Once again, thank you for joining us this holiday season, for reading our daily facts, and sharing your stories! We hope to see you for December 2014!
Most people living in the Western Hemisphere celebrate New Year’s Day on January 1. This observance can be traced back to the ancient Romans, who began their New Year’s festival, kalends, meaning the first day of the month in the ancient Roman calendar , on New Year’s day.
Hope everyone has a great New Year !
If you have any goals for the New Year, feel free to share by commenting below !
Connection of Christmas and New Years
Some researchers believe that a number of ancient New Year customs survived the decline of paganism by simply attaching themselves to the Christmas holiday. It is like that New Yea’rs would not have been celebrated in today’s day, if in the past it was not a part of a Christian tradition.
The Birthday of the Lord
English dictionaries define the word “noel” as a cry of joy associated with the celebration of Christmas. In the past eras English speakers also used the word to refer to the feast of Christmas itself. Researchers differ in their explanations of the origin of the word “noel”. Most trace it back to the Latin word birthday. In the fourth century Church authorities in Rome introduced Christmas as “the Birthday of the Lord”.
What does Kalends mean?
In 45 B.C the Roman emperor Julius Caesar introduced a new calendar which shifted the date of the Roman New Year from March 25 to January 1. The Romans called the festival that began on this day “kalends”. The English word “calendar” comes from this old Latin term.
Three Christian festivals follow in close succession upon Christmas. St.Sephan’s Day occurs December 26, St.John’s Day on December 27, and Holy Innocent’s Day on December 28. These commemorative days were established in western Europe by the late fifth century.
Christmas boxing day originated in England, where the word “boxing” refers to the distribution of small gifts of money.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays !
Fun Fact: In the middle ages, the boar’s head would be the central dish of the Christmas banquet. (“Encyclopedia of Christmas” by Tanya Gulevich)
How will you be celebrating today? Will you be eating a boar’s head like in the middle ages? Comment below!
A Visit from St. Nicholas
-Clement C. Moore
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; the stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads, and Mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap, had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap, when out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the winder I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave the lustre of midday to objects below, when, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer, with a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, and he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: “Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donder and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As the dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, when they meet with an obstacle mount to the sky, so up to the housetop the coursers they flew, with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas, too!
And then, in a twinkling, I heard of the roof the prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, down the chimney came St. Nicholas with a bound.
He was all dressed in fur, and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack. His eyes – how they twinkled, his dimples – how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, and the beard on his chin was as white as the snow; the stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, and the smoke of it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly, that shook when he laughed, like a bowlful 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;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, and filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, and laying his finger aside of his nose, and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose; he sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, and away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
Candy Cane Symbolism
A recent legend suggests that hundreds of years ago candy makers encoded Christian symbols into the red and white design on candy canes. The story asserts that the red stripes represented the blood of Christ and the white background is his purity.