50 Magical Facts about Christmas – Part 2

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26 Czech TV Crisis

Czech TV Crisis

During Christmas 2000/New Year’s Eve 2001, Czech TV suffered a bizarre crisis that, among other things, left the public channel off the air for 2 days.

27. One of the annual public Christmas celebrations on the Hawaiian islands is the highly anticipated arrival of Santa Claus being conveyed on an outrigger canoe at Waikīkī Beach. This tradition is very recent and generally, Santa is met by cheering crowds, hula dancers, and musicians.

28. The modern Christmas tree originated in western Germany. They combined the Adam and Eve idea of the “paradise tree” with various Christ symbols (like candles, figurines, and stars). By the 16th century, the Christmas pyramid and the paradise tree had merged, becoming the Christmas tree.

29. In China, for Christmas, it’s popular to give apples as gifts because Christmas Eve (平安夜) sounds similar to apple (苹果).

30. Mummering is a medieval practice that continues today in places like Newfoundland. People dress up in disguises and visit houses during Christmas time.

31 Dutch Christmas Eve

Dutch Christmas Eve

Every Christmas Eve in the Netherlands dutch children honor the graves of Canadian soldiers who died liberating Holten at the end of World War 2.

32. The Bosheers family of Loretto, Tennessee celebrates Christmas by throwing fireballs at each other – as in “softball-sized balls sewn together from old clothes, soaked in kerosene overnight, and set ablaze” fireballs.

33. Sweden celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve instead of on Christmas day.

34. In 1659, the Massachusetts Bay Colony imposed a penalty for observing Christmas due to its pagan origins, calling it a “great dishonor of God and offense of others.”

35. Jimmy Boyd’s “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” was condemned by the Roman Catholic Church in Boston when it was released on the grounds that it mixed kissing with Christmas. Boyd was photographed meeting with the Archdiocese to explain the song. After the meeting, the ban was lifted.

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36 Glastonbury Christmas Tree

Glastonbury Christmas Tree

A tree in Glastonbury, England, is said to flower on Christmas day and people were disappointed that it did not obey the switch to the Gregorian calendar in 1752.

37. Mari Lwyd is a Welsh Christmas tradition in which a horse’s skull is put on a pole and marched around by someone hidden under a cloth with an accompanying troupe. They march from house to house terrifying residents until they join in a singing competition.

38. Advent doesn’t start on 1st December. It starts on the 4th Sunday before Christmas so varies by up to a week. The 1st December ‘tradition’ was invented by companies making advent calendars so the same units/designs can be sold every year.

39. Christmas TV movie production has quadrupled over 10 years partly due to streaming algorithms.

40. Over 80,000 trees were planted on Sable Island in an effort to stabilize it. Only one tree survived, and despite being over 50 years old, is only a few feet tall. It is decorated yearly as a Christmas tree in December as part of a tradition among the station staff.

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41 First Christmas Movie

First Christmas Movie

The first-ever Christmas movie came out in 1898. Titled “Santa Claus”, it depicted Santa leaving presents on Christmas Eve.

42. Puritans hated Christmas celebrations. To them, it had “no biblical justification” and only led to immoral behavior. It was banned in England in the 1650s, leading to pro-Christmas rioting. It was also banned in the Puritan colonies (including Boston), where it only became popular after 1776.

43. Nova Scotia sends Boston a Christmas Tree every year to thank them for their assistance after the Halifax Explosion. For Nova Scotians, it is considered a great honor to have your tree selected, and often times the trees are donated in honor of a survivor or casualty of the explosion.

44. There are close to 15,000 farms growing Christmas Trees in the U.S., and over 100,000 people are employed full or part-time in the industry.

45. The residents of the treeless tundra town of Nome, Alaska create their own Nome National Forest on the frozen sea out of their discarded Christmas trees. The tradition has fallen out of practice but has recently reemerged through pressure from the Mayor.

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46 White Christmas Song

White Christmas Song

The best-selling Christmas song of all time, White Christmas, was written by Irving Berlin, a Jew whose own Christmas tradition was visiting the grave of his son who died on Christmas day in 1928 at the age of three weeks old.

47. The ‘12 Days of Christmas’ are not the days leading up to the holiday, but rather the 12 days after. In some lore, a witch named Befana brings candy and gifts to kids on January 5th also known as ‘Epiphany Eve,’ much like Santa does on Christmas Eve.

48. The Irish used to celebrate the day after Christmas by killing wrens. The Norse origin theory for this tradition maintains that wrens betrayed Irish soldiers by beating their wings on Irish shields whilst fighting against Viking invaders.

49. In pre-Norman England, Father Christmas originally wore a green suit with a long green hooded cloak, as well as a wreath made of holly, mistletoe, or ivy which represented the coming spring.

50. The Polar Express is modeled after the Pere Marquette 1225. Coincidentally, the locomotive’s road number is the date of Christmas, 12/25.

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