There are a whole host of different Christmas traditions from around the world. Lots of people celebrate Christmas, but in very different ways! We take a look at some interesting Christmas traditions and facts from around the world!
Mistletoe was held sacred by the Norse, the Celtic Druids, and Native American Indians, because it remains green and bears fruit during the winter when other plants seem to die.
Pope Julius I, the bishop of Rome, originally proclaimed December 25 the official celebration day for Jesus’ birthday back in 350 AD.
The city of Riga, Latvia holds the claim as home to history’s first decorated Christmas tree, back in 1510.
In the Marshall Islands people prepare for Christmas months in advance, stockpiling gifts and dividing into jeptas, or teams, that hold song-and-dance competitions on Christmas Day. They also build a piñata-like wojke containing little presents (matches, money, soap) for God.
In spite of Ethiopia's Christian heritage, Christmas is not an important holiday there. Most people actually call the holiday Ganna or Genna after a hockey-like ball game played only once a year, on Christmas afternoon.
Tom Smith invented Christmas Crackers around 1846. He was inspired by the French habit of wrapping sugared almonds in twists of paper as gifts.
Fruitcake originated in ancient Egypt, where it was considered essential for the afterlife.
In Ghana many people observe a traditional folk libation ritual at Christmastime. In it, people drink from a cup and then pour some of its contents on the ground as a symbolic offering to their ancestors.
The Christmas tradition of hanging stockings allegedly began with three poor sisters who couldn’t afford a marriage dowry.The wealthy Bishop Saint Nicholas of Smyrna (modern-day Turkey) saved them from a life of prostitution by sneaking down their chimney and filling their stockings with gold coins
The tradition of tinsel, which was invented in Germany in 1610, is based on a legend about spiders whose web turned into silver when they were spun in a Christmas tree.
In Greek culture, kissing under the mistletoe was considered an unspoken promise to marry your mate.
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