- Holidays and Celebrations
Interesting habits and fun facts in and about Christmas
There are many small facts and unusual things for us to know about Christmas that we don't even think about and could not imagine that would exist! But some of them are good to know and lift up the Christmas mood even more!
Interesting Christmas facts
- In some European countries, double salary is paid for Christmas bonus by law! The lucky people are in Greece, Germany, Italy and Spain. It is also a common habit in Portugal.
- In Iceland, there are 13 Santas! They first appeared in the 17th century as the sons of two frightening trolls and were not wanted to come. They start coming down from the mountains 13 days before the Christmas and nowadays they bring little gifts for children or a potato for naughty children. The Santas have names like Spoon Licker, Meat Hook etc.
- In Czech Republic, the table should be set for an even number of guests - an odd number brings death to the person without partner!
- In Czech Republic, everyone should leave the Christmas table at the same time - the person who is the first to leave, is the first to die next year.
- Santa visits about 820 homes a second - that is how the Santa delivers all the world's presents on Christmas Eve. Santa's traveling speed is 1045 km per hour.
- Leaving shoes packed with food for St Nicholas's donkeys is a Dutch custom, out of which comes the habit of hanging stockings. St Nicholas would return small gifts in return.
- The chance of White Christmas in London is 6%, in New York is 22% and in Toronto is 37%.
- The traditional Christmas meal in England (before turkey) used to be a pig's head and mustard.
- It is often said about the birth of Jesus, that an angel choir was singing etc, but the Bible doesn't say anything about that.
- One of the most expensive Christmas trees is in Tokyo - it is made of pure gold and the cost is approximately 2 million dollars.
- In Norway, a legend says that witches come out on Christmas Eve to find a broom to fly on. All the brooms of the house are hidden and men go outside and fire shotguns to scare them.
- For many Japanese, Kentucky Fried Chicken is a traditional Christmas food - reservations have to be made to get it on Christmas Eve!
- In Venezuela, in a place called Caraca, church-goers attend a morning mass on roller skates!
- In Ukraine, in addition to other ornaments, a spider with web are put on the Christmas tree. It is hidden and brings good luck to the finder.
The strangest Christmas habit - el caganer, the defacator
A Christmas tradition in the Catalonia region of Spain - "el caganer" - in English "the defacator". It is a part of the nativity displays - baby Jesus, Mary, some angels etc and then a defacator, sitting there, his pants down.
The figure is not at all disrespectful and it symbolizes fertility and good fortune. There is an association dedicated to the statuses - the Amics del Caganer. The founder of the Association has a collection of 600 statues at home!
The figure is never put in front of the Nativity scene - that would be considered disrespectful and it is always somewhere behind the corner etc, so the children can play a game, hunting for the caganer.
Celebrity caganers are also made - the queen of England, the president of USA etc! It sounds like a really great Christmas gift for friends!
There is also a pooping log - Caga Tio - that poops candies, nuts, fruits etc. Every night, for keeping him warm, he is covered with a blanket. On the Christmas Eve, he is put near the fireplace, beaten with sticks, encouraged with singing and ordered to poop!
There are more and more habits, but these are the ones that got me most interested and I wanted to share them! It is good to know, that our Christmas habits are not the only ones in the world!
Enjoy the Christmas time!