Twelve Facts about Christmas
With our favourite festive songs hitting the airwaves, there can be no doubt that Christmas is on its way! We are all familiar with the famous carol, ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ but here are 12 festive facts you may not have heard before:
- Carols started as an old English custom named ‘wassailing’, which involved toasting neighbours to a long life.
- The holly in a wreath symbolises Christ's crown of thorns while the red berries represent the drops of his blood.
- The average home will splash out just short of £810 at Christmas on food and drink, travel, decorations and presents, with the latter accounting for nearly 60% of the budget.
- Section 3 of the Game Act 1831 says that it is an offence to “kill or take any game, or use any dog, gun, net or other engine or instrument for the purpose of killing or taking any game, on a Sunday or Christmas Day.” If you are planning on having game for your Christmas dinner then you should ensure that you get this before the morning of the 25th!
- Hanging stockings out originates from the Dutch custom of leaving shoes packed with food for the donkeys of St Nicholas, who would leave small gifts in return.
- During the 20th century there were only seven official white Christmases in the UK. Statistically there is a 6% chance of there being a white Christmas this year!
- The UK brussels sprouts industry is worth around £650 million, and the area of the nation covered by fields of brussels sprouts is equivalent to 3,240 football pitches.
- A study has shown that the demands of cooking the big Christmas dinner sees the average Brit begin to consume their first alcoholic drink at 11.48am.
- Scientists have calculated that Santa would have to visit 822 homes a second to deliver all the world's presents on Christmas Eve. To do this he would need to travel at 650 miles a second!
- It is often said that eating mince pies on Christmas Day is illegal! This is a myth but 25th December 1644 fell on a legally mandated day of fasting so no mince pies could be eaten!
- There are 13 Santa’s in Iceland, who each leave a gift for children. They come down from the mountains one by one starting on 12th December and have names like Spoon Licker and Candle Stealer!
- In 1999, residents of the state of Maine in the US built the world’s biggest ever snowman which stood at a whopping 113ft tall!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all the staff at Whitehead Monckton!