Xmas facts

A Very Merry Un Birthday
1. Contrary to popular belief, the Bible doesnt actually mention a specific date for Jesus birth. In fact, most historians believe he was probably born in the spring, hence the Bibles description of shepherds herding animals. But in the 4th century, when the Catholic Church decided to recognize Jesus birth as an official holiday, Pope Julius I chose December 25 for the Feast of the Nativity. That the date happened to coincide with the pagan festival known as Saturnalia must have been pure coincidence. .....
War on Christmas
2. Five months into the first World War, troops along the Western front took a Christmas Eve break from fighting to sing carols to one another across the battlefield. The following morning, German soldiers emerged from the trenches and began to approach Allied troops while calling out Merry Christmas in English. Luckily, it wasnt a trick; dozens of British fighters came out to greet them and shake hands, some even exchanging cigarettes as gifts. Later dubbed the Christmas Truce of 1914, it was one of the last examples of wartime chivalry. .....
Christmas in the Colonies
3. From 1659 to 1681, showcasing ones holiday spirit in Boston could cost you a fine of as much as five shillings. Thats right Christmas used to be illegal. Its somewhat surprising, then, that the same puritanical minds also created the first American batch of eggnog at Captain John Smiths 1607 Jamestown settlement. (The word nog comes from the word grog; that is, any drink made with rum.) Christmas was so inconsequential in early America that after the Revolutionary War, Congress didnt even bother taking the day off to celebrate the holiday, deciding instead to hold its first session on Christmas Day, 1789. It took almost a century for Congress to proclaim it a federal holiday. .....
Xmas Lit 101
4. The author best known for creating the Headless Horseman also created the iconic image of Santa flying in a sleigh. In his 1819 series of short stories The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, New York native Washington Irving described a dream in which St. Nicholas soared across the sky in a weightless wagon. The stories became so popular, they spawned a Christmas revival of sorts in the States, and even Charles Dickens is said to have credited Irvings work for inspiring his classic holiday tale A Christmas Carol. .....
What Advertising Hath Wrought
5. Like the Energizer Bunny, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer got his start as an advertising gimmick. A copywriter named Robert L. May first created the merry misfit in 1939 to lure shoppers into the Montgomery Ward department store. Frosty the Snowman and his famous corncob pipe couldnt escape the clutches of the advertising industry either; a whiskeymaker in 1890 used Frostys likeness to showcase an entirely different kind of holiday cheer. Once Prohibition ended, the chain smoking snowman quickly became the go to guy for alcohol ads, appearing in posters for Miller beer, Jack Daniels, Ballantine ale, Rheingold beer, Schlitz beer, Schenley, Oretels lager beer, Chivas Regal scotch, Fort Pitt pale ale, Mount Whitney beer and Four Roses. .....
NASAs Christmas Sighting
6. In 1965 two astronauts on their way back to orbit spotted something in space they couldnt identify. Frantic, they radioed Mission Control. After several minutes of tense silence, engineers at Cape Canaveral began hearing the faint jingle of sleigh bells followed by a harmonica rendition of Jingle Bells played by none other than the two frantic astronauts. The men later donated the harmonica and bells to the National Museum of Space & Aeronautics in Washington, where they now sit on display. .....
Kiss Me; Im Celtic
7. According to Celtic and Teutonic legend, mistletoe is magical it can heal wounds, increase fertility, bring good luck and ward off evil spirits. The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe didnt begin until the Victorian era, a surprising origin given the stuffy and sexually repressive behavior of the time. Actually, its not very surprising at all. .....
O Tannenbaum
8. Even before the arrival of Christianity, Germans decorated evergreen trees to brighten the dark, gloomy days of the winter solstice. The first Christmas trees appeared in Strasbourg in the 17th century and spread to Pennsylvania in the 1820s with the arrival of German immigrants. When Queen Victoria married Germanys Prince Albert in 1840, he brought the tradition to England. Eight years later, the first American newspaper ran a picture of the royal Christmas tree, and Americans outside Pennsylvania quickly followed suit. .....
Away in a Manger
9. Since the Great Depression, the Rockettes have shared Radio City Music Hall with live farm animals from camels to donkeys to sheep to stage a live nativity scene for its annual Christmas Spectacular. But the world saw its first living nativity in 1224, when St. Francis of Assisi re created the birth of Jesus to explain the holiday to his followers. During that first display, the manger was also used as an altar for Christmas Mass. .....
Feliz Navidad Around the World
10. Christmas traditions vary from culture to culture. Finns often visit saunas on Christmas Eve, while Portuguese revelers hold a feast on Christmas Day for the living and the dead (extra places are set for the souls of the deceased). In Greece, some believe that goblins called kallikantzeri run wild during the 12 days of Christmas, and most Greeks dont exchange presents until Jan. 1, St. Basils Day. Thanks to their geographic location, most Australians and New Zealanders enjoy Christmas on the beach or at barbecues. Spain, meanwhile, hosts the worlds largest lottery. .....
Facts 1
11. The common abbreviation for Christmas to Xmas is derived from the Greek alphabet. X is letter Chi, which is the first letter of Christs name in the Greek alphabet.Oliver Cromwell, in England banned Christmas Carols between 1649 and 1660. Cromwell thought that Christmas should be a very solemn day so he banned carols and parties. The only celebration was by a sermon and a prayer service.In 1643, the British Parliament officially abolishes the celebration of Christmas.The Puritans in America tried to make Thanksgiving Day the most important annual festival instead of Christmas.

Silent Night was written in 1818, by an Austrian priest Joseph Mohr. He was told the day before Christmas that the church organ was broken and would not be prepared in time for Christmas Eve. He was saddened by this and could not think of Christmas without music, so he wanted to write a carol that could be sung by choir to guitar music. He sat down and wrote three stanzas. Later that night the people in the little Austrian Church sang Stille Nacht for the first time.St Francis of Assisi introduced Christmas Carols to formal church services.

Telesphorus, the second Bishop of Rome (125 136 AD) declared that public Church services should be held to celebrate The Nativity of our Lord and Saviour. In 320 AD, Pope Julius I and other religious leaders specified 25 December as the official date of the birth of Jesus Christ.26 December was traditionally known as St Stephens Day, but is more commonly known as Boxing Day. This expression came about because money was collected in alms boxes placed in churches during the festive season. This money was then distributed during to the poor and needy after Christmas.

Melbourne, Australia has a sporting Boxing Day tradition. The Melbourne Cricket Ground hosts a Cricket test match. Sometimes this attracts 90, 000 spectators. Cricket is Australias premier Summer sport.The first printed reference to Christmas trees appeared in Germany in 1531 .....

Facts 2
12. In 1836, Alabama is the first state in the USA to declare Christmas a legal holiday.In 1843, the first Christmas card was printed in England for Sir Henry Cole. He was busy man who wanted to save time in his own Christmas letters, but was also interested in encouraging the expansion of the postal system. 1000 copies of the card were sold at one shilling each. It was not until the 1860s that the production of cards accelerated, with cheaper printing methods. Then in 1870, the Post Office introduced a half penny stamp for sending cards.In 1856, President Franklin Pierce decorates the first White House Christmas tree.In 1907, Oklahoma became the last USA state to declare Christmas a legal holiday.

At midnight on Christmas Eve 1914 firing from the German trenches suddenly stopped. A German brass band began playing Christmas carols. Early, Christmas morning, the German soldiers came out of their trenches, approaching the allied lines, calling Merry Christmas. At first the allied soldiers thought it was a trick, but they soon climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the German soldiers. The truce lasted a few days, and the men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings, sang carols and songs. They even played a game of Soccer.In 1937, the first postage stamp to commemorate Christmas was issued in Austria.In 1974, the Australian city of Darwin is devastated late on Christmas Eve and in the early hours of the morning by Cyclone Tracy. .....

Facts 3
13. In 1834, Queen Victorias husband, Prince Albert brought the first Christmas tree to Windsor Castle for the Royal family.6 December is St Nicholass Day the first of the gift giving days, especially in Holland and Belgium.Some priests in Australia advise you to say Happy Christmas, not Merry Christmas, because Merry has connotations of getting drunk which brings its own problems. One should say Happy instead.The actual gift givers are different in various countries
Spain and South America The Three Kings
Italy La Befana (a kindly old witch)
England Father Christmas
France Pere Noel (Father Christmas)
Russia In some parts Babouschka (a grandmotherly figure)
Other parts it is Grandfather Frost.
Germany Christkind (angelic messenger from Jesus)
She is a beautiful fair haired girl with a shining crown of candles.
Scandinavia a variety of Christmas gnomes. One is called Julenisse Holland St Nicholas.
Every year since 1947 the people in Oslo have given a Christmas tree to the city of Westminster. The gift is an expression of goodwill and gratitude for Britains help to Norway in the 1939 1945 war.
The first American Christmas carol was written in 1649 by a minister named John de Brebeur and is called Jesus is Born.Mexicans call the poinsettia Flower of the Holy Night the Holy Night is the Mexican way of saying Christmas Eve. .....
Facts 4
14. Tom Smith who owned a sweet shop in London was the originator of the cracker. In the 1840s Tom found that people like sugar almonds, but while he was in France he discovered a variety of sweets wrapped up in a twist of paper. These bonbons were popular, so Tom decided to copy them. When Tom noticed that young men were buying them to give to their sweethearts he began to place love mottoes on small slips of paper inside the sweet wrapping.In 1846 Toms thoughts turned towards Christmas instead of sweets he thought he would place toys and novelties inside the twisted wrapping. He experimented with this and the idea of producing a wrapping that could be pulled apart just like the cracker as we know it today.The word carol is derived from the old French word caroller which derives from the Latin choraula. This itself was derived from the Greek choraules.

Births on 25 December
W C Field (1946)
Alice Cooper (1945)
Princess Alexandra (1936)
Paul Borget (1935)
Charles Spencer Chaplin (1889)
Deaths on 25 December
Conrad Hilton (1979)
Humphrey Bogart (1957)
Dorothy Wordsworth (1855)
Sir Isaac Newton (1727)
The biggest selling Christmas single of all time is Bing Crosbys White Christmas.
In Switzerland during the Reformation, al instrumental and choral music was banned from churches. In Germany, disapproval of carols resulted in some being converted into hymns.
Tinsel on the Christmas Tree is attributed to a woman whose husband died. She was left to bring up a large family of children herself. She was left to do everything working so hard and she was determined to make a happy time for them at Christmas. She prepared a Christmas Tree to surprise them on Christmas Day. Unfortunately spiders visited the tree, and crawled from branch to branch, making webs all over it. The Christ Child saw the tree and knew she would be devastated to find this on Christmas morning. He changed the spiders webs to shining silver.
The first church the Dutch built in New York City was named in St Nicholas honour St Nicholas Church.
Many Christmas customs are carryovers from pre Christian celebrations. Hanging gifts on trees is supposed to stem from tree worship of the Druids, and the belief that the tree was the giver of all good things. The Druids are also partly responsible for the use of mistletoe at Christmastime. They regarded the mistletoe as sacred, made certain that it never touched the ground, and dedicated it to the Goddess of Love, which explains the kissing that goes on under it. Originally, when a boy kissed a girl, he plucked a berry from the cluster and presented it to her. When the berries were gone, so were the kisses. .....

Facts 5
15. In Christmas tree decorations, angels are usually portrayed as wimpy blondes in girls blouses and sandals. In the Bible, however, angels are muscular bullies who frequently goad humans into fistfights. Life isnt all harps and heavenly choirs for angels; theres a strict career structure. The only angels mentioned by name in the Bible are archangels, the eighth ranking order of angels.

Visitors to Bethlehem rarely exceed a few thousand at Christmas. In 1995, there were rowdy celebrations of the first Christmas in a Palestinian controlled Bethlehem. The Christmas Eve service televised on 25 December is celebrated not in the Church of the Nativity, which stands over the place where Jesus was said to have been born, but in the nearby Franciscan Church of St. Catherine.

The largest functional Christmas cracker was 45.72 metres long and 3.04 metres in diameter. It was made by Australian international rugby player Ray Price in Markson Sparks of New South Wales, Australia and was pulled in the car park of the Westfield Shopping Town in Chatswood, Sydney, Australia on 9 November 1991.

A goose was customary Christmas fare until Henry VIII took it upon himself to tuck into a turkey. Mince pies were once shaped like mangers and are thought to date back to the sweetmeats formerly presented to the Vatican on Christmas Eve.

The freedom fighter and religious activist thought to have been born between 6 BC and 30 AD, by the name of Jesus Christ from the Greek christos, the anointed one. He was born in a stable in Bethlehem. He started out as a carpenter, but became a missionary following his baptism by a cousin, John. After proclaiming himself the Messiah, Jesus was betrayed by a disciple and crucified. He is later said to have risen from the dead.

If youre wondering why men may have not flocked to kiss you under the mistletoe, the answer may be that it was said that it will only work if the person you are kissing is a virgin. On the sixth day of the new moon, a Druid priest used to cut mistletoe from an oak tree with a sacred sickle. A passing virgin was called upon to catch the falling plant, which was not allowed to touch the ground.

The first commercial Christmas card, produced in 1846, featured a drawing of family members happily toasting each other with glasses of wine a shockingly decadent portrait that was immediately condemned by temperance advocates. In New South Wales, Australia, the average daily mailbag of six to seven million items of mail can triple over Christmas. The heaviest day ever was on 23 December 1997, when a record 23 million items were delivered in this state in Australia.

santas Reindeers are Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen.Saint Boniface is said to have substituted a fir tree for the pagan oak in the eighth century as a symbol of faith. Martin Luther fostered the Christmas tree cult by using a candlelit tree as a symbol of Christs heavenly home, while trees decorated with candles, fruit and paper flowers were introduced into Britain soon after Queen Victorias marriage.

The Celts used to bring a large log indoors as a tribute to the sun god. In Cornwall, revellers would chalk a symbol of a man on the log in a cheery reference to the human sacrifices who used to be thrown on the bonfire. .....

Facts 6
16. Ancient Roman observances of the Natalis solis invicti and the Saturnalia occurred in December and involved much feasting, singing, parades and other forms of celebrating. Not to be outdone, when the Church adopted Christmas it introduced a major Christian celebration and feasting became a part of the festivities. As the centuries wore on, depending upon the country, a Christmas goose, turkey or other animal was adopted as the main course in the Christmas feast.

The Christmas tree was first decorated with lights in the 16th century. It is believed that Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, was the first to add lighted candles to the tree. He was so taken with the Christmas night sky that he wished to bring the lights of the stars into the home of his family. From this, decorating the tree with ornaments, messages and notes, and small gifts emerged in later centuries leading to our customs today.

Hanging the Christmas stocking on the hearth on Christmas Eve in the hope that it will be filled with presents the next morning is a custom that goes back about 400 years. It derived from the custom in Holland of children placing wooden shoes next to the hearth the night before the arrival of St. Nicholas. The children would fill their shoes with straw and food for St Nicholass for the donkey that carried the gifts. In exchange he would leave them a small gift such as small cakes, fruits and other gifts. Stockings were substituted for the shoes in Britain, most of Europe and in North America.

A wreath with holly, red berries and other decorations began from at least the 17th century. Holly, with its sharply pointed leaves, symbolised the thorns in Christs crown of thorns. Red berries symbolised the drops of Christs blood. A wreath at Christmas signified a home that celebrated to birth of Christ.

On Christmas morning since medieval times, church bells have been rung to announce to the world the coming of the saviour. It was customary from the 18th century to wear clothes and carry a small bell to signify the birth of Christ. The ringing of the bells was to signify the importance of the His Birth. .....

Origins of Christmas
17. From the Old English .....
Santa Claus
18. The origin of Santa Claus begins in the 4th century with Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, an area in present day Turkey. By all accounts St. Nicholas was a generous man, particularly devoted to children. After his death around 340 A.D. he was buried in Myra, but in 1087 Italian sailors purportedly stole his remains and removed them to Bari, Italy, greatly increasing St. Nicholas popularity throughout Europe.

His kindness and reputation for generosity gave rise to claims he that he could perform miracles and devotion to him increased. St. Nicholas became the patron saint of Russia, where he was known by his red cape, flowing white beard, and bishops mitre.

In Greece, he is the patron saint of sailors, in France he was the patron of lawyers, and in Belgium the patron of children and travellers. Thousands of churches across Europe were dedicated to him and some time around the 12th century an official church holiday was created in his honor. The Feast of St. Nicholas was celebrated December 6 and the day was marked by gift giving and charity.

After the Reformation, European followers of St. Nicholas dwindled, but the legend was kept alive in Holland where the Dutch spelling of his name Sint Nikolaas was eventually transformed to Sinterklaas. Dutch children would leave their wooden shoes by the fireplace, and Sinterklaas would reward good children by placing treats in their shoes. Dutch colonists brought brought this tradition with them to America in the 17th century and here the Anglican name of Santa Claus emerged.

In 1822 Clement C. Moore composed the poem A Visit From Saint Nicholas, published as The Night Before Christmas as a gift for his children. In it, he portrays Santa Claus

He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly, He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; A wink of his eye and a twist of his head Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

Other countries feature different gift bearers for the Christmas or Advent season La Befana in Italy ~ The Three Kings in Spain, Puerto Rico, and Mexico ~ Christkindl or the Christ Child in Switzerland and Austria ~ Father Christmas in England ~ and Pere No .....

Christmas Trees
19. In 16th century Germany fir trees were decorated, both indoors and out, with apples, roses, gilded candies, and colored paper. In the Middle Ages, a popular religous play depicted the story of Adam and Eves expulsion from the Garden of Eden.A fir tree hung with apples was used to symbolize the Garden of Eden the Paradise Tree. The play ended with the prophecy of a saviour coming, and so was often performed during the Advent season.

It is held that Protestant reformer Martin Luther first adorned trees with light. While coming home one December evening, the beauty of the stars shining through the branches of a fir inspired him to recreate the effect by placing candles on the branches of a small fir tree inside his home

The Christmas Tree was brought to England by Queen Victorias husband, Prince Albert from his native Germany. The famous Illustrated News etching in 1848, featuring the Royal Family of Victoria, Albert and their children gathered around a Christmas tree in Windsor Castle, popularized the tree throughout Victorian England. Brought to America by the Pennsylvania Germans, the Christmas tree became by the late 19th century. .....

Focus on Christmas Traditions in US
20. The variations of the Christmas traditions of USA equal the number active cultures that have settled in the land. These cultural contributions were given a new lease of life by creative artists, authors, poets and songwriters, and it was melded together by the power of secular and commercialized media in record companies, radio stations, television, cinemas and now the internet. The unwritten law of media is the presentation of a seemingly uniform celebration of the Christmas traditions of USA. This is responsible for the world wide acceptance of a universal Christmas image which they get from the media. Nevertheless, the celebrations are peculiar to each region. .....
Christmas Stockings
21. According to legend, a kindly nobleman grew despondent over the death of his beloved wife and foolishly squandered his fortune. This left his three young daughters without dowries and thus facing a life of spinsterhood.The generous St. Nicholas, hearing of the girls plight, set forth to help. Wishing to remain anonymous, he rode his white horse by the noblemans house and threw three small pouches of gold coins down the chimney where they were fortuitously captured by the stockings the young women had hung by the fireplace to dry. Read more about christmas stockings .....
Mistletoe
22. Mistletoe was used by Druid priests 200 years before the birth of Christ in their winter celebrations. They revered the plant since it had no roots yet remained green during the cold months of winter.The ancient Celtics believed mistletoe to have magical healing powers and used it as an antidote for poison, infertility, and to ward of evil spirits. The plant was also seen as a symbol of peace, and it is said that among Romans, enemies who met under mistletoe would lay down their weapons and embrace.Scandanavians associated the plant with Frigga, their goddess of love, and it may be from this that we derive the custom of kissing under the mistletoe. Those who kissed under the mistletoe had the promise of happiness and good luck in the following year. .....
Holly Ivy and Greenery
23. In Northern Europe Christmas occurred during the middle of winter, when ghosts and demons could be heard howling in the winter winds. Boughs of holly, believed to have magical powers since they remained green through the harsh winter, were often placed over the doors of homes to drive evil away. Greenery was also brought indoors to freshen the air and brighten the mood during the long, dreary winter.Legend also has it that holly sprang from the footsteps of Christ as he walked the earth. The pointed leaves were said to represent the crown of thorns Christ wore while on the cross and the red berries symbolized the blood he shed. .....
Poinsettias
24. A native Mexican plant, poinsettias were named after Joel R. Poinsett, U.S. ambassador to Mexico who brought the plant to America in 1828. Poinsettias were likely used by Mexican Franciscans in their 17th century Christmas celebrations. One legend has it that a young Mexican boy, on his way to visit the village Nativity scene, realized he had no gift for the Christ child. He gathered pretty green branches from along the road and brought them to the church. Though the other children mocked him, when the leaves were laid at the manger, a beautiful star shaped flower appeared on each branch. The bright red petals, often mistaken for flowers, are actually the upper leaves of the plant. .....
The Candy cane
25. It was not long after Europeans began using Christmas trees that special decorations were used to adorn them. Food items, such as candies and cookies, were used predominately and straight white candy sticks were one of the confections used as ornamentation. Legend has it that during the 17th century, craftsmen created the white sticks of candy in the shape of shephreds crooks at the suggestion of the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany.

The candy treats were given to children to keep them quiet during ceremonies at the living creche, or Nativity scene, and the custom of passing out the candy crooks at such ceremonies soon spread throughout Europe.

According to the National Confectioners Association, in 1847 German immigrant August Imgard used the candy cane to decorate a Christmas tree in Wooster, Ohio. More than 50 years later, Bob McCormack of Albany, Georgia supposedly made candy canes as treats for family, friends and local shopkeepers. McCormacks brother in law, Catholic priest Gregory Keller, invented a machine in the 1950s that automated the production of candy canes, thus eliminating the usual laborious process of creating the treats and the popularity of the candy cane grew.

More recent explanations of the candy canes symbolism hold that the color white represents Christs purity, the red the blood he shed, and the presence of three red stripes the Holy Trinity. While factual evidence for these notions does not exist, they have become increasingly common and at times are even represented as fact. Regardless, the candy cane remains a favorite holiday treat and decoration. .....

Christmas cards
26. A form of Christmas card began in England first when young boys practiced their writing skills by creating Christmas greetings for their parents, but it is Sir Henry Cole who is credited with creating the first real Christmas card. The first director of Londons Victoria and Albert Museum, Sir Henry found himself too busy in the Christmas season of 1843 to compose individual Christmas greetings for his friends.He commissioned artist John Calcott Horsley for the illustration. The card featured three panels, with the center panel depicting a family enjoying Christmas festivities and the card was inscribed with the message A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You. .....
Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer
27. The Chicago based Montgomery Ward company, department store operators, had been purchasing and distributing childrens coloring books as Christmas gifts for their customers for several years. In 1939, Montgomery Ward tapped one of their own employees to create a book for them, thus saving money. 34 year old copywriter Robert L. May wrote the story of Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer in 1939, and 2.4 million copies were handed out that year. Despite the wartime paper shortage, over 6 million copies had been distributed by 1946.May drew in part on the story The Ugly Duckling and in part from his own experiences as an often taunted, small, frail youth to create the story of the misfit reindeer. Though Rollo and Reginald were considered, May settled on Rudolph as his reindeers name.

Writing in verse as a series of rhyming couplets, May tested the story as he went along on his 4 year old daughter Barbara, who loved the storySadly, Robert Mays wife died around the time he was creating Rudolph, leaving Mays deeply in debt due to medical bills. However, he was able to persuade Sewell Avery, Montgomery Wards corporate president, to turn the copyright over to him in January 1947, thus ensuring Mays financial security.

Mays story Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was printed commercially in 1947 and in 1948 a nine minute cartoon of the story was shown in theaters. When Mays brother in law, songwriter Johnny Marks, wrote the lyrics and melody for the song Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, the Rudolph phenomenon was born. Turned down by many musical artists afraid to contend with the legend of Santa Claus, the song was recorded by Gene Autry in 1949 at the urging of Autrys wife. The song sold two million copies that year, going on to become one of the best selling songs of all time, second only to Bing Crosbys White Christmas. The 1964 television special about Rudolph, narrated by Burl Ives, remains a holiday favorite to this day and Rudolph himself has become a much loved Christmas icon. .....

Hanukkah
28. Commencing on the 25th day of the Hebrew month Kislev, Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after its desecration by the Syrians.In 168 BC, members of the Jewish family Maccabee led a revolt against the Greek Syrians due to the policies of Syrian King Antiochus IV which were aimed at nullifying the Jewish faith. Part of this strategem included changing the Beit HaMikdash the Holy Temple in Jerusalem to a Greek temple complete with idolatry. Led by Judah Maccabee, the Jews won victory over the Syrians in 165 BC and reclaimed their temple.

After cleansing the temple and preparing for its rededication, it was found there was not enough oil to light the Ner Tamid, an oil lamp present in Jewish houses of worship which represents eternal light. Once lit, the lamp should never be extinguished.A search of the temple produced a small vial of undefiled oil enough for only one day. Miraculously, the Temple lights burned for eight days until a new supply of oil was brought. In remembrance of this miracle, one candle of the Menorah an eight branched candelabra is lit each of the eight days of Hanukkah. Hanukkah, which means dedication, is a Hebrew word when translated is commonly spelled Hanukah, Chanukah, and Hannukah due to different translations and customs.The tradition of receiving gifts on each of the eight days of Hanukkah is relatively new and due in part to the celebrations proximity to the Christmas season. .....

Kwanzaa
29. Doctor Maulana Karenga, a Professor at California State University in Long Beach, California, created Kwanzaa in 1966. It is a holiday celebrated by millions of African Americans around the world, encouraging them to remember their African heritage and consider their current place in America today. Kwanzaa is celebrated fom December 26 to January 1 and involves seven principles called Nguzo Saba Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith).

In the Kwanzaa ritual, seven candles called Mishumaa Saba are placed in a Kinara, or candleholder, which is then set upon the Mikeka, a mat usually made of straw.Three green candles are placed on the left, three red candles on the right and a black candle in the center, each candle representing one of the seven principles of the celebration. One candle is lit each day of the Kwanzaa celebration, beginning from left to right The colors of Kwanzaa ~ black, red and green ~ also have a special significance. Black symbolizes the faces of the African people, Red symbolizes the blood they have shed, and Green represents hope and the color of the motherland. The name itself Kwanzaa is a Swahili word meaning fruits of the harvest. .....

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What do you mean. For example a bed that feels solid but sumptuous maybe a wood bed frame that has an upholstered headboard Or gorgeous silk drapes paired with a straight roman shade This contrast ensures that the room feels balanced: energized yet restful .....
Indira Gandhi
Re election Trial and State of Emergency. In 1972, Indira Gandhis party swept to victory in national parliamentary elections based on the defeat of Pakistan and the slogan of Garibi Hatao, or Eradicate Poverty. Her opponent, Raj Narain of the Socialist Party, charged her with corruption and .....
Lotus Flower Tattoo
Purple lotus flowers tattoo. I do not like the black shading that goes with it though. .....
Fish Aquarium
Clown Loach. The beautiful Clown Loach grows to at least 5 inches and does best in groups. Numerous hiding places must be available. Hobbyists can find this fish at smaller, less-expensive sizes during certain times of the year. An attractive bottom dweller, the .....
Narayana Murthy
Own Up and Then Clean Up. In the 80s Infosys developed an application for a German client. Murthy noticed a single character error and informed the client immediately. .....
Ways to Reduce Your Impact
Donate old clothes to charity. Do not throw out your old clothes. Donate them to Goodwill, or to a local mission. They can easily use them for their own needs even if you have no use. .....
Weird Animals
Blobfish. The blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus) is a fish that inhabits the deep waters off the coasts of Australia and Tasmania. Due to the inaccessibility of its habitat, it is rarely seen by humans. Blobfish are found at depths where the pressure is several .....
Facts about Plant
Fact 22. Cranberries, Concord grapes, and blueberries are three popular fruits native to North America. .....
Benefits of Cherry
Cherries help fight cancer. The distinctive deep red pigment cherries are known for comes from flavonoids; powerful antioxidants that help fight free radicals in the body. Cyanidin is a flavonoid from the anthocyanin group found in cherries that helps keep cancerous cells from .....
Healthy Foot
Never trim corns and calluses. Over-the-counter chemical agents and do-it-yourself corn and callous treatments can irritate the skin of your feet. Ask your podiatrist to trim any corns or calluses you develop. .....
Stress Management Tips
Challenge yourself. Setting yourself goals and challenges, whether at work or outside, such as learning a new language or a new sport, helps to build confidence. That in turn will help you deal with stress.By constantly challenging yourself youre being proactive and tak .....
Benefits of Brussel
Tips for Preparing Brussels Sprouts. Before washing Brussels sprouts, remove stems and any yellow or discolored leaves. Wash them well under running water to remove any insects that may reside in the inner leaves. Brussles sprouts cook quickly and taste the best when they are cut into s .....
Precautions while using Microwaves
If something in your microwave catches on fire. If something in your microwave catches on fire, dont open it or throw water on it. Hit the stop button, unplug it quickly, stand by with a kitchen fire extinguisher just in case (you do have one, dont you?) and let it burn itself out. It may damage .....
Best Places to Celebrate Xmas
Taos New Mexico. A remote village on a high desert plain, Taos boasts of a magical Christmas which incorporates a rich mix of cultural traditions including: Streets lined with luminarias, a ceremonial reenactment of Mary and Josephs search for shelter, and the dynami .....
International Christmas Desserts
PIERNIK POLAND. Unlike all of those fruit cakes and nut loaves, Poland mixes things up with a dark gingerbread topped with chocolate frosting. Gingerbread baking guilds have existed in Poland since the Middle Ages, and there s even a museum in Torun that showcases t .....
Most Powerful Bikes
Kawasaki ZZR1400. And way, way out in the lead, we get the ZZR1400. Weirdly, this is the third Kawasaki that, according to the firm, makes 197bhp (along with the H2 and ZX10R). The EPAs rated power figures have it beating that claim by nearly 11bhp. Think of the diffe .....
What to Eat in Himachal Pradesh
Palak paneer. Palak paneer is an Indian dish consisting of spinach and paneer (Indian farmers cheese) in a thick curry sauce based on pureed spinach. It is a popular vegetarian dish.Palak paneer is one type of saag, which can also be made with mustard leaves. Pala .....
School Lunch Tips
Freeze drinks the night before and theyll double as ice packs. The rest of the lunch will stay nice and cool, and the drink should thaw by lunch time. .....
Precautions while using Centrifuge
Do not bump jar or move the centrifuge while the rotor is spinning. Instruct all other persons in the area to stay clear of the unit while it s operating. Make sure you don t have the cord dangling from a table edge where someone could catch their foot in it and pull down the centrifuge. Start the centrifuge when t .....
Rules to play Biathlon
Mass start. In the mass start, all biathletes start at the same time and the first across the finish line wins. In this 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) or 12.5 kilometres (7.8 mi) for women competition, the distance is skied over five laps; there are four bouts of shooti .....
Healthy Teeth
Brush thoroughly. Tooth brushing should take between two and three minutes. .....
Benefits of Nutmeg
Boosts immunity. Rich in potassium, calcium, iron and manganese, nutmeg helps to improve your bodys immune system. nutmeg has been used as a medicinal spice that brings relief from digestive problems. Grate this spice into your soup and stew. .....
Beautiful Christmas Markets
Manchester England. The city of Manchester holds a massive collection of Christmas markets from 14 November to 21 December. .....
Wacky Ideas to attract your Partner
Make a CD. Make a CD or playlist of your favorite songs as a couple. .....
Rules to Play Down Hill Skiing
Super combined. The combined event tests a skiers ability to handle both the speed and technical aspects of Alpine skiing.For the first time since the Alpine combined was re introduced to the Olympic program in 1988, the event will consist of one downhill run follow .....
Amazing Rangoli Designs And Patterns
Amazing Rangoli Designs And Patterns 50. Here is another design for Ganpati festival. The center of attraction here is of courselordGanesh himself. TheGaneshrangolidesignis quite unique in this and is the main theme of this Rangoli. Ganesh stands for prosperity and good luck, it can also be .....
Most Beautiful Flowers In The World
Dahlia. Dahlia flower is a national flower of Mexico and is named after 18thcentury botanist Anders Dahl. It belongs to an asteraceae genus with over 30 species in its family. Dahlia has a vast range of hues from bronze to red and white to purple and is grow .....
Career Options After 10th
Non technical courses only for girls. These NON TECHNICAL courses are either of 2 years or 3 years duration, these diploma courses are offered to provide job opportunities for girls in different sectors as personal assistants, administrators, librarians, costume designers etc.Diploma cou .....
Must Have iPhone Accessories
Thought Out PED3 iPhone stand. An iPhone stand for your desk at home or the office. Design features like your hand for securely holding your iPhone and allowing full 360 rotation. With the split back cable management your cable will be conveniently located where you park your iPho .....
Road Safety Tips
Motorcyclists Always wear protective gear. The driver and the rider should always wear a helmet to avoid any mishaps. Helmets should be fastened securely. In many cities of the world, a helmet is a must else a fine is to be paid. .....
Popular Easy to Grow House Plants
Begonia Rex. Known for the beautiful painted patterns on the foliage. Rex Begonia leaves vary considerably in texture, size, shape, patterns and colors. The small pink or white flowers may appear at any time of the year are insignificant compared to the foliage. .....
Tips to get ready for Vacation
Hawaiian Vacation Destinations and Activities. Before you leave for your trip, decide exactly what you want to do and see during your vacation. After all, who wants to waste valuable vacation time looking for activities and destinations? By having these details worked out beforehand, you will be .....
Healthy Summer Drinks
Ginger Shandy. Mix equal parts ginger ale and pale ale; serve on the rocks. .....
Benefits of Turnips
Strengthens the Immune System. Turnip root plays an important role in the proper functioning of the bodys immune system. The betacarotene content in turnips helps the body in producing healthy membranes. Turnip greens indeed are the storehouse of many vital nutrients; contain cert .....
Tips to get ready for Foreign Trip
Bring a car seat for your child. Car seats are not just safer for children, notes Veda Shook, a flight attendant who has been with Alaska Airlines for 16 years.They also help kids stay calmer, since they are used to being in them. Shook suggests investing in a car seat-stroller comb .....
Benefits of Watermelons
Watermelon can boost energy. A daily serving of watermelon has been shown to boost energy levels by up to 23%. This is because watermelon contains vitamin B6, which the body uses to synthesize feel good dopamine. It also contains magnesium which assists in the bodyands formation .....
Help Save the Environment
Upcycle. Turn useless junk into something fun and cute, or fresh and funky. Make jewelry, household accessories, and restyled clothing from things you already own. Look around wikiHow to find tons of articles about how to make different things. .....
Most Well Travelled Peoples In The World
Austria. Austria is home to one of the most travelling nationalities in the world. Among Europeans, Austrians book the farthest in advance, about 72 days before a holiday. Whereas other cold country living people enjoy beach getaways, Austrians prefer to go o .....
Home Design Ideas
Bake a cake. Buy a cherry red mixer from Williams Sonoma and bake a cake. Its a very 1950s fantasy. Even if you never bake, it would cheer up your kitchen. .....
Best Lipsticks In The World
Hevyn By Surratt Beauty. This shade is Troy Surratts homage to his late mentor, Kevyn Aucoin. Called a Lipslique, this products texture is akin to what would result if lip gloss and lipstick had a baby. Its Surratts current best seller and another My Lips But Better shade. .....
Horror Movies That Are So Scary
Art Of The Devil 2 and 3. Art Of The Devil 2 & 3 (Thailand), 2008 2009These have to be the most twisted stories ever told. Its full of gore but then, it has a strong story that only unfolds in the 3rd Chapter. Take my word, this isfull paisa vasoolstuff. .....
Worlds Deadliest Martial Arts
Taekwondo. One of the younger martial arts styles on our list, Taekwondo originated in Korea in the 1940 s and 1950 s. An Olympic sport since the 2000 games in Sydney, Taekwondo is known for its high kicks and rapid fire jumping and spinning kicks. This powerfu .....
Ideal for Cooking
Paleo French Toast. Along with pancakes, French toast is often missed by paleo eaters at first, but theres a recipe as good as this one, theres no need to feel sad. .....
Fitness Stretching
Forearm Supinator Stretch. Arm, Wrist, and Hand Stretches: Method:Stand with the back toward the inside of the doorframe. While keeping the arm straight, hyperextend the right arm above the midpoint between the hip and shoulder. Grasp the doorframe with the right hand with the .....
Precautions while using Overhead Projectors
Overhead projector has been a favorite presentation tool. The overhead projector has been a favorite presentation tool for educators and business people alike. Its origins in technology go back to the turn of the century, but in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company .....
World Flags
Equatorial Guinea. three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and red, with a blue isosceles triangle based on the hoist side and the coat of arms centered in the white band; the coat of arms has six yellow six-pointed stars (representing the mainland and five .....
Male And Female Celebrities That Look Terrifyingly Similar
Tilda Swinton and Conan Obrien. Katherine Mathilda TildaSwinton is a British actress and fashion muse known for both arthouse and mainstream films. Conan Christopher OBrien is an American television host, comedian, writer, producer, and voice actor. .....
Richest Women in the World
Laurene Powell Jobs. This American billionaire is the largest individual shareholder in Disney with 7.7% of the company. Laurene Powell Jobs is the widow of the late Steve Jobs, who was the co founder of Apple. She is the founder and chair of the Emerson Collective, an o .....
Benefits of Fennel Seeds
General uses. Fennel has been used as a flavoring agent, a scent, and an insect repellent, as well as an herbal remedy for poisoning and stomach conditions. It has also been used as a stimulant to promote milk flow in breast feeding and to induce menstruation. Ho .....
Benefits of Lemon
Treating Arthritis and Rheumatism. Lemon is a diuretic assists in the production of urine which helps you to reduce inflammation by flushing out toxins and bacteria while also giving you relief from arthritis and rheumatism. .....
Benefits of ladys finger
It prevents heart disease. People are often affected with heart disease due to high levels of cholesterol in their blood. Pectin, a soluble fibre present in ladys finger helps lower this cholesterol and thus is helpful in preventing heart disease. Okra pods are one of the wide .....
World Flags
Northern Mariana Islands. blue, with a white, five-pointed star superimposed on a gray latte stone (the traditional foundation stone used in building) in the center, surrounded by a wreath; blue symbolizes the Pacific Ocean, the star represents the Commonwealth; the latte sto .....
Coffee Shops Around The World
Screaming Beans in Amsterdam. Screaming Beans will literally have your insides screaming with feelings of happiness and cute puppies. Imagine enjoying a croissant (hi, Kanye) with the perfect amount of sweet and juicy jam then finishing it off with a shot of espresso. .....
Help Save the Environment
Plan out your errands and combine trips. Make errand trips more efficient by planning out where you will go and hitting all your stops in one trip. Group outings into fewer, longer trips, and plan them out so that you .....
Forever Young Naturally Eating
Natural Nutrition Cut down on calories. If you are carrying excess weight and it wonít budge, it may be because you now need fewer calories. Over 50s who arenít active need 200 fewer calories per day than those who lead a very physically active life. Adjust your diet to accommodate your sl .....
Rules to play Finswimming
competitions. As of 2007, CMAS directly oversees the following four competitions at international level: the World Championship, Continental Championships, the World Cup and the CMAS Junior Trophy. .....
Avataars of Lord Shiva
Yatinath Avatar 5. But his wife intervened and requested Aahuk to sleep outside the hut with his arms, as it would be inappropriate on their part to miss this chance of proving their hospitality. The hermit, who in reality was lord Shiva and Aahuks wife slept inside th .....
Lazy Girl Nail Art Ideas
Design 3. Make your own matte polish with a little eye shadow. .....
Ideas to Improve your Life
Discover your passion in life. What sets you on fire? Go out there and explore inward to know what you love to do. .....
Pregnancy Health Care
Manage your diet. a) Eating nutrition - rich food is vital in the development of your baby. A balanced diet will keep your pregnancy free of risks and complications.b) Consumption of protein, calcium, folic acid, iron and vitamins like A, C, E and B in right amounts i .....
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