Santa Claus, the Christmas tree, stockings any many other common Christmas traditions, where did they all start?
Christmas is a time of joy and love, when people all over the world come together in celebration of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Although having many forms, the most common Christmas traditions did not all emerge with the holiday itself. So where did they come from?
The tradition of hanging up Christmas stockings, usually over a fireplace, is actually inspired from a popular poem.
The poem tells the story of a widowed man who’s worried that he could not be able to afford his three daughters gifts. When St. Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus, heard about the man’s worries, he snuck in and filled the daughters’ stockings with gifts.
In the poem, their stockings were hanging to dry over a fireplace, and St. Nicholas filled them with gold coins.
The modern Christmas tree originates in Germany, and is believed to have been started by Lutherans during the 17th century. They were first seen in the US in the 1820s, in Pennsylvania, where many German immigrants had settled.
When Queen Victoria of Britain and Prince Albert of Germany were seen sitting beside a decorated tree in the llustrated London News in 1846, the tradition came under public interest and developed from there on.
There are countless amounts of St. Nicholas all over the world, and having hundreds of names, he is best recognized by his long white beard and long red robe.
The oldest story of St. Nicholas actually dates back to modern-day Turkey in 280 AD. The legend has it that a monk of the same name was so generous and kind, he would give away his personal wealth to those in need.