5 History Facts About Christmas

Six towns and villages called Bethlehem

In the world there are six towns and villages called Bethlehem. The word Bethlehem means “house of bread”. Bethlehem (“real one“, south of Jerusalem) is known for being the birthplace of Jesus Christ (according to the New Testament).

There lives one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, due to emigration today has a small number of members. According to the belief there is born and King David, who was also a crowned king of Israel.

The first Christmas crib

The first Christmas crib were made by St. Francis of Assisi in a cave in the Italian town of Greccio. They were “live Christmas Crib” as Francis put a newborn between the ox and the donkey. Christmas Crib are representation of the birth of Jesus as described in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.

Christmas Crib are placed in homes on Christmas Eve and stay until the feast of Epiphany, and in the churches until the feast of the Baptism of Jesus. The first Christmas crib with figures, were placed in the convent of Fussen in Bavaria, 1252. Christmas Crib as we know them date back to the 16th century and flourished after the First World War.

December 25

In 330 was set December 25 as the date for celebrating Jesus’ birthday. At that time of the day in Rome to celebrate the feast of the Invincible Sun – Natalis Solis Invicta, in Greece Dionysus, and ancient Egyptians were celebrating the birth of Horus.

Santa Claus vs St. Nicholas

Austrian and German authorities were at one time banned the figure of Santa Claus, claiming that he is a product of Coca-Cola and it distracts people from the real meaning of the holidays. The initiative for this campaign started from Vienna where traditionally St. Nicholas delivers the gifts.

xmasRed Coca Cola advertising character called Santa Claus will spread rapidly throughout the world. Although an American product, even in the communist Soviet Union after the war recognized a good opportunity for the suppression of religious Saint Nicholas, who is also replaced by the name and the image of Santa Claus, where Coca-Cola advertising Grandpa had one big advantage: it was red!

American Santa Claus name is actually a distortion of the Dutch Sinterklaas, or St. Nicholas, which was probably first spread from New York (former Dutch colony called Neeuw Amsterdam).

Silent Night

The song “Silent Night”, originally “Stille Nacht,” wrote pastor of the Austrian town of Oberndorf, Joseph Mohr,  and Franz Gruber composed this song in 1818 after spoiled organ of the parish church.

The story says that the mice actually to blame for the fact that this song at all occurred. The mice were „hungry“ and damaged the church organ so that they are simply numb.

Christmas Eve is approaching. The organ was out of order. Josef Mohr at all costs wanted to midnight mass has a new song in the church. He called for urgent Franz Gruber and then notes of “Silent Night” were prepared with a guitar. “Silent Night” has so far been translated into more than 300 languages and dialects.