What You May Not Know About Christmas

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1. Christmas Day – December 25th commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ or Jesus of Nazareth, but this day isn’t really known to be the exact birth date of Jesus. Some countries, including Russia, Ukraine and Egypt celebrate Christmas on January 7th, following the Julian calendar wherein December 25 falls on January 7 according to Gregorian calendar. In some countries such as China, North Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia, etc, Christmas is not declared to be a public holiday.

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2. Feast – As with any other tradition, this varies from country to country. In the Philippines, the highlight of the feast is the Ham, ever present in every table on the Christmas Eve. In Europe, fish is usually the main course. In Germany, France and Austria, geese and pork are favoured. In England, turkey is the highlight of the meal. Sweets are popular all over the world because it makes the Christmas sweeter.

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3. Decorations – Dating from Pre-Christian era, evergreen plants were brought indoors, this practise was adapted by Christians. Putting out a Christmas tree was said to be adapted from the pagan worship of trees.

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4. Carols – The word was derived form the word choraulein, which means a circle of dance performed to a music played in flute, later on the English associated this with dancing in circle while singing. It was in the seventeenth century when the tradition of singing Christmas carols in return for alms began.

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5. Santa Claus – There’s a Dutch folklore that tells of the god Odin, who has a lot of similarity with our modern Santa. Odin had white beard, hat, spear (staff), and a cloth bag held by servants to catch naughty children. Children would stuff a stocking with sugar, straw and carrots and hang it near the chimney. Now, we still see the influence of this practice of hanging socks.

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