Santa's eight regular reindeer are Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. Rudolph also worked for Santa during a particularly foggy Christmas Eve. Donner and Blitzen were originally called Dunder and Blixem.
A:A specific person did not start Christmas, but Christmas is a traditional holiday celebrated by people throughout the world for different reasons. People find joy in exchanging gifts with one another and honoring religious tradition, and early peoples celebrated Christmas for similar purposes. Although Christmas is celebrated on December 25 in America, the holiday is commemorated on the winter solstice and alternate days of the year in other nations.
A:The tradition of the Christmas tree originates with pagan worshippers who decorated their homes with green boughs during the winter solstice. They believed that the long nights occurred because the sun god was ill. Placing a bough in the home during the solstice celebrated the waning of winter's power.
A:The Christmas tree symbolizes the spirit of the Christmas season and, to Christians, the everlasting life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. In the Bible, the cross upon which Jesus was crucified is often referred to as a tree. The lights and decorations on the tree represent the wonder and glory associated with the birth and resurrection of Jesus.
A:It is most likely that the tradition of Santa's cookies and milk stems from the medieval German custom of the "paradise tree." Other thoughts are that it is linked to the Great Depression, Norse mythology or Saint Nicholas himself.
A:Saint Nicholas was a Bishop who lived during the fourth century A.D. in the city of Myra, located in what is now present-day Turkey. Santa Claus is a fictional character that is based largely on the stories of Saint Nicholas. Over time, stories of the real St. Nicholas and the fictional Santa Claus merged to create folk stories where the two are one and the same.
A:Santa Claus is a figure with legendary, historical and folkloric origins. Among several Western practices, he is believed to bring gifts to the homes of good children on the eve of Christmas (December 24). Other common names for Santa Claus are Saint Nicholas, Kris Krinngle or simply “Santa.”
A:Christians celebrate Christmas to rejoice over the birth of Jesus Christ, who is believed to be the son of God. Others celebrate Christmas as a season of love, family and joy as well as a day of giving and receiving gifts.
A:In Germany, Santa Claus is referred to as "Weihnachtsmann" and the literal English translation of that name is "Christmas Man." Christmas in Germany is celebrated in a similar way to Christmas in the United States, except Santa Claus visits on Christmas Eve as opposed to Christmas Day.
A:An orange included within a Christmas stocking is representative of St. Nicholas giving gold that was used to provide dowry money. Legend suggests that this gold was thrown to people by St. Nicholas and was in the form of golden balls.
A:Christians celebrate the religious holiday of Christmas in many ways, including Nativity plays, special church services, singing Christmas carols and exchanging gifts. Families often have many personal traditions since the holiday is commonly defined as a time of family gathering.
A:There are several different tree species used as Christmas trees, such as the fir, pine, spruce, cypress and cedar. For each of the main category of Christmas trees, there are also different types among those. Plus, there are many different varieties of artificial Christmas trees available.
A:According to the National Christmas Tree Association, there were 24.5 million real trees and 10.9 million fake trees purchased in the United States in 2012. This equates to a total of 35.4 million Christmas trees.
A:Three national organizations that provide free Christmas toys for low income families are Toys for Tots, Angel Tree, and Operation Santa Claus. There are many more on the state and local level as well, but these three are accessible across the country.
A:The modern Christmas gift exchange became a central tradition in the 1820s in the United States when newspapers began showing Christmas-themed ads on their pages. Within 40 years, the Macy's store in New York City opened their doors until midnight on Christmas Eve to satisfy demand for Christmas gift shopping.
A:An upside-down Christmas tree is meant to represent the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The custom is traced back to a 12th-century religious tradition of Central Europeans, who hung inverted trees decorated with candles.