You’ll never feel like December when it is Christmas. Christians all over the world celebrate Christmas in various ways. Non-Christians however, celebrate this day according to the traditions for this particular time of the month. If it seems like we have been celebrating this season since the beginning of our lives and we know everything about it, think again as we are giving you facts about Christmas you never heard before.
Christmas Fun Facts
- Lighting a Christingle is a must during Christmas, Epiphany, and other Advent events.
- The 3 wise men who came to visit Jesus Christ brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
- Some Christians believe that celebrating Christmas is unnecessary. The Bible didn’t mention anything about any celebration year after year on Christ’s birthday.
- One of the common misconceptions about Christmas is the usage of “Xmas” to shorten “Christmas”. Most claimed that using the letter “X” to replace “Christ” is a blasphemous thing to do. The truth is, this version of “Christmas” found mostly in prints was based on the initial letter of Khrīstos in Greek that means “Christ”. Written in the ancient script, it would be Χριστός hence the letter “X”.
- When Christmas wasn’t yet established, Romans celebrate the said pagan festival by giving gifts and a feast.
- It is said that Christmas was established to divert people’s attention from celebrating the pagan festival.
- People began to sing Christmas carols around the 13th century making the celebration much brighter.
- Advent wreath should be lit one by one till the day of Nativity come.
- The Anglo-Saxons also call this season as “midwinter” or “nativity”.
- Christmas is the shortened version of “Christ’s mass”
- The first Christmas Tree was built way back in 1570.
- For Christians, Christmas is sacred but for businessmen, it is a great business opportunity since it is the most profitable time of the year.
How The World Celebrates Christmas
Although all Christians are believers of Christ, diversity, culture, and thousands of different religions all over the world lead to unique and colorful Christmas traditions all over the world.
- Every Christmas in France, people serve 7 main courses and 13 desserts to celebrate the season.
- East Asian countries like Japan,China and South Korea, celebrate Christmas not as a family celebration. People from those countries considered Christmas as a “Feast Of Love” where people spend their time with their partners.
- A huge Yule Goat has been built since 1966 in Sweden to signify the start of the Advent season. Since it was built, the goat in Gävle’s Castle Square has been burned down 29 times.
- If Saint Nicholas gives away gifts for kids every Christmas, Krampus frightened and punish the bad children, In Austria, this a beast-like creature traditionally roams around the street in the first week of December.
- In Iceland, real Santas do exist. 13 days before Christmas, several troll-looking guys will roam around cities to leave nice gifts for the kids. Children by then would prepare their nicest shoes by the window or outside the door. Every night, there would be a different Yule who visits each home.
- Brooms should be hidden when Christmas came in Norway. Norwegian believes that evil spirits and witches come out on Christmas day to look for brooms to ride on. Therefore, it had become a tradition in Norway to hide the brooms so they will not be stolen.
- The lightning of Hanukkah in the United States came from a Jewish tradition.
- People in Venezuela wear roller skates on the way to church every Christmas Eve. They even close the roads to cater to this uniques tradition.
- In Colombia, people place paper lanterns and light a candle to mark the start of the Christmas season.
Christmas Origin Trivia and Facts
It probably feels like we have been celebrating Christmas since Christ existed in this world. Truth is, nobody knows the real birthdate of our Savior. If we study the Bible, we can conclude that it could be in April or March. Nobody knows for sure. But celebrating His existence itself makes us feel more thankful about the coming of the Messiah. With these facts, you will know where and why we celebrate Christmas as we do today.
- December 25 is actually based on the birthday of a pagan god of the sun “Saturnalia”
- Christmas was first celebrated 336 years after Christ died. According to the Bible, our Lord Jesus Christ came into this world to redeem us from sin. Given the context, His birth is less likely to be celebrated more than his death. After contemplations and debates, the Roman Catholic church decided to establish December 25 as the birthday of Jesus.
- The solid proof of Christmas being celebrated for the first time is through a pamphlet found that states the said event. The said pamphlet bears the phrase “25 December: Natus Christus in Betleem Judeae”. That means the birth of Christ from Bethlehem, Judea is December 25.
- December 25 as Christmas was once banned by Puritans saying that it is too pagan.
- New Englanders were prohibited to celebrate Christmas by Governor Bradford. People to be caught will render community services, pay fines, or will go to jail depending on the severity of the “crime”.
- Nativity came from the Latin word nātīvitās meaning “birth”.
- If calculated according to the Bible, Christ’s birthday is very far from December 25.
- Puritans forbade Christmas, considering it too pagan. Governor Bradford actually threatened New Englanders with work, jail or fines if they were caught observing Christmas.
Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus, And Father Christmas
The guy with white hair, white beard, and red suit is not Santa Claus for everyone. Here are the facts about the guy who is always associated with Christmas.
- Scholars concluded that the church decided to make Christmas the same date as Saturnalia’s festivities to help Christians avoid the pagan celebrations.
- Santa Claus was said to be based on Saint Nicholas.
- Saint Nicholas was a Bishop in the fourth century who lived in Turkey. According to the stories, he was a very rich man because of the inheritance from his late parents. Instead of spending his fortunes for luxuries, he instead secretly give gifts to people in need. Hence, the belief of Santa giving gifts on Christmas.
- Hanging stocking on Christmas for gifts from Santa also started on stories about Saint Nicholas.
- Saint Nicholas is not just famous for children but also with sailors. It was rumored that he helped a group of sailors one stormy night by calming the waves of the sea.
- Santa Claus is Father Christmas in England.
- Santa Claus is Kriss Kringle in Germany.
- Le Befana is what they call Santa in Italy.
- Pere Noel is what French call Santa.
- Most countries hailed December 6 as Saint Nicholas’ day.
- Also, on Saint Nicholas Eve (December 5), children shoes or any open-vessel outside for it to be filled with treats.
- Traditions and stories about Saint Nicholas became unpopular in the 16th century but soon resurfaced in the Victorian Era.
Others argue that Santa Claus should not be glorified during the Christmas season as it is diverting the highlight of the sacred event. Some say that asking Santa to make your wishes come true is not what the celebration is for. Rather, we should pray to God for Him to give us what He thinks we deserve.
Our Factual Conclusion
Although we all have different opinions about Christmas, we still unify to celebrate this joyous occasion. Despite the glitter and glimmer of this season, we must remember the main reason why we celebrate Christmas. It is the birth of our savior Lord Jesus Christ who gave his own life to save us from the pits of hell.
They say that whenever December comes, people prepare to be their best Christmas self. They try to think of ways to do good things, buy gifts for their loved ones, or do something special to celebrate. Although it might sound really appealing to give Christmas that impression, how about we try to make it like Christmas every day? Do good things whenever you can, be it small or big it always counts. Give your loved ones the gift of love, prayer, and time ’cause nobody really knows if they will still be around when Christmas comes. Christ saved us so that we can share His love each and every single day of our lives. To let people know that He exists through the things that we do according to His teachings.