Fun Festive Trivia & Common Questions

Fun Festive Trivia & Common Questions

What began the custom of stuffing Christmas presents into stockings?

Once upon a time, a father of three girls was worried that he wouldn't be able to marry his daughters as they were poor. St. Nicholas came to know about this and was aware that the father would not accept money from him. So, one night, St. Nicholas crept up to the house and threw three bags of gold coins through the window. The coins fell into the girl's stockings, which were drying by the fire.

The girls discovered this in the morning and were now rich enough to marry! This kindness inspired the tradition of putting out stockings for Father Christmas to fill with gifts.

Why are spiderwebs used to decorate Christmas Tree in Ukraine?

This tradition has its roots in a story about a mother and her two children. The family was poor so they couldn't afford ornaments to decorate their Christmas tree. On a Christmas eve, a kind spider decorated their tree with spiderwebs to make the family happy. When the family saw the webs next morning, they were delighted and decided to be grateful for what they have. Since then, spiderwebs have become a symbol of good luck.

Why Mince Pies have no Mince in them?

The medieval version of this sweet treat did have minced meat in it. It was made from meat, fruit, sugar and spices. The sugar preserved the meat and was a way of showing that the host can afford these ingredients. Over the years, as sugar and spices became affordable and easily available, the meat was no longer one of the ingredients but the name lives on.

What is the story behind Hanukkah?

Long time ago, a kind called Antiochus lived in Syria. He didn't wish Jewish people to practise Judaism. Thus, he captured a tempke in Jerusalem and sent an army to attack. The army was met with a group (Maccabees) who fought and drove them away. However, their temple was ruined. They lit a lamp using a small amount of oil that was left in a bottle. It was expected to be enough for one night, however, it lasted for eight nights! It is believed that this was a sign from God that he will always be with his believers. 

The special lamp that is lit on Hanukkah is called a menorah or Chanukiah. It is a symbol of Judaism around the world.

What started Gingerbread Houses? 

This began in Germany in 1800s when the famous story, Hansel and Gretel was published. Inspired by the evil witch's house, German bakers created miniature versions out of lebkubhen (honey biscuit). These houses were decorated with icing and other treats, and became a popular treat.

Where is the World's largest Nutcracker?

The World's largest working Nutcracker is in Erstes Nussknacker Museum, Germany. It is just over 10 metres tall and can even crack coconuts!

Why does Santa wear read?

The inspiration is believed to come from St Nicholas, a fourth-century Greek bishop from Turkey who was kind and generous. Bishops at the time wore red robes and our modern-day Santa's wardrobe colour has been taken from there!

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