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Christmas Special?

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Frederick The Monk
69961.  Mon May 15, 2006 3:09 pm Reply with quote

Found the Viking pogoing ref - it's from the De cerimoniis aulae byzantinae ("On Ceremonies") of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII. In one of the very few descriptions of a pagan Viking Christmas scene (despite what some modern neo-pagans claim) he describes how:

"...two companies danced in a ring, striking their shields with sticks and shouting 'Yule, Yule, Yule!', and in each company two men were dressed in furs and masks".

 
Molly Cule
70329.  Wed May 17, 2006 1:07 pm Reply with quote

In Germany people put a spider on their Christmas tree. The story goes that spiders are responsible for tinsel. The day before Christmas, as the small house in Germany was being cleaned for Christmas, the resident spiders, not wanting to be swept up with the broom, hid in the attic. When nightfall came and all were settled into bed, the spiders crept downstairs. To their amazement, in the middle of the living room was a beautifully decorated Christmas Tree. They were so excited that they ran all over the tree. They scurried up the trunk and leapt from branch to branch. Unfortunately they had left their mark. A gray spider web now covered the whole tree. When Weihnachtsmann, also known as Father Christmas, arrived he saw the tree covered in spider webs. Now he faced a dilemma. The family would be disappointed to see their beautiful tree all wrapped in the webs, but the spiders were so pleased with their handiwork that he did not have the heart to take it down. What could he do? He magicked the webs into beautiful shimmering silver strands. From then on tinsel was used and a gold or silver spider is still placed on German trees.

 
Frederick The Monk
70769.  Sat May 20, 2006 9:47 am Reply with quote

The Italian equivalent of Santa - La Befana - is a woman who rides a broomstick. Not only does she leave sweets for children (on the night of 5th/ 6th January) but she sweeps the house before leaving.

 
Gordman
194521.  Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:07 am Reply with quote

Well these sure are some weird customs, i guess we are all free to have our own beliefs. I can't imagine Christmas without the Christmas tree, but also i am sad to see too many beautiful trees are sacrificed leaving empty places behind. This is why i vote for artificial Christmas trees. They have unique wonderful designs and can successfully replace natural ones.

Commercial link deleted by QI Moderator three years later!

 
smiley_face
194591.  Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:56 pm Reply with quote

Gordman wrote:
They have unique wonderful designs and can successfully replace natural ones.

And are much cheaper! Ours is 19 years old and still going strong (although getting a little bit bare in places, it has to be said).

 
Tas
194600.  Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:36 pm Reply with quote

Put enough tinsel on, and you cannot see the bare patches!

:-)

Tas

 
eggshaped
194679.  Wed Jul 25, 2007 1:47 am Reply with quote

IMHO real trees are much better, plastic trees just dont seem as majestic and do not have the distinctive smell of Christmas.

Christmas tree growing is a business, so I'd have thought that most are specifically planted in order to be cut down for the festive season; in which case they would just be replanted.

One organisation who definitely do plant new trees are the forestry commission who manage Britainís two biggest Christmas tree outlets. Last year they planted an additional 50,000 Christmas trees to the 100,000 they sold.

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/HCOU-54WPRV
http://www.christmastree.org.uk/documents/careoftrees.htm

 
AlmondFacialBar
194764.  Wed Jul 25, 2007 6:32 am Reply with quote

Molly Cule wrote:
In Germany people put a spider on their Christmas tree. The story goes that spiders are responsible for tinsel. The day before Christmas, as the small house in Germany was being cleaned for Christmas, the resident spiders, not wanting to be swept up with the broom, hid in the attic. When nightfall came and all were settled into bed, the spiders crept downstairs. To their amazement, in the middle of the living room was a beautifully decorated Christmas Tree. They were so excited that they ran all over the tree. They scurried up the trunk and leapt from branch to branch. Unfortunately they had left their mark. A gray spider web now covered the whole tree. When Weihnachtsmann, also known as Father Christmas, arrived he saw the tree covered in spider webs. Now he faced a dilemma. The family would be disappointed to see their beautiful tree all wrapped in the webs, but the spiders were so pleased with their handiwork that he did not have the heart to take it down. What could he do? He magicked the webs into beautiful shimmering silver strands. From then on tinsel was used and a gold or silver spider is still placed on German trees.


erm... i'm german and i've never heard of that. either that custom is confined to a very small region or you've fallen for an urban myth there...

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
Billybob
249946.  Fri Dec 28, 2007 4:18 pm Reply with quote

MatC wrote:
there must, I presume, be an official psychiatric name for the condition or habit of celebrating xmas every day?

Wizzardry?

 
samivel
250002.  Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:08 pm Reply with quote

lol

 

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