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 about Christmas
Santa Claus is a myth told to children, but he does have historical roots in St. Nicholas. The legend of St. Nicholas dates back to 280 A.D. St. Nicholas was a monk who became the source of many stories, though the validity of the stories is unknown.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 kissing ball is a tradition that started in England during the Middle Ages. The holiday kissing ball, which was referred to as “holy boughs” during that time period, is designed to be hung over doorways as an omen of goodwill to all who visit. It is also a sign that the homeowner embraces or welcomes visitors.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 >