Q:

What is some interesting trivia about Christmas?

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Quick Answer

Christmas is a holiday rich in traditions and interesting trivia, such as Christmas symbols and the history of Christmas cards. For example, gold comes from one of the gifts of the Three Wise Men, which symbolizes the divinity of Jesus Christ.

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Frankincense and myrrh are also significant Christmas symbols because they come from the Three Wise Men. According to How Stuff Works, frankincense, an incense that comes from the Boswellia tree, symbolizes prayer. Myrrh not only symbolizes the suffering of Jesus Christ, it also has medicinal value. The advent wreath has several symbolisms attached to it. For one, its shape represents God and eternity. The green pine of the wreath symbolizes eternal life. The candles represent the light of Christ. As a whole, the advent wreath represents not only the arrival, but also the inevitable return of Jesus Christ. The Christmas tree symbolizes eternal life and renewal, but was originally a part of pagan celebrations. Christianity borrowed it from paganism in Germany as early as the 16th century. By the next century, Christmas trees had spread to use in private homes; the custom reached England during the 19th century.

Christmas cards were invented in 19th century England by Sir Henry Cole and John Callcott Horsley. The point was to create a holiday greeting for family and friends that was simple and had a single message. The tradition took off and spread to the United States a few years later.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Is Christmas a pagan holiday?

    A:

    As Christianity overtook fourth-century Europe, church officials instituted Christmas to discourage people from celebrating rowdy pagan festivals, causing many pagan traditions to be assimilated into the holiday. For example, the practice of decorating trees dates back to ancient pagan civilizations who displayed evergreens indoors and worshipped them, but the practice was popularized as a Christmas tradition in 17th-century Germany.

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  • Q:

    How do they celebrate Christmas in Brazil?

    A:

    The History of Christmas explains that Christmas is celebrated in Brazil with traditional food and traditions, such as secret friends, folk plays and nativities. For instance, the tradition of the secret friend or "amigo secreto" occurs among friends and family. Individuals pick out the name of another person, and they spend the weeks leading up to Christmas secretly exchanging letters and gifts.

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  • Q:

    Why do you celebrate Christmas?

    A:

    Christians celebrate Christmas to rejoice over the birth of Jesus Christ, who is believed to be the son of God. Others celebrate Christmas as a season of love, family and joy as well as a day of giving and receiving gifts.

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  • Q:

    Who started Christmas?

    A:

    A specific person did not start Christmas, but Christmas is a traditional holiday celebrated by people throughout the world for different reasons. People find joy in exchanging gifts with one another and honoring religious tradition, and early peoples celebrated Christmas for similar purposes. Although Christmas is celebrated on December 25 in America, the holiday is commemorated on the winter solstice and alternate days of the year in other nations.

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