Here are some curiosities about Christmas.
The term Christmas comes from the Latin “Nativitas” and means Nativity. Christmas cards were invented by Sir Henry Cole, who in 1843 commissioned a painter friend to draw and paint a Christmas scene for him, which he would later have to reproduce in a printing press, to then write him some short wishes for happiness and sign them and send them to friends and family.
The tradition of putting the Nativity Scene in the world dates back to the year 1223, on a Christmas in the Italian village of Greccio. In this town, Saint Francis of Assisi gathered the residents of Greccio to celebrate the midnight mass. Around a manger, with the figure of the Child Jesus, molded by the hands of Saint Francis, praises were sung to the Mystery of the Birth; At the most solemn moment of the mass, that immobile figure came to life, smiled and extended its arms towards the Saint of Assisi. The miracle had taken place in the sight of all, and since then the fame of the “Births” and their custom spread throughout the world. Pope John Paul II, in 1986, at the request of Nativity scenes associations around the world, proclaimed Saint Francis of Assisi Universal Patron of Nativity Scene.
The decorated Christmas tree is believed to have appeared in the early 17th century in Germany. In 1605, a tree was decorated to warm the Christmas cold, a custom that quickly spread throughout the world. The Christmas tree arrived in Finland in the year 1800, where it spread to the rest of the Nordic countries. He arrived in England in 1829, and it was Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, who ordered to decorate Windsor Castle with a Christmas tree in 1841. In Sweden, they keep the tree adorned and with its lights until 20 days after Christmas .
Since the 13th century, a Christmas carol competition called “pastorelle” has been held in Italy. The roscón de Reyes with lucky bean included began to be made in the Middle Ages. The first Christmas Lottery draw was held in Cádiz (Spain ) in 1812. New Year’s Eve party favors began to be organized in French restaurants at the beginning of the 20th century The twelve lucky grapes is a recent custom, born in the first third of the 20th century. The first Christmas tree illuminated with electric lamps was installed in House of Edward Johnson.The existence of three Wise Men dates from the 6th century AD Melchior, who represents Europeans, offered the Child God a gold present that testifies to his royalty. Gaspar, representative of the Semites of Asia, whose most precious asset is incense, He offered it to the Child as a symbol of his divinity. And finally, Balthazar, black and bearded, identifies himself with the sons of Ham, the Africans, who give the myrrh, alluding to his future passion and resurrection.Christmas a demand for prosperity to the divinity The first sweet bread was made in Milan, commissioned by Duke Sforza, who asked his cooks for a special meal for Christmas that contained dried fruits and raisins inside, and which he decided to baptize as a “panettone” In Sweden the tree is kept decorated and with lights until 20 days after the Christmas celebration. In Finland, families decorate their houses for Christmas, with candles made by each family.
The first Spanish cava dates from 1872. In the Quebrada de Humahuaca, in Jujuy, Argentina, the first nativity scene was set up by the missionary Gaspar de Monroy, in 1594, in the Vallecito del Cerro.
Christmas carols are songs that are sung at Christmas to celebrate the birth of the Child Jesus. This custom has its origin in the Middle Ages and is kept in memory of the many prophets who announced the birth of the Savior. The villagers, the villains, were the ones who adapted the ancient hymns and songs in Latin with which the Church remembered the arrival of Jesus, transforming them into very sweet songs. These are the songs that – in honor of their authors – today are known by the name of Christmas carols. The first originated, it is believed, in England, at the time of Henry I, the songs were in Latin and enlivened the parties of the Court. “The Song of the Wild Boar” was called the villain’s song, and a kind of diminutive became a Christmas carol to designate these choruses or choruses.
Why is the mass celebrated on December 24 as the end of the Christmas vigil called “Misa del Gallo”? Because that mass used to fall “ad galli cantus” to the crowing of the rooster, hence its suggestive name that has nothing to do with the fact that in some countries they used to eat rooster in the oven for Christmas Eve dinner.
The word manger is derived from the Latin praesepem. Its original meaning was “drawer for the food of the animals”. The ox, symbol of Saint Luke the Evangelist, is a symbol of patience and work. The donkey, an animal that accompanies the Virgin at birth, is a symbol of humility. In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, there is an island called Christmas that belongs to Kiribati. The sale of postage stamps is its main economic activity. Christmas Day was officially recognized in the year 345, when, under the influence of Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Gregory Nazianzenus, December 25 was proclaimed as the date of the Nativity of Christ. But some of the traditional customs of Christmas came later, such as Christmas carol singing that was not added until the Middle Ages. At Christmas, African Christians meet and read passages from the Bible. Then they perform dances and songs outdoors. In Ethiopia they perform a ceremony bathing in the rivers. According to the chronicles, the Christmas Eve turkey had its origin in Mexico in the 16th century. The Aztecs made Hernán Cortés try it, who liked it and took it to Spain.
Nougat was added to the table in the 16th century.
The Christmas basket has its roots in the baskets formerly used by the peasants to transport the Christmas bonuses that they were going to deliver.
Around the second century a Christian priest named Nicholas left Italy to spread the word of God in Asia. Being a missionary, he was transferred to Myra, to be appointed bishop. He died on December 6, was proclaimed a saint and inspired the figure of Santa Claus. The figure of Santa Claus, with the aesthetics that we now know, is an American invention of the 20th century, although it was based on the life and legend of Saint Nicholas. Currently, the same character is designated in different countries, such as Santa Claus, Father Christmas or Saint Nicholas. Although in certain places the day of Saint Nicholas is celebrated on December 6. The name Santa Claus is a contraction of Sanctus Nicolaus, and refers specifically to San Nicolás de Bari, who was Bishop of Mira in the 4th century, a character of enormous kindness and protector especially of children. The remains of the Magi were for three hundred years in Constantinople, in what was previously Byzantium and now Istanbul, in Turkey. They were then transferred to Milan until 1162, when Emperor Barbarossa sacked Milan and handed over the remains of the Magi to Archbishop Reinaldo de Dassel, who decided that these remains should be transferred to Cologne, Germany. The remains of the three Wise Men rest in a gold and silver chest that weighs about 350 kg, and is in a chapel built for this purpose by the Emperor Charlemagne in Cologne, Germany, according to the story, on December 25 In 1492 the first Christmas was celebrated in America. Columbus was carrying out a reconnaissance of the archipelagos in the area, when a bad maneuver irreparably damaged the caravel “Santa María”. The natives helped him to rescue the cargo and to build a fort where part of the crew would remain. The ship’s timbers were used to build the fort, and it was completed on December 25. For that reason the fort was called “Fort Christmas” (Nativity). There they celebrated with great emotion Christmas 1492. The custom of the celebration of the Mass of the Rooster comes from the rites of the temples of Jerusalem. There the Catholics celebrated three Masses on the day of Jesus’ birth: one at night in the cave of the nativity, sanctifying the birth, another at dawn as a sign of the resurrection and a third in the temple, this being the solemn office of the day. The Christmas star is originally from the Philippines, there torches are made in the form of 5-pointed stars, which illuminate the entrance of the houses.
Every December 24, thousands of tourists move to Oberndorf, near Salzburg (Austria), where 185 years ago the song “Silent Night” was composed, perhaps the best-known Christmas carol in the world. “Silent Night” was translated into 330 languages; the Austrian Christmas song was created almost by chance, because the church organ had broken. In 1818, two days before Christmas, the old organ in the church of St. Nicholas, the parish of Father Joseph Mohr, passed away. In order not to disappoint his parishioners, the priest asked his friend Franz Xaver Gruber, a teacher and organist from the neighboring town of Arnsdorf, to compose a melody for a Christmas text.At the Rooster Mass on December 24, Joseph Mohr, priest with a tenor voice and who played the guitar, and Gruber, who had a beautiful bass voice,