Christmas is no doubt one of the most popular holidays around the world, a celebration rich in history and tradition that has been recognized for centuries. Each country has their own variation of the christmas story and how the holiday is celebrated. Whether he be called Papa Noel, St. Nicholas or Santa Claus there is usually a jolly old man associated with the gift giving so well known with the Christmas holiday. In English speaking countries the typical form of celebration is fairly similar. On Christmas Eve Santa makes his rounds and delivers present to people all around the world. Holiday parties and winter celebrations are always a part of the festivities as well. While you are no doubt familiar with all the aforementioned festivities here are a few fun Christmas facts that you many not have been aware of. Whether it be just for your own interest or to impress your friends at the holiday party we hope you enjoy!
Jingle Bells’ was written for Thanksgiving, not Christmas
The ever familiar tune ‘Jingle Bells’ is almost always associated with Christmas, you can hear it being sung by carolers, or playing in department stores fo the weeks leading up to Christmas. However, according to a recent article composer James Lord Pierpont wrote the song in the 1850’s for his Sunday school class to sing during Thanksgiving. The song quickly became a hit with children and adults alike and the lyrics were changed to be more appropriate for Christmas and it is now the popular Christmas song you will no doubt here many times this season.
EGGnog is one of the oldest winter traditions
The delicious winter drink that many eagerly anticipate all year has been around for centuries! The first batch was made in America at Captain John Smith’s Jamestown settlement in 1607. The name eggnog comes from the word ‘grog’ which refers to any kind of beverage made with rum. Will you be enjoying a rich class this year?
The most recorded song
The classic Christmas song «Silent Night» is the most recorded song in History, not just Christmas songs, there have been over 733 different versions copyrighted since 1978! Do you have a favorite version?
Official National Christmas Tree
Did you know that there is an official national Christmas tree in America? We didn’t either. The tree is located in King’s Canyon National Park in California. The tree is a giant sequoia and is called the «General Grant Tree» it is over 300 feet tall and was made the official Christmas Tree of America in 1925.
As we said, all countries have their own Christmas traditions and Japan has a very interesting one indeed. For the last 40 years it has been tradition in Japan to eat at KFC for Christmas dinner. This is due to a highly successful marketing campaign launches 40 years ago in Japan. KFC is so popular for Christmas dinner in Japan that people place their orders 2 months in advance. So if you’re in Japan this holiday season be sure to put your order in soon!
Christmas 2010 will always be one to be remembered in Colombia. The government decided to cover jungle trees with Christmas lights, when the FARC guerillas, the Colombian terrorists, walked by the trees lit up! They had banners that asked them to lay down their weapons that became visible as well. This small act caused 331 guerrillas to re-enter society and the campaign was an award for strategic marketing excellence
Rudolph the rednose reindeer is a well known figure when it comes to Christmas traditions and celebrations. It is however, a farily new additon to the holiday. He was first brought onto the scene in 1939. He was created by the department store Montgomery Ward, they distributed free coloring books each year to draw more customers into the store. They had their copywriter, Robert L. May, create a story and turned it into the coloring book. The story became so popular that Rudolph was there to stay! Now a well known figure would you have guessed that he was part of a marketing campaign?
The world’s largest gingerbread man was created in 2006. He is a big guy coming in at 466 pounds and 6 ounces. He was made by The Gingerbread House in Rochester, Minnesota on February 21, 2006! Can you imagine trying to finish that cookie?
Today it is American tradition to hang stockings above the fireplace, these are then filled with small gifts and toys leading up to Christmas. This tradition comes from a Dutch custom. They would leave shoes full of food out on the door steps for St. Nicolas’ donkeys and then St. Nicholas would leave small gifts in the shoes in return.
Jingle Bells in Space
Jingle Bells was the first song sung from space. It was sung by Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra on Gemini 6 on December 16, 1965 They had secretly smuggled a harmonica and bells on board and proceeded to sing the first song broadcasted from space