Christmas Cards and Carols



Sending Christmas cards was first introduced in the United Kingdom in the 1840s. They quickly rose in popularity, spreading to other countries around the world. In 1843, Charles Dickens wrote a story titled “A Christmas Carol”, which included the popular carol, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”. As more carols were written, they began to be performed at Christmas Masses. Today, caroling is one of the most beloved Christmas traditions.



Other Popular Traditions



Decorating the home with Christmas decorations is another popular tradition. The use of mistletoe dates back to the Druids, who believed it to be a sacred plant. The tradition of hanging a stocking is also linked to Saint Nicholas, as the legend says that he filled stockings with gifts for poor children. Additionally, Christmas cookies are a common holiday treat in many cultures and countries, with recipes being passed down for generations.



As you can see, there is a lot to discover about the history of Christmas. From its origins to the popular traditions of today, the holiday continues to be celebrated around the world each year. For those looking to learn more about the fascinating history of Christmas, these facts should serve as a great starting point.


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