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Top 10 Christmas Facts From Around The Globe

Submitted by on December 18, 2008 – 7:48 pm7 Comments

hollyAs another year comes to an end, everyone is once again coming up with their ‘Top 10’ lists. We’ve decided to throw yet another one out there by creating our own ‘Top 10’ facts about Christmas from around the globe. Have a read through and, perhaps, you can drop some of these into your conversations as holiday party season moves into full swing. Here they are:

1.) The first postage stamp to commemorate Christmas was issued in Austria in 1937.

2.) In Japan, “Hoteiosho“, who closely relates to Santa Claus, is thought to be an old man who carries a huge sack.

3.) In Hungary, the Christmas meal can’t be served until a twinkling star is seen in the sky.

4.) The first documented use of an evergreen tree in a Christmas celebration was in Riga, Latvia, in the year 1510.

5.) Stille Nacht (Silent Night) was first performed in the Nikolaus-Kirche (Church of St. Nicholas) in Oberndorf, Austria on December 24, 1818.

6.) In ancient times, it was forbidden to fight in the presence of mistletoe.

7.) In Brazil, the children serve breakfast on Christmas day

8.) Star Man visits all Polish homes after Christmas Eve supper, bringing small gifts and cookies to the children.

9.) Chinese children await a visit from Dun Che Lao Ren which translates to “Christmas Old Man”.

10.) The first candy cane dates back to 1670 when the choir master at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany bent the sugar-sticks into canes to represent a shepherd’s staff.


  • Jackie says:

    I have never heard of #3. Interesting! I guess my family couldn’t wait to eat. They never looked for the star. :-)

  • Kamila says:

    In Poland, we also look for the first star at the sky before we sit down to the Christmas Eve supper :)

    Star Man (Gwiazdor) visits Polish children after Christmas Eve supper only in some parts of Poland. In others, they are visited by Santa Claus. My mum told me that when she was a child, Santa came at night and they were allowed to look for gifts under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning.

    Also, there is Santa Claus’ nameday on December 6th in Poland – on that day (the night before) Santa leaves small gifts under children’s pillows or in their shoes.

    In some Slavic countries (e.g. in Russia) Santa is dubbed “Dziadek Mróz” (Ded Moroz) which translates to “Grandpa/Father Frost” :)

  • cancunidi says:

    And a Mexico fact? OK, we have “Posadas” (pre xmas parties) where we sing “Villancicos” and remember the path Mary and Joseph took before they had the baby Jesus.

  • Jennifer Schmittler says:

    Love this!

  • Some very interesting facts here….some I have never heard. It is interesting how we all celebrate Christmas in a different way despite the original same reason and with similarities in traditions and food, but also many differences.

    You can read about our New Zealand Christmas at http://www.holidays-in-newzealand.com/christmas-in-newzealand.html

  • Juno says:

    7.) In Brazil, the children serve breakfast on Christmas day
    That’s a cute one. 😉

  • Melvin says:

    Number 3 is definitely something I wouldn’t vote for! Imagine there are clouds for days… You go hungry! 😉

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