23 Interesting Facts About Christmas
- The word “Christmas” is derived from the Old English word “Cristes maesse”, which means “Christ’s Mass.”
- December 25th was not always the official day that Christians celebrated Christmas.
- Christmas wasn’t declared an official holiday in the United States until 1894.
- Christmas trees were first introduced to America by German immigrants in the 18th century.
- The song “Jingle Bells” was originally written for Thanksgiving but was later repurposed as a Christmas song.
- In England, gifting coal used to be a popular Christmas tradition up until the 1950s.
- Santa Claus is modeled after Saint Nicholas, a 4th-century bishop known for his generosity to poor children.
- The tradition of hanging mistletoe originated in ancient Greece and was believed to bring peace and good luck.
- Most Christmas trees are decorated with electric lights, but the first of these were candles lit and placed on trees in the 16th century.
- Christmas cards were first sent to Britain in 1843, by Sir Henry Cole.
- The first Christmas stamp was issued in the United States in 1962.
- Over 3 billion Christmas cards are sent each year in the US alone.
- The poinsettia is the most popular Christmas flower in the US and was brought to America from Mexico.
- Christmas lights were first used in Germany as early as the 17th century.
- Christmas trees were first decorated with fruits, nuts, and candles.
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Interesting Facts About Christmas
Here are 23 Interesting Facts About Christmas
1. The first recorded use of the phrase “Merry Christmas” was in 1534 in England.
It is the first known instance of its use in print and remains a beloved part of annual holiday traditions to this day. It’s the perfect way to kick off our favorite time of the year—a gesture full of good cheer and open hearts.
Since its earliest use five centuries ago, this special phrase has brought joy and anticipation every December.
2. The traditional colors of Christmas are red, green, and white.
These iconic hues are synonymous with the holiday season: red symbolizes joy, green represents winter, and white reflects peace and goodwill.
These three main colors take center stage during Christmas in cultures all over the world, adding a festive spirit to what is perhaps one of the most important times of the year.
3. Santa Claus is derived from St. Nicholas, a fourth-century bishop.
Saint Nicholas contributed greatly to different aspects of our modern-day Christmas celebration, including the initial idea for a benevolent figure known as Santa Claus.
He was renowned for his generosity and loving spirit and prepared special treats for adolescents in need during the holiday season. His legacy lives on through this iconic Christmas character, which is beloved by so many throughout the world.
4. The original Christmas tree was a fir tree decorated with apples to symbolize the Garden of Eden.
The Christmas Tree we are familiar with stems from a centuries-old German tradition. It all began with a simple fir tree and some decorations made from everyday items.
Apples have long been associated with the Garden of Eden and its forbidden fruit! Eventually, additional festive objects were also added to this traditional presentation. Long strips of paper were common knowledge during ancient times as a reminder of God’s word as expressed publicly on scrolls.
5. Joel Roberts Poinsett, the American ambassador, introduced the Mexican-native poinsettia as an American Christmas custom in 1825.
The festive plant was an innovative addition to American Christmas customs. As the Ambassador of the United States, Poinsett had become familiar with its symbolism while serving in Mexico.
He saw an opportunity to bring joy to his fellow Americans and graciously introduced the tradition throughout America. 120 years later, in 1945, this same flower finally received its now famous name: the poinsettia!
6. Silent Night is the most popular Christmas carol in the world.
Silent Night is no ordinary holiday song; it’s without question the most revered and popular Christmas carol of all time. Above all other contemporary and traditional Christmas jingles, its calming melody has stood the test of time, echoing through churches and homes across the world throughout seemingly unending winter time celebrations.
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7. The candy cane is a traditional symbol of Christmas.
Its signature two-toned twisting shape has become iconic around the world, usually filled with white and red stripes to evoke a feeling of traditional cheer.
The legend goes that holiday revelers who hung it on their door or festive tree did so in honor of the wise men’s gifts delivered to Jesus long ago—namely, scent and flavor.
8. According to legend, the first snowman was made by a small boy.
This intricately woven fable tells the story of a young boy who, on a cold winter morning, sets in motion the events that will lead to him becoming the world’s first snowman artist.
The young hero was driven by sheer curiosity and captivation towards this frozen landscape left by Mother Nature, and he decided that was the day he would craft his own special kindness in kind with Winter’s beauty.
9. The first Christmas card was commissioned in 1843 by Englishman Henry Cole.
He was passionate about spreading good will and love during that holiday season, long before mailing out cards was commonplace.
This marked a major milestone in connecting people during a time when communication across geography could be very difficult.
10. Mistletoe is a sacred plant among the ancient Druids and Scandinavians.
This plant has been adorned in myth and legend for millennia, and its historical reverence dates back millennia. In Druid ideals, the mistletoe speaks to life and fertility, with even the Norse gods reportedly creating friction over supporting this idea through symbolic elements such as the magical dagger named Loki’s Knife.
Scandinavian tradition also honored it as a sense of protection against all evil, with its associations seen during Yuletide festivities.
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11. The original 12 days of Christmas are the twelve days between December 25th and January 6th.
The holiday season is marked by the 12 Days of Christmas, a well-known festivity that begins on December 25th. For twelve days in a row, from the day of Christmas until Epiphany (January 6th), these days become filled with endless celebrations and traditions.
Each day corresponds to a unique custom to honor the holiday season in all its splendor, with festivities culminating in “Twelfth Night.”
12. The most popular Christmas movie of all time is It’s a Wonderful Life.
With cozy snowy scenes, heartwarming messages of hope, and a classic comet kite featuring prominently in its pivotal scene, It’s a Wonderful Life has legitimately earned the title of “most popular Christmas movie of all time.”
From etching its place in holiday TV culture to inspiring moments of reflection around the beloved holiday, this 1940s classic film has proven to be an audience favorite across generations.
13. In some countries, Santa Claus is called Father Christmas or Papa Noel.
Different cultures have different cultural expressions for this popular figure who visits us once a year. Some call him Father Christmas or Papa Noel, while others call him Saint Nicholas or simply Santa.
This beloved character can expect a warm welcome any time he decides to stop by!
14. The phrase “Jingle Bells” was originally written for Thanksgiving but quickly became a Christmas favorite.
The song “Jingle Bells” is now ingrained in our concept of Christmas, a season of merriment and cheer. However, the festive tune wasn’t always sung during December.
Originally, it was written for Thanksgiving, but over time, it shifted to become an undisputed holiday classic! Its familiarity during the Christmas season created a wealth of lasting nostalgia and joy that connected us with generations of families past and present.
15. The first electric Christmas tree lights were invented in 1882 by Edward H. Johnson.
Johnson ushered in a fresh wave of innovation that gave families everywhere lasting holiday luster.
He pioneered illuminating needles with tiny glass bulbs to bring festive sparkles indoors, marking the beginning of shining starry night skies for generations seeking inspiration for joyous gatherings and gifts around their illuminated evergreen centers of light.
16. In some countries, the Nativity Scene is re-enacted to celebrate Christmas.
Across the world, many cultures take part in re-enactments of the Nativity Scene during the Christmas season. This re-enactment helps to visually represent and honor the story of Jesus’ birth for believers who follow this faith.
For many, celebrating Christmas is more meaningful when technology substitutes for tradition, made tangible through intense practices.
17. The Grinch is the main character in Dr. Seuss’s beloved children’s book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Dr. Seuss’ beloved classic children’s book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, has enthralled kids for decades. It follows the misbehaving green iconoscope of the 2015 Universal Pictures film adaptation, joining the Christmas canon alongside Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol and Buckminster Theater Company’s appearance in The Nutcracker Suite.
Many readers are absorbed by the cynicism, which features an insidious plan by the Grinch to ruin Merry Christmas by stealing class songbooks and presents galore.
18. The first artificial Christmas tree was made in Germany during the 19th century from a feather tree called “goose feathers.”
This ground-breaking invention marked a turning point for the holiday season and a revolution in the world of artificial trees. Crafted with wings and tail feathers, the goose feathers proved to be evocative of nature’s beauty and excess.
In turn, this quickly prompted similar crafts featuring other species, including peacocks and pheasant feathers. These handmade feathered masterpieces later found great popularity not only within Germany but also worldwide!
19. According to tradition, if you find a single strand of hay in your Christmas stocking, you will find true love.
It has been a treasured tradition throughout history to refer to this superstition, nurturing hopes of finding true love even before Santa Claus arrived.
Along with leaves from holly plants and dream interpretations from spiders, the beloved tale of single hay strands signaling romance captures the imaginations of many adults and children during each festive season. Year after year, this fairytale promises the luckiest of Christmas socks and joyous blessings!
20. The tradition of giving gifts on Christmas Day began with the Three Wise Men bringing gifts to baby Jesus.
More than 2000 years ago, the Three Wise Men made an epic journey to bring gifts to baby Jesus on Christmas Day. Since then, this annual tradition of gift-giving has foreshadowed the spirit of generosity that is often felt across cultures during this holiday.
Today, in commemoration of these wise men and their selflessness, many families give tokens of appreciation to those they cherish most on December 25th.
21. In some South American countries, instead of Santa Claus delivering presents on Christmas Eve, children get their presents from the “Three Kings.”
Christmas celebrations look a little different in some South American countries. Rather than receiving their presents from jolly ol’ Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, the children find them delivered by none other than the “Three Kings”!
These kings are thought to have come to pay their respects to the baby Jesus, who was born in a manger.
22. In Japan, a popular Christmas treat is fried chicken.
Christmas in Japan looks a little different from what is celebrated in the West. Instead of fruitcake or rum balls, the Japanese have a special holiday treat: fried chicken! During Christmas time, many Japanese families enjoy this savory favorite while covering their houses with sparkling lights and decorations.
It’s become such a popular tradition over time that several major restaurants have started to run yearly deals on holiday orders of fried chicken.
23. During World War I, a Christmas truce was declared on the Western Front, where soldiers laid down their arms and celebrated Christmas together.
On December 25th, soldiers from both sides chose to pursue peace instead of war, laying down their arms to celebrate Christmas together. An unofficial truce was declared as enemies exchanging food, gifts, and songs within no man’s land.
This Christmas truce served as a reminder of how war contrasts with our desire for peace and compassion.
Christmas is a time of year that is celebrated by billions of people around the world. While many know about the religious aspects of Christmas, there are also quite a few interesting and lesser-known facts about this holiday.
In this article, we’ve compiled 23 interesting facts about Christmas—everything from its history to modern traditions. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoyed researching and writing them!
FAQs : Interesting Facts About Christmas
- What is Christmas real name?
Christmas is one of the most popular celebrations in the world, and its true name is, in fact, “Christ’s Mass,” a religious celebration of the birth of Jesus.
- Why 25th December is celebrated as Christmas?
The 25th of December is celebrated around the world as Christmas. This is because it is traditionally associated with the birth of Jesus Christ, whom many Christians believe to be the son of God.
- What do we eat on Christmas?
Christmas dinner time is full of timeless treats. The focus is often on the turkey, accompanied by a delightful stuffing and smooth mashed potatoes covered in savory gravy and topped off with tangy cranberry sauce.From there anything goes: other types of poultry such as duck or geese, scrumptious roast beef, piquant ham – all are excellent choices to delight your family’s taste buds.
- What fruit is traditionally eaten at Christmas?
Pomegranates, figs, and dates are among the most popular fruits eaten at Christmas.
- How did Christmas start?
Christmas traces its origins to an ancient festival called Saturnalia, which was celebrated by the Romans to honor their god of agriculture and wealth, Saturn. During this seven-day festival in December, schools were closed and Roman citizens gathered to exchange gifts and share meals.