The use of the colloquial “Xmas” has often been singled out as an example of how this religious celebration has been commercialized and robbed of its religious content. So how did Xmas come to stand for Christmas?
The Romans were pagans for the first 300 years of Christianities existence.We’ll see in this article that Christianity has been very clever in subsuming pagan festivals and replacing them with their own, especially when the exact dates of some Christian festivals cannot be pin-pointed precicisely.
No one was more delighted by the foiling of the Gunpowder Plot than King James I, who had narrowly avoided becoming the first king to sit on a rocket-propelled throne. In this article we look at the history of the partying mayhem that grew up surrounding this quintessentially British tradition.
When New Year’s Eve rolls around every year it’s inevitably time to Sing “Auld lang syne” again. But what does it mean ?
Norwegian scientists have hypothesized that Rudolph’s red nose is probably the result of a parasitic infection of his respiratory system. The Germans made the first artificial Christmas trees out of dyed goose feathers All the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas would equal 364 gifts. The “true love” mentioned in the song “Twelve Days of Christmas” does not refer to a romantic couple, but the Catholic Church’s code for God. The...
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the Cracker. That extra piece of trimming that helps make up the Christmas table with it’s paper hats, silly (sometimes usefull) gifts and jokes and mottos that we all like to groan at. Here we look at how the man behind this tradition, Tom Smith, developed them.
Good King Wenceslas is more than just a popular, jaunty Christmas Carol, it encompasses a true story of a man who was made a saint by the Catholic Church.
The Christmas Pudding, that most lovely, in my opinion, of all the scrummy Yuletide fayre. In this article we look at that one of the most famous exponents of this dish, the Victorian cook Mr’s Beeton. Christmas Pud Origins Christmas pudding, or plum pudding or figgy pudding, is believed to originate from the medieval period (early 15th centuary probably) when plum pottage was served during festivities. Plum pottage was a meat...
Tea certainly isn’t native to the British Isles so how did this come about? It certainly is an interesting story involving a Portuguese princess who was a tea addict, smuggling and even revolution.
‘The Guernsey’ is a distinctive piece of clothing with it’s roots deep in the Island. It’s a simple but elegant garment that’s even gone to war with the British Armed forces in the 21st century. We look at it’s origins and features in this article.
Was Jesus born on December 25? There is no real evidence for this date. So then we must ask is, who and when was it decided that Jesus’ birth would be celebrated on this date? Secondly when was it really ?
An ancient document found in the Vatican archives has cast new light on the story of the Nativity and the Three Wise Men. The document called “The Revelation of the Magi” is an 8th century copy of an earlier one dated to the 2nd or 3rd century AD
Christmas is probably the time of year when, certainly in the West, there is an overwhelming plethora of traditions and practices that each culture likes to embrace. Many are similar but there is also a huge range of completely different ones.
It may surprise you to know that Rudolph the red nosed reindeer is not all that he seems. Here we discuss the origins of the most mercurial of all Santa’s reindeer.