The History of Christmas
 Christ, Claus and the evolution of our most popular holiday


 


Reasons to believe
The World of Santa Claus

Santa figurines
Santa ornaments

Santa Carvings

Russian Santas
Handcrafted Santas

Santa carvings from Reasons to Believe


     
 

Link to us

 

Holly - origins & trivia


To avoid persecution during the Roman pagan festival of Saturnalis, the early Christians decked their homes with Saturnalia holly. As Christian numbers increased and their customs prevailed, holly and mistletoe lost their pagan associations and became symbols of Christmas.

Holly was the sacred plant of Saturn and was used at the Roman Saturnalia festival to honor him. Romans gave one another holly wreaths and carried them about decorating images of Saturn with it. Centuries later, in December, while other Romans continued their pagan worship, Christians celebrated the birth of Jesus . To avoid persecution, they decked their homes with Saturnalia holly. Asorigins of holly Christian numbers increased and their customs prevailed, holly lost its pagan association and became a symbol of Christmas.

***

The Druids believed that holly, with its shiny leaves and red berries stayed green to keep the earth beautiful when the sacred oak lost it leaves. They wore sprigs of holly in their hair when they went into the forest to watch their priests cut the sacred mistletoe.

The plant has come to stand for peace and joy, people often settle arguments under a holly tree. Holly is believed to frighten off witches and protect the home from thunder and lightning. In West England it is said sprigs of holly around a young girl's bed on Christmas Eve are suppose to keep away mischievous little goblins. In Germany, a piece that has been used in church decorations is regarded as a charm against lightning. In England, British farmers put sprigs of holly on their beehives. On the first Christmas, they believed, the bees hummed in honor of the Christ Child. The English also mention the "he holly and the she holly" as being the determining factor in who will rule the household in the following year, the "she holly" having smooth leaves and the "he holly" having prickly ones. Other beliefs included putting a sprig of holly on the bedpost to bring sweet dreams and making a tonic from holly to cure a cough. All of these references give light to "decking the halls with boughs of holly."

 
 
 

12 days of Christmas
History of Advent
Candy Cane
Christmas Carols
Christmas Rose
Christmas Star
Christmas Stockings
Christmas trees
'xmas'

Fruitcake and foods
Christmas Gifts
Yule log
Wreaths
Poinsettia
Mistletoe
Holly
Ivy and laurel
Glastonbury thorn
Christmas quotes
'Merry Christmas'
  (100+languages)
North pole
Mrs. Claus
Rudolph
Letters to Santa
Snacks for Santa


Reasons to Believe - Santa carvings, Santa figurines, Russian Santas, Santa ornaments and more.  Hundreds of Santa Claus gifts and collectibles to choose from.
ReasonsToBelieve.com  -  The World of Santa Claus
2004 10 Holidays  | Favorite links | contact us

 

Share your tidbits of holiday trivia!
click here