The trivia lovers’ guide to the most wonderful time of the yearbecaleb
As the festive season draws tantalisingly closer and our calendars fill with gatherings, parties and celebrations, everyone needs a little conversation starter or two. Here are some surprising facts, stories and legends behind our favourite holiday.
- In many parts of the world, Christmas as a day off is a relatively recent phenomenon. As late as 1850, December 25 wasn’t considered a legal holiday in the United States and children were still expected to attend school.
- Christmas trees are thought to have originated in Germany way back in the 16th But instead of the tinsel and glittering lights we know and love today, evergreen yule trees were decorated with fruit and nuts.
- White-bearded, jolly and bearing gifts with his reindeer in tow, Santa is a beloved festive favourite. The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back hundreds of years to a monk named St. Nicholas who was greatly admired for his kindness and generosity, particularly toward less fortunate children.
- Christmas cards first appeared in England in the 1840s. It’s understood that Sir Henry Cole together with his friend John Horsley designed the very first card and began to sell them for 1 shilling each.
- Silent Night is the most recorded Christmas song in history, with over 733 different versions copyrighted since 1978. Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ is widely considered the most popular Christmas song in modern times thanks to it making the charts every year since it was first released in 1994.
- The highest-grossing Christmas movie of all time is How the Grinch Stole Christmas, featuring Jim Carey as the lovably grouchy Grinch. We can’t wait to see the new version of this holiday classic which will be screening at Ster-Kinekor Mall of the North this December. And the cherry top is the filled-with-fun Grinch Kiddies Zone on 14 December, and from 15 to 24 December from 12pm to 5pm daily.
- In Norway it is still considered bad luck to use a broom on Christmas Eve. The custom dates back hundreds of years when it was thought witches were on the look-out for brooms to snatch.
- In the Czech Republic, Santa doesn’t come on Christmas but makes an appearance much earlier on St. Nicholas Eve, which typically falls on 5 December.
Whatever traditions and customs you follow, we wish you and yours all the joys of the season and warm wishes for 2019!