Facts about Christmas
Learn about Christmas in England from the children who live in Britain Christmas traditions why do what we do at chrsitmas time
What are the names of Santa’s reindeer?
Facts about Christmas Food
An old wives’ tale says that bread baked on Christmas Eve will never go mouldy.© copyright of projectbritain.com
The Christmas turkey was imported to France by the Jesuits and it is still known in some French dialects as a ‘Jesuite’.
Christmas pudding was first made as a kind of thick soup with raisins and wine in it.
Christmas pudding originates from an old, Celtic dish known as ‘frumenty’.
In the 19th century, the Christmas Cake was eaten on Christmas Eve. It was consider unlucky to cut a Christmas cake before dawn on Christmas Eve.
It is considered unlucky to cut a mince pie with a knife.
Mince pies should only be eaten between Christmas Eve and Twelfth Night and one should be eaten on every day of the twelve days of Christmas to bring good luck.
Facts about Christmas Day
25th December was not celebrated as the birthday of Christ until the year AD 440. © copyright of projectbritain.com
The Queen’s Christmas speech was televised for the first time in 1957.
Christmas crackers were invented by Thomas Smith. He had imported some French novelties to sell as Christmas gifts, but these were not popular until he wrapped them up and added a snapper. © copyright of projectbritain.com
Facts about Christmas Decorations
Each year between 34-36 million Christmas trees are produced to cope with the holiday demand.© copyright of projectbritain.com
Electric tree lights were first used just 3 years after Thomas Edison has his first mass public demonstration of electric lights back in 1879. Thomas Edison’s assistant, Edward Johnson, came up with the idea of electric lights for Christmas trees in 1882. His lights were a huge hit. It took quite a few years, however, before they would be made available to the general public.© copyright of projectbritain.com
In 1895 Ralph Morris, an American telephonist, invented the string of electric Christmas lights similar to the ones we use today. The actual strings of lights had already been manufactured for use in telephone switchboards. Morris looked at the tiny bulbs and had the idea of using them on his tree.
In 1647, the English parliament passed a law that made Christmas illegal. Christmas festivities were banned by Puritan leader Oliver Cromwell, who considered feasting and revelry on what was supposed to be a holy day to be immoral. Anybody caught celebrating Christmas was arrested. The ban was lifted only when the Puritans lost power in 1660. © copyright of projectbritain.com
Facts about Christmas Cards and Christmas Post
In 1843, the first Christmas card was created on the instructions of an Englishman, Sir Henry Cole. J.C. Horsley designed the card and sold 1000 copies in London.
Postmen in Victorian England were popularly called “robins“. This was because their uniforms were red. Victorian Xmas cards often showed a robin delivering Xmas mail. © copyright of projectbritain.com
In the nineteenth century, the British Post Office used to deliver cards on Christmas morning.
The first Christmas stamp was released in Canada in 1898.
Facts about Christmas Carols
St Francis of Assisi introduced Christmas Carols to formal church services.
The word comes from the ancient Greek ‘choros’, which means “dancing in a circle“, and from the Old French word carole, meaning “a song to accompany dancing“.© copyright of projectbritain.com
The first instrument on which the carol “Silent Night” was played was a guitar. © copyright of projectbritain.com
The popular Christmas song “Jingle Bells” was composed in 1857 by James Pierpont, and was originally called “One-Horse Open Sleigh”. It was actually written for Thanksgiving, not Xmas.
Facts about Twelfth Night
It is not until Twelfth Night that the figures of the Three Kings are supposed to be added to the Christmas crib.
In Germany, Twelfth Night is known as ‘Three Kings Day’.© copyright of projectbritain.com
The “Twelve Days of Christmas ” gifts: A partridge in a pear tree, two turtledoves, three French hens, four calling birds, five gold rings, six geese laying, seven swans swimming, eight maids milking, nine ladies dancing, ten lords leaping, eleven pipers piping, and twelve drummers drumming. There are 364 gifts altogether, one for everyday of the year.
The poem commonly referred to as “The Night Before Christmas” was originally titled “A Visit From Saint Nicholas.” This poem was written by Clement Moore for his children and some guests, one of whom anonymously sent the poem to a New York newspaper for publication.
FACT # 244