We should spare a thought for all those who won’t be sitting down to Xmas dinner in their own house this holiday, due to the terrible flooding blighting much of the UK. Or those with loved ones fighting overseas.
Another year nearly over now. So from me the Spaceman & Hawking Bot here at Cumberland Spaceman it a very merry Xmas to my readers and a happy new year.
Here are 25 Xmas facts for ya :
1) Santa Claus comes from a Dutch folk tale – based on Saint Nicholas, or ‘Sinterklaas’, who gave gifts on December 6.
2) Santa would have to visit 822 homes a second to deliver all the world’s presents on Christmas Eve, travelling at 650 miles a second. Either that or be like the robotic Santa from Futurama.
3) Santa has different names around the world :
Kriss Kringle in Germany.
Le Befana in Italy.
Pere Noel in France
Deushka Moroz in Russia.
4) The tradition of putting tangerines in stockings comes from 12th-century French nuns who left socks full of fruit, nuts and tangerines at the houses of the poor.
5) Hanging a stocking comes from the Dutch custom of leaving shoes packed with food for St Nicholas’s donkeys. He would leave small gifts in return.
6) Carol Singing actually began as an old English custom – called ‘Wassailing’, which was to toast neighbours, to a long healthy life.Carols weren’t sung in churches until the 13th century.
7) 60 million Christmas trees are grown each year in Europe. Many parts of the Christmas tree can actually be eaten, with the needles being a good source of Vitamin C.
8) THE word ‘Noel’ derives from the French expression “les bonnes nouvelles” which means “the good news”.
9) Jesus was most likely born in a cave, rather than a wooden stable.
10) Astronomers believe the Star Of Bethlehem, may have been the planet Uranus.
11) The Bible never directly gives a definitive number of Wisemen. Matthew’s Gospel refers to them as merely “wise men”.
12) Theologians estimate that Jesus was actually born sometime in September – between 6BC and 30AD.
13) THE holly in a wreath symbolises Christ’s crown of thorns, while the red berries are drops of his blood.
14) THE chances of a white Christmas are just 1 in 10 for England and Wales, and 1 in 6 for Scotland and Northern Ireland.
15) Before turkey became the traditional Christmas meal in England, the norm was a pig’s head with mustard.
Christmas pudding was originally a soup made with raisins and wine.
16) IN 1647, following the Civil War, Oliver Cromwell banned festivities, until 1660.
17) THE word Christmas comes from the Old English : “Cristes maesse” meaning “Christ’s Mass”.
18) THE bestselling Xmas single ever, is Bing Crosby’s White Christmas (50million copies worldwide since 1942). In the UK, the best-selling festive single is Band Aid’s 1984 track, Do They Know It’s Christmas?, (3.5million copies).
19) Boxing Day gets its name from all the money collected in church alms-boxes for the poor.
20) Kissing under the mistletoe is thought to spring from the Norse goddess of love – ‘Frigga’, who was associated with the plant.
21) THE Beatles hold the record for most Xmas number 1 singles, topping the charts in 1963, 65 and 67.
22) RUDOLPH the red-nosed reindeer was invented for a US firm’s Christmas promotion, in 1938.
23) THE first Christmas celebrated in Britain is thought to have been in York in 521AD.
24) In Greece, Italy, Spain and Germany, workers get a Christmas bonus of one month’s salary by law. (Nice).
25) In the Czech Rep. In tradition, the number of people at the xmas table must be even, or the one without a partner will die next year.