The tradition of hanging Christmas stockings on Christmas dates back to the legend of St. Nicholas during the third century in Myra, Turkey. According to legend, filling stockings with gold was a way for St. Nicholas to give poor girls dowries.Know More
According to the St. Nicholas Center Organization, St. Nicholas aided the poor, especially those girls whose families could not afford to give them dowries, by dropping gold down chimneys or through windows. This money would land in stockings that were hung up to dry. Another story says that the stocking tradition began when children would leave their shoes out filled with hay for Santa Claus's horse. He then would replace the hay with gifts.
St. Nicholas was reputedly born in the third century in Patara, a place that is now Demre, Turkey. His parents, who raised him as a Christian in what was then a Grecian province, died in an epidemic. Nicholas used what was left of the family fortune to help those less fortunate. He eventually became the Bishop of Myra where he continued his good works. He died on December 6, on what is now known as St. Nicholas Day. Many countries, such as Poland, celebrate this day with gift giving and feasts.Learn more in Christmas
The holiday character of Santa Claus is based on St. Nicholas, a Christian saint who was born in Turkey in 280 A.D. and believed to have died in 343 A.D. Dutch immigrants introduced his legacy to the United States in the 1700s, and the tradition of Santa Claus was born.Full Answer >
The tradition of the Christmas tree originates with pagan worshippers who decorated their homes with green boughs during the winter solstice. They believed that the long nights occurred because the sun god was ill. Placing a bough in the home during the solstice celebrated the waning of winter's power.Full Answer >
The Three Wise Men, also known popularly as the Three Kings, were a group of distinguished foreigners who, in the tradition of Christianity and according to the Gospel of Matthew, visited Jesus upon his birth. They came bearing him gifts.Full Answer >
The tradition of the Christmas tree originated in Germany in the 16th century, when trees were brought into homes to be decorated. The first person to decorate the Christmas tree with lighted candles is believed to be Martin Luther. Evergreens had been a symbol of life in several ancient religions, such as the Druids.Full Answer >