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Christmas customs: 16 joyous practices – is the reason we honor them

Christmas customs: 16 joyous practices

Did you know that putting up your Christmas tree, sending and receiving Christmas cards, and your most traditional Christmas décor ideas – along with our other favorite customs – all have a long history? It’s the heartwarming Christmas traditions we cherish and carry out year after year that make the holiday season so special.

the customs of Christmas

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We look into Christmas customs and their significance below.

1. Green, Gold, and Red

This color scheme is the definition of tradition when it comes to Christmas. So if we want to create a “traditional” atmosphere, why do we tend to go toward red, gold, and green? This Christmas tradition has religious roots, as expected, as crimson represents the blood of Christ. gold represents one of the gifts from the Three Kings, and green represents eternal life.

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2. Singing by Carol

In the past, folk tunes other than Christmas carols were sung at gatherings all year round. Many of these carols were later accepted and modified by churchgoers in medieval times, and today, many of them are still a part of our most cherished Christmas customs. The Holly and the Ivy is an example of a medieval carol.

3. The Holiday Tree

For thousands of years, both pagan and Christian winter rituals have historically centered around the fir tree. Since it reminded them of the approaching spring, Pagans used its branches to decorate their dwellings on the winter solstice.

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Fir trees were utilized by the Romans to adorn their temples during the Saturnalia holiday, which eventually evolved into Christmas.

When Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, brought a Christmas tree to England from Germany in 1841 and put it in Windsor Castle, Christmas tree concepts began to spread throughout the country. They appeared in front of it with their kids for a newspaper piece, and it quickly gained popularity across the nation.

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4. The Advent Wreath

Christmas wreaths have long served as a representation of valor and victory, long before the birth of Christ and the holiday we now know as Christmas.

Christian believers embraced it as a symbol of the beginning of Christmas during the Middle Ages.

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5. Evergreen Plant Life

The use of evergreen greenery during the winter solstice dates back to Roman and paganic celebrations. It stands for the triumph of light over darkness.

The inclusion of greenery in the home was also believed to ward off evil spirits that attempted to enter throughout the winter, which is why we add Christmas foliage ideas in our decorations today.

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6. Holiday Cards

Sir Henry Cole, a successful Victorian businessman, ordered the first Christmas card in the UK in 1843 because he was too busy to write personal notes to his friends.

Cole sold the extra 1,000 cards that were printed for 6d (about 2.5p). The Royal family’s popularity skyrocketed after they started distributing holiday cards.

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7. Holiday Stockings

St. Nicholas, the saint of children, was a Christian bishop in what is now Turkey in the fourth century.

According to legend, he wished to assist an impoverished family with three daughters who each needed a dowry in order to be married.

On Christmas Eve, he threw gold coins down their chimney to make a charitable donation without hurting their dignity; the coins fell into a stocking that was drying in the fireplace.

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Today, a lot of people stuff an orange into their stockings for Christmas to symbolize a gold coin.

8. Mistletoe

The Druids venerated this resilient plant for its capacity to endure and stay green throughout the winter without roots. It was picked around the winter solstice and utilized medicinally.

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A kiss beneath the mistletoe is said to bring good luck for a year and the chance of marriage for young maidens because the Scandinavians identified it with their goddess of love and the Romans saw it as a symbol of peace.

Children should not be allowed to consume mistletoe berries since they are harmful.

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9. Christmas calendars

Four Sundays before Christmas, the Christmas season officially begins with Advent. But the modern version of an advent calendar starts on December 1 and counts down until Christmas Eve.

According to legend, the countdown began in Germany at the beginning of the 19th century when Lutherans began writing the number of days till Christmas in chalk on their front doors.

In 1851, the first handmade advent calendar was produced.

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10. Crackers

Thomas Smith, a confectioner from London, created Christmas crackers in 1846.

Smith was inspired by French bonbons, which were wrapped in colorful paper twists, but he also added a love maxim to his confections. Then, as an additional surprise, he added a strip of paper that was chemically laced and would break when the twist was unwound. Over time, the crackers grew bigger, and he switched out the candy for a modest gift.

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In London, the first Christmas crackers were sold in 1847, and the rest is history.

11. Santa Claus, aka Father Christmas

St. Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors and children, resided in Myrna (now Turkey) in the fourth century. He was created a saint after his death and granted his own feast day, which was originally on December 6th, because of his renown for charity.

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As a result, he later came to be associated with Christian celebrations surrounding Jesus’ birth. With the introduction of the custom of setting out clogs to be filled with gifts by Dutch settlers in America, his name in Holland changed to Sinterklaas and eventually to Santa Claus.

The poem A Visit from Saint. Nicholas, later published as T’Was the Night Before Christmas, depicted the merry, red-cheeked, and white-bearded Father Christmas of today in 19th-century England.

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12. Holiday ornaments

The glass factory in the German town of Lauscha by the 1880s was well-known for creating hand-cast lead and hand-blown glass balls that were sold at the Christmas markets.

Up until mass production was developed in the USA after the two world wars, Germany was the world’s leading producer of glass ornaments.

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13. Mutton Pies

Initially, dried fruit, spices, and meat were all included in mince pies. They are believed to have come to Britain in the 13th century with the return of Crusaders who had a taste for Middle Eastern cuisine with meat, fruit and spices.

Commonly referred to as Christmas pies, they were initially oval in shape to symbolize Jesus’ manger.

Eventually, the Victorians omitted the meat but kept the three spices, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves to stand in for the three wise men.

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According to custom, we should eat one mince pie on each of the twelve days leading up to Christmas to bring good luck for the next year. If you turn down a mince pie, ill karma can follow. We have a reason to indulge now, I see.

14. Christmas scenes

The first nativity scenes that we are familiar with date back to the 10th century in Rome. Reenactments gained popularity starting in the 12th century and began to spread throughout Europe. The majority of nativity scenes are static, with wooden figures, although living nativity scenes can be found in several nations, notably Sicily in Italy.

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15. The Ivy and the Holly

Ivy and holly are a classic Christmastime pairing. Holly’s widespread use dates back to times when it was regarded as a form of protection against witches and other pagans. It is also believed that holly’s thorns and berries symbolize the Crown of Thorns that Jesus wore on the Cross and the blood that was spilt there. Ivy, on the other hand, is thought to be a sign of Jesus’ birth because of its heart-shaped leaves.

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16. Religious Attendance

Attending church on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day itself is a significant Christmas ritual because Christmas Day is a significant Christian holiday and feast day. Together with Easter, it is also the time of year when most individuals who don’t routinely go to church do so.

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