Do you know why you do the Christmas traditions you grew up with? Read on and find out!
Now that we have stuffed ourselves with a delightful Thanksgiving feast sprinkled with love, we can direct our attention to the next big feast—Christmas. Christmas is certainly one of the holidays with a treasure trove of traditions, but do you know why and how exactly these traditions came about?
The most popular Christmas icon, especially for children, is the Christmas tree. We’ve all been though the phase of counting how many beautifully wrapped gifts nestled under the tree have our name on it. But did you know that the tradition of decorating trees came long before Christmas itself? It is believed that ancient pagan societies that practiced animism brought and decorated trees indoors to please the spirits and ensure a good harvest. Trees only became linked to Christmas when Christianity started to spread across Germany. The popularization of the modern Christmas tree came about when Prince Albert, originally from Germany, introduced the Christmas tree to England after he married Queen Victoria in 1840.
The tradition of hanging Christmas stockings by the chimney is linked with the origin of Santa Claus’ story. It is believed that St. Nicholas threw three bags of gold coins down the chimney of a poor family whose father could not marry off his daughters because he had no money for dowries. It so happened that the daughters hung their stockings by the fireplace to dry and they caught the bags of gold coins that were dropped.