No matter where you are around the world, I am sure you celebrate Christmas one way or the other. As a little kid, I have been told that Christmas was the time for people all over the world to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
In the Philippines, I liked Christmas because I get to have gifts from my godparents and other members of the family. On the last day of class at school before Christmas break, we enjoy a fun-filled Christmas party with our classmates and teachers. This was during my elementary and high school years. When I was in college, I usually come home to celebrate Christmas with my loved ones.
Instead of just wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, I would like to share below some fun facts you might not know about Christmas.
- The word “Christmas” was derived from the contraction of the Old English term “Christ’s Mass”.
- “Jingle Bells” was written in 1857 for Thanksgiving by James Pierpont, but it became one of the most popular Christmas songs. It was originally called “One-Horse Open Sleigh”.
- If you received all of the gifts in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, you would have 364 gifts.
- The Christmas season begins at sundown on 24th December and lasts through sundown on 5th January. For that reason, this season is also known as the Twelve Days of Christmas.
- According to a survey done in 1995, 7 out of 10 British dogs get Christmas gifts from their doting owners.
- More diamonds are sold around Christmas (around 31%) than any other time of the year.
- Christmas trees are actually edible. Several parts of firs, spruces and pines can be eaten. Their needles are a very good source of vitamin C. Pine nuts and pine cones are also a good source of nutrition.
- An artificial spider and web are always included in decorations on Ukrainian Christmas trees. A web found on Christmas morning is believed to bring good luck.
- Electric Christmas tree lights were first used in 1895 which was suggested by Ralph E. Morris. The new lights proved to be safer than the traditional candles.
- During the Christmas buying season in the United States, Visa cards alone are used at an average of 5,340 times every minute.
- For every real Christmas tree harvested, 2 to 3 seedlings are planted in its place.
- Following Princess Diana’s tragic death in 1997, the Ty toy company, famous in the late 1990s for its popular Beanie Baby line of beanbag animals, issued a “Princess” bear in tribute. The royal purple Beanie which bears an embroidered white rose on its chest, became so desired that at Christmas time, American collectors were willing to spend up to $300 for one on the local market.
- One of the prominent symbols of Christmas in Philippines is the Parol, a handmade star-shaped lantern. It represents the star of Bethlehem that led the three wise men to baby Jesus.
- Christmas season in the Philippines is known for its Evening Mass or Misa de Gallo or Simbang Gabi. It is celebrated for 9 days starting from December 16 up until Christmas Eve or December 24. It usually begins at 4 o’clock in morning.
- Caroling is a well-known tradition for the Filipinos during Christmas time. Also called Cumbancheros, carolers sing for charity or for simple fun.
At present, my family and I celebrate Christmas Eve (Noche Buena in Spanish) with a Christmas party, complete with Noche Buena food (Christmas ham, Queso de bola, etc.) and the exchanging of gifts.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
Have you learned something new about Christmas with this post? Please feel free to comment. Thanks for stopping by!