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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Christmas Lore: How Many of These do You Know?

Christmas Lore: How Many of These do You Know?
According to lore, animals are given the gift of speech for a very brief time on Midnight Christmas Eve.



Many believe that candy canes were created as:






Why is holly associated with Christmas?




The term Yule or Yule-tide ("Yule-time") was initially celebrated by the historical Germanic people as a pagan religious festival, though it was later absorbed into, and equated with, the Christian festival of Christmas.



Christmas is the season of lights. Candles are popular decoration for this holiday. Do you know what the belief is behind Christmas Candles in your window?




The reason poinsettias are association with Christmas is because:




One of the beliefs of why stockings are associated with Christmas dates back to:






31 comments

1 Moonlight Falcon { 12.26.13 at 9:11 pm }

Comment 13 Caren/12/26/10: Well; Here it is two years to the day later that I read this article still on the web and I much love reading all the comments from the ones who pay attention to the ones who have no idea what country they are even living in! But, one comment grabbed me by the heart. She is stated above! All is correct my friend and let me add a little to it for you; the 3 days when the sun remains hidden is none other than that of christ rising from his tomb/Easter in christian faith or Oestera in ours! For when the Yule celebration begins (Winter Solstice) it is the death of the Holly King and the Birth of the Oak King= the darkness and the longest night of the year! 95% of christian holidays and the ways they celebrate (tradition wise) came from the pagans! P.S. Candles in the window were to welcome weary travelers on the longest night of the year and it is also folklore that it lights the way for the coming of the great spirit! Bright Blessings All Merry Meet And May All Share A Blessed YULE! Merry Part!!!!

2 daisy { 12.26.13 at 12:40 pm }

I never heard any of those about candy canes. I heard they resembled the maypole, as people used to dance around on May 1, using red and white ribbons. The Maypole was made from the trunk of the Christmas tree. Now how that relates to the candy getting on the tree is a mystery! the only part that’s true I think is that the hook was put in so children could hold on to them. I think they were a relatively recent invention. Fun stuff tho!

3 Jody Stevens { 12.26.13 at 7:42 am }

I love the folk lore and legends of Christmas. Yet it is still all about Christ.

4 Marcy Isherwood { 12.25.13 at 9:13 pm }

Thanks. Interesting stuff. Keep it coming! Love FA!

5 H Kay Jaye { 12.25.13 at 8:01 pm }

Thanks for the lores, FA…cute! I am 60 and from a small child was reading your diverse pages on farming, planting, weather, canning and MORE. If all you told was farming, I’d have lost interest 59yrs ago.
sadly, I see a very FEW of U only got a lump o’ COAL in your stockings from Santa…NOTHING accomplished by you, in a positive realm…I hope for 2014 you consider removing that huge chip off your shoulder and RETHINK your social medial posts.

6 Shirl { 12.25.13 at 5:39 pm }

Fun quiz-Thanks!

7 Shirl { 12.25.13 at 5:38 pm }

Fun quiz! ;)

8 Pat { 12.25.13 at 10:48 am }

-A candle placed in a window at Christmas time was believed to help guide the Christ Child as he wandered from house to house on Christmas Eve

I didn’t choose this answer because there was no “Christmas” or “Christmas Eve” while Jesus was alive. So, how could He be wandering from house to house on Christmas Eve? I’m confused by this question. Thank you for a reply.

9 dspauld78 { 12.23.13 at 9:29 pm }

This was a wonderful quiz. I enjoyed it very much. Thank you.

10 Italian Mama { 12.23.13 at 12:43 pm }

We were always told that a candle in the window meant that strangers were welcome.

11 lori { 12.23.13 at 11:46 am }

we loved it! now our kids want to leave a tape recorder running on christmas eve night, not to tape santa, but to hear our pets talk!

12 DOROTHY { 11.22.11 at 4:38 pm }

delightful reading /intelligent slant/ please never stop !!

13 Linda { 12.27.10 at 2:16 pm }

I like Caren’s post….Sandi’s “…..pagan-like, and even showed disrespect.” implies that pagan is bad. By Caren’ definition, how CAN it be bad?!
.

14 Caren { 12.26.10 at 5:36 pm }

The Farmers’ Almanac should be about farming and weather, not a platform for mythology. The word “pagan” means “farmer” in Latin. The winter Solstice is the holiday celebrated for millennia and nearly all holiday traditions find their origins in Solstice celebrations.

The Solstice is the time of year when the Sun seems to stand still (“solstire” in Latin). Why? Because the Sun has “died” and buried itself beneath (the horizon of )the Earth while the constellation of the Southern Cross is predominant. The Sun remains buried for 3 days. Then, on the 3rd day, the Sun arises, is “reborn” to a new year of longer and longer days, and ascends into the heavens, where it rises higher each day until it reaches maturity and conquers the darkness at Oester (easter). At this point (equinox) the Sun conquers the darkness and the days become longer than the nights and the world blooms with new life.

The cycle obviously continues, until the Sun dies beneath the Southern Cross and is “buried” beneath the Earth’s horizon at the next Solstice.

This cycle is eternal, so long as Sun and Earth exist, and has been retold in numerous cultures’ myths throughout the ages.

15 Yoya { 12.23.10 at 5:06 am }

This is great!! I cannot wait to share this with my children. Thank you for making Christmas more meaningful and special.

16 Claire { 12.22.10 at 1:43 pm }

Like the artists and the architects of Romas times, the Romans stole everything from the pagans and the surrounding countryside. The Romans took the pagan holiday of the Winter solstice when candles lit the way to next year and it was the longest day of the year, and put Jesus’s birthday on it. It’s all about the marketing people;)

17 Lacey { 12.22.10 at 1:33 pm }

Thanks for a great little fun way to know some of the “past” associated with Christmas. May God bless you this CHRISTmas Season!

18 Elizabeth { 12.22.10 at 12:58 pm }

I surprised myself with getting them all right! And thanks for the “Xmas” explanation… felt guilty for using it at times but now I can use it and be ready to explain if needed! HoHoHo!!

19 Margaret Hawkins { 12.22.10 at 11:26 am }

This is lovely! Now I can share it with all my preschoolers. Do you know the German legend of the Spiders decorating the tree that evolved into tinsel?

20 Jeannette { 12.22.10 at 10:33 am }

Loved it!

21 Ginny { 12.22.10 at 10:16 am }

I enjoyed the stories of old.

22 Tammy { 12.22.10 at 10:12 am }

Thank you, and Merry CHRISTmas!

23 Hildy { 12.22.10 at 10:00 am }

Sooooo much fun & very informative!

24 Sandi Duncan { 12.22.10 at 9:58 am }

@mj – Contrary to what many people think, the “X” is not a way to get away from associating “Christ” with Christmas. Its origin is religious in nature. The Greek word that gives us the English word “Christ” started with the letter “chi” or “X”. The early Christians who spoke Greek used the word to signify “Christ’s Mass.” However, as centuries passed, fewer and fewer people understood ancient Greek and thought the “X” was pagan-like, and even showed disrespect.

25 Sandy { 12.22.10 at 9:58 am }

Very nice quiz I enjoyed it. Hopefully you are helping people understand Christmas better. Thanks

26 Elizabeth { 12.22.10 at 9:35 am }

This was fun and informative too. Thanks for sharing Christmas history with us.

27 Darlene { 12.22.10 at 9:33 am }

Thank-you for the very interesting quiz, makes a person stop and think what Christmas is really all about. Not just presents and shopping but the Christ Child

28 William Anderson { 12.22.10 at 9:17 am }

Live and learn!…I’d never heard the dowries story!

29 mj { 12.22.10 at 9:16 am }

You seem to know your stuff. I have a question if anyone knows. I was recently told that “Xmas” came from people trying to remove Christ from Christmas. Is this true?

30 Rodney { 12.21.10 at 7:16 am }

Nice quiz… while most are trying to eliminate Christ from Christmas, you share the facts with us in a very fun way… thank you

31 Peter { 12.20.10 at 4:41 pm }

Thanks :)

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