Christmas traditions explained

By Amanda Stewart,

There are so many different Christmas traditions that were not always celebrated the way that we do today. As the holiday draws closer and closer many wonder where we get our Christmas traditions.

Most of the traditions that are tied in with the birth of baby Jesus are not truly Christian, reports The Christian Post. Morningside College professor Bruce Forbes told the Post that most of the traditions that we practice today are the result of some very difficult winters.

Traditions like getting together, dancing, drinking and “being merry” would help people in the depressing winter where there was more dark than light.

The Christmas tree, according to USA Today, came from Germany. Germans would carry trees in a holiday procession for the Feast of Adam and Eve, celebrated on Dec. 24. Later, Queen Victoria would marry Prince Albert, a German, and England would adopt the Christmas tree.

Caroling is another Christmas tradition that many wouldn’t mind being explained. Why on Earth do we go door to door singing carols? Caroling actually dates back to the 8th and 9th century when it is believed that people would travel to bring the harvest to their lords and would sing along the way.

Mistletoe has a few stories attached to it, but the most interesting is the story tied to the Druids. They believed the mistletoe to be somewhat of a magical plant and often used it during rituals. The kissing underneath the plant relates to the belief that mistletoe actually effects fertility and conception.

Frederick Opie, professor of History and Foodways, reported in his blog Food As A Lens that eggnog has a story as well. During the winter in Britain, many of the poorer people did not have money for eggs or milk and therefore did not have to money to make eggnog. Drinking eggnog at Christmas was a sign of wealth.

Many of these Christmas traditions have been somewhat faded out, like the mistletoe and caroling, but it is still interesting to find out where they came from. Next time you practice one of these traditions, think about where it originated and how far it has come.

image: Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images/image.net


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