by extramarks - Academics - December 26, 2019June 30, 2021 How Well Do You Know Christmas? The holiday of Christmas is much looked forward to the entire year. The weather gets chilly, shops and markets deck up in the brightest colours, and the excitement of the upcoming new year completely envelopes everyone. There are several traditional images associated with this festival, like the Santa Claus, the Christmas Tree and the Christmas Star. All these images and rituals have several interesting back stories, some of them very surprising in fact. In our latest blog, as the tide of celebrations ebbs, let’s look at some amazing facts about Christmas. Jesus was not actually born on Christmas! Yes, you read that right. There much consensus among historians that Jesus Christ was actually born in Spring. There is no mention of the date 25th December anywhere in the Bible. This date was chosen for Christmas, most probably, because it coincided with Saturnalia – an ancient festival celebrating Saturn, the god of agriculture. Christmas was not always such a huge celebration. In fact, there was a period where it was banned! From 1659 to 1681, you could be fined for celebrating Christmas anywhere in Boston. The reason cited for this is because the roots of this festival are in pagan ceremonies. The tradition of decorating the Christmas Tree is said to have begun with the Germans. They decorated their trees with cookies and lights! Coming to Santa Claus – he has evolved from Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas was a Christian Bishop who lived in Turkey in the 4th century CE. He was very rich and known to be a valorous donor. No one went away empty handed after meeting him. Upon being given sainthood, he became the protector of children. His name spread after this death, and he was called Sint-Nicolaas in Dutch. This was shortened to Sinter Klaas. And that is from where the familiar sounding Santa Claus was adopted. The original Santa Claus was blue, white and green! Do you know which is the most recorded Christmas carol? It is Silent Night. Since 1978, more than 733 different versions of this song have been copyrighted. According to a legend, this song was written by Father Joseph Mohr of Austria. Jingle Bells, originally, was not supposed to be a Christmas Song at all! It was conceived to be sung on Thanksgiving. The song was written by James Lord Pierpont in 1857. Its original title was ‘One Horse Open Sleigh’. Oh, and it was the first song to be broadcast from space! Are you fond of Christmas films? This is a holiday associated with tucking in with a bag-full of popcorns or a bowl full of soup and binge-watching Christmas classics. The highest grossing Christmas film of all time is How the Grinch Stole Christmas, starring Jim Carry. So there! Now you have your arms full of new facts on Christmas that you can share with your loved ones as you sit down for post-celebration get-togethers. Keep learning!