How Christmas Trees Became a Holiday Tradition
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The first verse of the Christmas carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas, evolved as a festive memory game. The list of objects or animals builds with each verse and forfeits are impos...
This carol reveals customs. Under the Tudor monarchs, wassailing and mumming were still practised, with carollers and players performing from door to door.
It was bad luck not to reward their efforts with food and drink, including the 'figgy pudding,' or Christmas pudding.
A favourite Welsh folk song during the 16th century we know today as Deck the Halls only acquired Christmassy words in the 19th century.
Deck the Halls had words that would not have suited the prim Victorians. In the 1860s, Thomas Oliphant changed the lines to suit the dancing melody and lively 'fa la la' chorus for the celebration of Christmas preparations.
Every year, many families across the world celebrate Christmas and have a tradition of giving children with special Christmas gifts.
Critics have decried the commercialization of the Christ...
Donating gifts to poor children as Christmas charity started only after gift-giving to the children of one’s own family and friends became a common ritual.
Gifting in general is not according to ‘good behaviour’ and does not have an exclusive link to the Christian faith.
Gift giving for children during Christmas started in New York City in the 1800s when the holiday was ‘reinvented’ as a family bonding time that integrated the various home decoration and shopping rituals.
When the city’s population grew ten times from 1800 to 1850, city planners and the elites feared that the street revelry done by ‘commoners’ would be a problem for them during the holidays, and started to focus the celebrations to be done at homes only.
In ancient Greek, lyric poetry identified the heart with love.
Greek philosophers agreed that the heart was linked to our strongest emotions, including love. Plato thought the heart was re...
The ancient Romans believed there was a vein extending from the fourth finger of the left hand directly to the heart.
In the medieval period in Salisbury, England, the groom was told to place a ring on the bride's fourth finger during a marriage ceremony, because of that vein.
During the 12th and 13th centuries, minstrels in France celebrated a form of love that we call today courtly love. The troubadour was to pledge his whole heart to only one woman and promise to be true to her forever. He'd sing to her and the members of the court to which she belonged.
During this time, artists depicted love between a couple as a fanciful tree that rises to form the outline of a heart. It carries within it a coat of arms bearing the Latin word AMOR (love).