Christmas is surrounded by myth, legend and tradition and most of us will consider ourselves familiar with most of the customs surrounding the festive season. However, there is always room for a few more facts and figures so we hope you enjoy our brief 'did you know?' yuletide guide!
Did you know...?
1. An old wives' tale says that bread baked on Christmas Eve will never go mouldy.
2. Christmas pudding was first made as a kind of soup including ingredients such as raisins and wine
3. December 25th was not celebrated as the birth date of Christ until AD440.
4. In 1649, Oliver Cromwell abolished Christmas and declared it to be an ordinary working day. Anybody caught celebrating Christmas was arrested.
5. The first British Christmas card was sent in 1840.
6. The British Post Office used to deliver Christmas cards on Christmas morning until 1961.
7. Daily newspapers were published on Christmas Day until 1912.
8. The first Christmas stamp was released in Canada in 1898.
9. Christmas crackers were invented by Thomas Smith. Having imported a selection of novelties from France to sell as Christmas gifts and finding they were rather unpopular he wrapped them up into a tube and added a snapper to make them appear more interesting.
The fact that Christmas is surrounded by so many interesting traditions and legends; that there is so much to learn about its history; and that there is a multitude of comparisons to be made across different cultures makes it all the more fun.
Enjoy Christmas and whilst doing so, see how much you can learn!
AboutMyArea is a national UK network of over 2,000 locally run community websites, each sharing the common goal of keeping their community informed with relevant local information and providing economical opportunities for local businesses to promote their products and services to local people within relevant seasonal features. Colin Holmes is the website editor for the local sites covering some of the areas throughout Romford, Dagenham and Barking, Essex, United Kingdom. For more information on promoting your business locally, visit http://www.aboutmyarea.co.uk/
Recommended Read: Nigella Christmas: Food, Family, Friends, Festivities By Nigella Lawson
- Nigella does it again This book enters without faltering into the Nigella Classics. I feared it might be a rush, flimsy job, like Forever Summer, or the slightly disappointing Nigella Bites. But I needn't have - this is a beautifully put together (you sort of want to sit there and stroke it) brilliantly written (I read mine cover to cover like a novel, a bit tragic, but there you go) and, needless to say, the essential thing, full of recipes and menus that make you feel crazily Christmassy, and greedy.