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A winter world of ancient traditions

With Christmas right around the corner, maybe you’d like to know where all your favourite Christmas symbols come from and what they mean.

Mistletoe – Kissing under the mistletoe is first found associated with the Greek festival of Saturnalia and later with primitive marriage rites. They probably originated from two beliefs. One belief was that it has power to bestow fertility. It was also believed that the dung from which the mistletoe grows would also possess “life-giving” power.

Christmas Tree – The tradition of the Christmas tree as it is today known is fairly young. It was established by Martin Luther as a Protestant counterpart to the Catholic Nativity scene. Luther established the Christmas tree as a symbol of the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden.

Santa Claus – Undoubtedly, the most favourite Christmas symbol. Saint Nicholas, or Santa Claus as we call it, was born in the 4th century in Turkey. He was popular for his generosity and love for children.

Christmas Stocking – Saint Nicholas wanted to help a poor man who had no money to leave to his three daughters. Knowing the man would not accept charity he crept into his house through the chimney and left gold coins in the three girls’ stockings, as they were hanging up.

Christmas Pudding – Christmas Pudding – Recipes for plum puddings appear mainly, if not entirely, in the 17th century and later. Their possible ancestors include various savoury puddings and custards.Various ingredients and methods of these older recipes appear in early plum
puddings.

Christmas Star – This is the symbolic representation of the paragons that we set for ourselves.

Christmas Bells – These represent the joy and sorrow that humans’ experience, they also are the symbol of the communication that takes place between the human race and the God.

Candy Cane – The white colour of the candy cane symbolizes the birth and purity of Jesus while its hard texture represents the basis of the Church as well as the promises made to man by Christ.

Advent Wreath – This symbolizes the coming of the Christ. Advent wreaths are bought one month before Christmas and four candles are placed on the wreath. One candle is lit each Sunday to show that the Christ’s birthday is approaching.

Holly – This is a shrub with spiny leaves and red berries. It is evergreen and remains that way throughout the year. In Christianity, Holly symbolizes the crowns of thorns worn by Jesus Christ at his crucifixion.

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