Some age-old Christmas traditions are still being followed, but very few people know about their origins or how they got associated with Christmas. Some interesting Christmas traditions are as follows:
- Kissing under the Mistletoe
An age old custom of Christmas is that whenever a man and woman meet under mistletoe they kiss. The man then plucks a berry. When the last berry is gone kissing stops. Mistletoe is a poisonous parasitic plant which remains green even during winters.
Mistletoe was considered sacred by the people before Christ. It was supposed to have medicinal qualities and supernatural powers. Kissing under the mistletoe is a Scandinavian custom. The Scandinavians associated mistletoe with their goddess of love Frigga and all those who kissed under it had a happy and prosperous year.
- Christmas Tree
Setting up a fir tree as a Christmas tree started in Germany. Later it spread to the whole of Europe and then in 1800s America. The custom of decorating a Christmas tree also commenced in Germany.
3. Christmas Dinner
The main dishes of a traditional Christmas dinner are roast turkey and plum pudding. The turkey is filled with stuffing and then roasted. The Christmas pudding contains dried fruits and is said to have originated in England.
4. Christmas Carols
Christmas carols are songs based on the theme of Christmas. In the 12th century, St.Francis of Assini introduced Christmas carols to the church. The word carol is derived from a French word “caroler” which means dancing around in a circle.
These songs express joy and happiness and are very popular among Christians. The carol “Silent Night” is especially popular. A Christmas is not complete without carols.
5. Christmas Stockings
Children hang stockings by their bedsides or the fireplace on the eve of Christmas. Santa Claus is supposed to fill these stockings with toys and other gifts the children have asked for.
This tradition began with Saint Nicholas a kindhearted pious person who loved to help people while remaining anonymous. One day he climbed to the roof of a house and slipped a purse of money down the chimney to help a girl. The purse landed in the girl’s stocking which she had put out to dry.