The holidays are a wonderful time to get together with family, friends, and loved ones and just simply enjoy the spirit of the season. There are so many interesting facts about the holidays. From the origin of Christmas trees to the story behind how Rudolph became the most famous reindeer, there are a bunch of interesting holiday facts that would absolutely blow your mind. The following are 10 interesting holiday trivia.
1. Celebrating Christmas Was Once IllegalRead More »
2. Cookies & Milk for Santa has Dutch Origins
Have you ever wondered where the concept of cookies and milk for Santa Claus came from? Well, it actually has Dutch origins related to the Saint Nicholas feast day which occurred on December 6th. This was the date that Dutch children would leave food and drinks for Saint Nicholas in exchange for gifts.
3. Christmas has both Christian & Pagan Roots
While those who are Christian associate Christmas with the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, it is important to note that the holiday season also has pagan roots. The pagans celebrate what is called Satunalia. During the celebration, they would give offerings to the gods. For those who are astrology lovers, if you look closely at the name Saturnalia, you can see the planet name Saturn which is associated with the zodiac sign Capricorn which also aligns with the beginning of winter solstice celebrated by pagan culture.
4. The Candy Cane has Interesting Roots
Candy canes are a popular treat that are reminiscent of the holiday season. But, did you know that candy canes have a deeper meaning? Originally, candy canes were invented in Germany as a nod to the birth of Jesus Christ. In fact, the “J” shape of the candy cane represents the “J” in the first letter of Jesus’s name. Likewise, the red stripes of the candy cane represent the blood of Jesus Christ. The popularity of candy canes is attributed to a German-Swedish immigrant who decorated his Christmas tree with them. Who knew that one of the most popular symbols of the holiday season has such a deep meaning.
5. KFC is a Holiday Tradition in Japan
In many countries, the most popular foods associated with the holiday season include turkey and ham…unless, of course, you live in Japan. The most popular holiday food is fried chicken specifically Kentucky Fried Chicken better known as KFC. In 1970, the owner of the first KFC in Japan, Takeshi Okawara, decided to make a party barrel of fried chicken after overhearing foreigners lamenting about missing the traditional Christmas turkey meal. Since then, eating fried chicken on Christmas Day is a mainstay in Japan, and if you want to enjoy this fast food item for Christmas, it is necessary to order ahead at least two months in advance.
6. Santa Has His Own Postal Code
If you have ever wondered where those letters to Santa go, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that there is a physical place. Letters to Santa actually go to Canada. Santa Claus has his own postal code due to the kindness of Canadian post office workers who decided to begin writing back to children who were sending their letters to Santa. Eventually, this random act of kindness became an actual Canadian program where a special postcode was set up for Santa as part of a letter-writing initiative.
7. Thank a Department Store for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Have you ever wondered why Rudolph is the most well-known reindeer? Some would say it is because of his bright red nose. Some would say it’s because of the song named after him. A little digging into holiday history has allowed us to find out that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was made popular due to a promotion by the now-defunct Montgomery Ward department store. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer appeared in a 1939 holiday promotion conceived by the copywriter Robert L May. May created a Christmas story using Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer as the main character to get people to shop at Montgomery Ward. That is how Rudolph the Red-Nosed reindeer became the most famous reindeer of them all.
8. Tinsel was Once a Status Symbol Made of Silver
In these modern times, we decorate our Christmas trees with just anything we prefer. For the most part, you can get Christmas decorations for a fairly decent price, but that was the case. Did you know that some of the most common holiday decorations were once extremely expensive and considered status symbols? For example, the tinsel that we use so readily nowadays was actually once made of pure silver. Also, Christmas lights were also quite expensive back in the early 1900s. In fact, Christmas lights were so expensive that they were rented instead of sold. I guess all of us should be pretty thankful that holiday decorations are no longer cost an arm and a leg.
9. Mistletoe has an Interesting Translation
When you think of mistletoe, you probably think of puckering up for a holiday kiss. But if you really knew what mistletoe translates to, you may be kind of disgusted. Yes, mistletoe does have origins of being an aphrodisiac for some cultures such as The Druids. However, the original name for mistletoe actually translates to “mistaltan” which means dung on a stick!
10. Santa Didn’t Always wear Red
When we think of Santa Claus, we are reminded of his familiar red and white suit with the black boots to match. What if Santa Claus didn’t always prefer the color red? Before the 1870s, Santa as a character wore a variety of different colors such as white, tan, brown, and blue. So, where did the Santa Claus of today with his red and white suit come from? We owe Santa’s current wardrobe to the illustrator Thomas Nast of Harpers Bazaar.