Blah blah blah fish paste, all this negative nonsense being regularly discussed needs some cheer, thus let us follow in our forefathers’ footsteps and get the Christmas vibe going. And what better way to kick off the festivities, than in true Newcastillian – Online News style.
To ensure you have Christmas knowledge to flaunt over a glass of eggnog this season, we searched for some fascinating facts on this beloved holiday. Regardless if you celebrate Christmas for religious reasons or just simply love the presents, the below information will leave your jaw hanging.
Jingle Bells is a Christmas song.
I hate to break it to you; Jingle Bells is not a Christmas song at all. The song was written by an American by the name of James Pierpont in 1857. The song (originally called One Horse Open Sleigh) which is actually a Thanksgiving song, about winter fun and frolics.
The Three Wise men in all Christmas stories
Through all the nativity scenes, movies and stories we have heard about the Birth of Jesus, whereby the three wise men play an instrumental role in the event. But what if I told you, the Bible does not state there were three wise men. It merely says they brought three gifts.
Don’t believe me? Check Matthew 2, verses 1 to 12.
December 25 is the day Jesus was born.
For years, people have celebrated Christmas Day on December 25. But nowhere in the Bible or other texts does it say this was when Jesus was actually born. However, some historic calculations claim Jesus’s birthday was somewhere between February and March.
Coca-Cola created the image of Santa Claus as we know it.
Think about it, Father Christmas sports the right colours. But despite what you might think, Coca-Cola didn’t really create Santa as we now know him.
Illustrator Thomas Nast is frequently credited as having helped shape the modern “fat and jolly” image of Santa in the late 1800s. While Norman Rockwell had been whipping up some of the iconic Santa imagery, we are now so familiar with for The Saturday Evening Post since 1923.
Christmas trees are a traditional Christmas decoration, or are they?
The truth actually is that tree decorating is a pagan ritual. In fact, when the idea to add Christmas trees to the celebrations came up, it apparently ruffled more than a few feathers when it was adopted by the church. So much so, that the first decorated Christmas tree didn’t emerge until some time in the 19th century.
Christmas is just a Christian version of a Roman festival Saturnalia.
This myth is relatively prevalent among anti-Christmas supporters, but Saturnalia was initially held on December 17. Later on, the celebration was expanded, until it lasted all the way up to December 23.
But it never shared a date with Christmas. However, it is essential to point out there was a Roman festival on December 25, the festival of Sol Invictus.
Remembering there were Roman festivals on most days of the year. In fact, there were about 200 Roman festivals and Sol Invictus is not recorded before Christmas, nor does it and Saturnalia have much in common with Christmas.
Xmas takes the real meaning out of Christmas
This myth is also a famous fable which does its rounds on an annual basis. But did you know, Xmas and Christmas are precisely the same?
The word “Christ” and its compounds, including “Christmas”, have been abbreviated in English for at least the past 1,000 years, long before the modern “Xmas” was commonly used. “Christ” was often written as “Xρ” or “Xt”; there are references in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as far back as 1021AD.
This X and P arose as the uppercase forms of the Greek letters χ (Ch) and ρ (R) which are used in ancient abbreviations for Χριστος (Greek for “Christ”).
Now armed with some good-old Christmas Knowledge, what are your thoughts? Do you have any Christmas myths to debunk?
Share your views below.
Authors: Quinton Boucher and Calvin Swemmer
Edited: Calvin Swemmer