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How are Coke, World War 1 and a zoo related to Xmas? 5 Christmas facts

Do you know the significance of the year 1846 for the Christmas tree or how Coca Cola is related to Santa Claus?

more lifestyle Updated: Dec 24, 2017 09:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Christmas,Xmas,Christmas facts
Macaulay Culkin meets Santa Claus in Home Alone (1990)(Youtube)

We all love Christmas- the melodious carols, Santa’s gifts, Rudolf and so much more. But the festival has some amazing facts around it that you probably haven’t heard of. Go through our list, and tell us how many of these quirky facts you actually knew about!

1.Santa Claus is loosely based on a real person who was born in the year 270, called St. Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra.

He was born during the third century in Patara village (currently on the southern coast of Turkey). He had rich parents, who died in a plague when Nicholas was still very young. He used all the money which his parents had left for him to help the poor and the sick, and was also known to be very fond of children.

Santa Claus is loosely based on a real person who was born in the year 270, called St. Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra. ( Youtube )

It was a Dutch tradition which kept the story of St. Nicholas alive in the shape of Sinterklaas, a bishop who gave gifts to kids in December. The name ‘Santa Claus’ was given to him in an advertisement that came out in a New York City newspaper in 1773.

Santa Claus would wear different coloured robes when he would be depicted in drawings and ads- brown, green, purple etc. However, Santa Claus in a red outfit became the norm when the artist Haddon Sundblom in 1931 depicted him like that in a popular Coca Cola campaign.

2.‘We wish you a merry Christmas’ actually used to be a threat used in England. The song (recorded in 1740) was recited loudly and continuously by unruly crowds comprising lower class servants who would demand alcohol from their masters.

It was an English custom where the servants would sing outside their master’s homes and would get food and drinks in return.

3. It was in the 1830s that the Christmas tree came to America, but didn’t gain popularity until 1846, when Germany’s Prince Albert brought it to England after marrying Queen Victoria. Both of them were sketched standing with a Christmas tree, due to which the practice of keeping a Christmas tree during the festival became famous.

Christmas tree at Bloomberg Tower Complex in Midtown Manhattan. ( Shutterstock )

4.There are also zoos that accept donated Christmas trees and feed it to their animals.

Two examples are the Oakland Zoo (California, USA) and Prague Zoo (Prague, Czech Republic) who give the trees to animals such as elephants, giraffes, deers and others. The pine trees are high in vitamin C content, and hence are good for their health too.

5.During the Christmas season in 1914 (World War 1), there was a ceasefire between Germany and UK. Gifts were given by soldiers to each other in no man’s land and the troops also played football together.

Around 100,000 British and German troops were part of this unofficial ceasefire along the Western Front. It took place when the German troops decorated the area surrounding their trenches in Ypres, Belgium and Saint-Yvon, Belgium.

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First Published: Dec 24, 2017 09:05 IST