10 Fun Holiday Facts That You May Not Know

10 Fun Holiday Facts That You May Not Know

There is nothing more relaxing and cheerful than a happy holiday. American holidays usually include gathering with friends and family, dining together, celebrating holidays and the joy of reunion. Do you know that many of our favorite holiday traditions have existed for far longer than we thought? In this passage, you will learn some interesting facts about America's favorite festivals, including their history and origins. These fun holiday facts will definitely become good conversation starters.

The Origins of Easter

On Easter, many Christians commemorate and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But few people know that Easter was originally a celebration of the vernal equinox, which marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. The holiday also marks a return of warmer weather, blooming flowers, and the beginning of nature's renewal, which many people find comforting and inspiring.

Why We Color Easter Eggs

The Christian tradition of coloring eggs dates back to the Orthodox practice of abstaining from animal products during Lent. As such, colored eggs are a symbolic representation of the resurrection of Jesus. This is why eggs are traditionally dyed in bright colors like yellow, red and blue. Decorating Easter eggs has become a fun activity for the whole family and brings joy.

Halloween’s Shadowy Origins

Halloween can trace its origins back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. During this festival, people would gather to honor the dead, as well as celebrate the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the winter months. It is believed that the Celts would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off evil spirits. Over the years, Halloween has evolved from a solemn celebration to a fun holiday.

The First Thanksgiving

There’s a great deal of confusion over when the first Thanksgiving actually took place and what exactly the pilgrims were so thankful for. It's believed that the origins of Thanksgiving trace back to the early days of European colonization in the Americas. Thanksgiving has become an important cultural holiday since 1621 in both the United States and Canada, celebrated with family gatherings, feasts, and parades.

Santa Used to Be Skinny

Santa has gone through quite a few changes both in looks and character. In the beginning, Santa was depicted as a much thinner and smaller figure with a long white beard, dressed in a red suit and tall black boots. As the years went by, especially after Coca-Cola's commercials in the 1930s, a chubby and jolly old man became the traditional look of Santa.

Valentine’s Day’s Ancestor

Valentine's Day was first thought to be a Christian holiday honoring St. Valentine, a Roman priest who was martyred in the 3rd century A.D. However, much of the symbolism associated with Valentine's Day can be traced back to the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia. Valentine's Day as we know it today eventually came to represent the idea of romantic love, with couples exchanging chocolates, cards, and flowers to show their affection for one another.

Tradition of Hanging Christmas Lights

Many have attributed the origin of hanging gleaming Christmas lights to Martin Luther, a German theologian and professor of the 16th century. Inspired by beautiful stars in the sky, he had the idea to hang candles in his home’s windows. As time passed, technology advanced and candles were replaced with electric lights, and eventually made their way to the United States in the late 1800s.

“Jingle Bells” Wasn’t Originally a Christmas Song

It may come as a surprise to some that this beloved classic was not originally created for Christmas. The tune was actually written by James Lord Pierpont in 1857, and was originally titled “One Horse Open Sleigh” - and was intended to be used for Thanksgiving. The lyrics were changed in the late 1800s to make it more festive and more suitable for the holiday season.

Mistletoe Mayhem

The tradition of using mistletoe as a tool of courtship and romance is thought to have originated in England in the 18th century. According to the legend, if a couple stood beneath the mistletoe and kissed, they would be blessed with eternal love and happiness. This custom quickly spread to other parts of the world, including the United States.

The Evolution of Eggnog

Eggnog is a traditional drink that has been around for centuries, yet its exact origins are still a matter of debate. It is believed to have originated from the early medieval British drink called "posset", which was made with hot ale and cream. It is traditionally consumed during the Christmas season in countries throughout Europe and North America, and is enjoyed both hot and cold.