Posted on 16 May 2010.
Christmas is all about gifts, snow and Santa Claus. However, there are certain facts about the holiday that you don’t know and probably wouldn’t even want to!
1. The Myrrh Tree
Everybody is aware of the fact that Jesus received myrrh as a gift from the magi which is basically tree sap that is dried out. What people don’t know is that the first myrrh tree came into being because Myrrha was indulging in sexual activities with her father and once her father realized it, he tried to kill her. However, she escaped and was turned into a tree.
2. The Defecating Caganer
Every nativity set consist of Mary, Joseph and their baby Jesus. The family is often surrounded by animals, shepherds and other figures. In places like Italy and Spain, one figure will be that of the caganer who will be placed away from the manger and will be seen defecating.
3. Saint Nicholas
Saint Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus, is known to have brought three children back to life. These children were staying with a butcher who murdered and pickled them. He then tried to serve the meat as pork but good old Santa came by and resuscitated the poor children. There are several paintings of Saint Nicolas wherein some children will be seen standing around in tubs- now you know why!
4. Christmas Used to be Banned
During 1659 to 1681, the holiday was not celebrated in Massachusetts and was banned. This is because it was believed that 25th December was not a day to be celebrated as God had not mentioned it in the Bible.
5. Knecht Rupercht and the Christmas Cat
Knecht Rupercht is among the many companions of Saint Nicholas. He is known to punish those who have been bad by taking them to a forest in a sack and eating them. Another legend says that if you do not buy new clothes on Christmas, the Christmas Cat will come and eat you alive.