Why Is Christmas On December 25?
The idea to celebrate Christmas on December 25 originated in the Catholic Church around the 4th century. On December 25th, pagans held rituals for Yuletide, or the Winter Solstice. To reach out to the pagans and attract them to the church, church leaders decided that in order to compete with the pagan celebration they would themselves order a festival in celebration of the birth of Christ. In reality, the birth of Christ in the Roman Calendar would put it around springtime, if he existed.
Christmas Was Banned In The USA
The Pilgrims, on arriving in the US, banned Christmas as a pagan ritual. The celebration of Christmas was banned by law in Massachusetts in colonial times.
How Is Mistletoe and Holly Linked To Christmas?
Two hundred or so BC, the Druids of Wales and Ireland used mistletoe to celebrate the Winter Solstice. They would gather it and use it to decorate their homes. They believed the plant had special healing powers for everything from female infertility to poison ingestion.
How Did Poinsettias Become Part Of Christmas?
Poinsettias are native to Mexico. They were named after America's first ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett who brought the plants to America in 1828. The Mexicans in the 1900's thought the plants were symbolic of the Star of Bethlehem. Thus the Poinsettia became associated with the Christmas season.
The Candy Cane
Candy canes have been around for centuries, but it wasn't until around 1900 that they were decorated with red stripes and bent into the shape of a cane. They were sometimes handed out during church services to keep the children quiet.
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