If fruitcake, Christmas cookies, or candy canes aren't your thing, you might consider trying the South African holiday tradition. Locals celebrate Christmas with a hearty plate of deep-fried caterpillars of the Emperor Moth. source
If you live in Russia or Ukraine, you probably celebrate Christmas on January 7, due to the different calendar kept by the Orthodox Church.
Christmas brings an understandable desire to see old friends. For that reason, you might sympathize with Patrick Rempe, who just wanted to see his buddies before the holidays. Of course, his buddies were in custody in the county jail, but why let that little obstacle get in the way of holiday cheer and... Continue Reading →
Now that Christmas is behind us for one more year, it is time to see just how much of the holiday traditions you know. Consider these Christmas fun facts: What’s so special about mistletoe? The Druids considered mistletoe sacred because it remains green and bears fruit during the winter when all other plants appear... Continue Reading →
"Our nation's capital is really getting into the holiday spirit. Yesterday I saw Tip O'Neil with a beard and red suit, shimmying down the Washington Monument." -- Bob Hope * Tip O'Neil, a Democratic Congressman from Massachusetts, was Speaker of the U. S. House of Representarives from 1977 to 1987.
While visions of sugar plums may dance in the heads of children in most of the world on Christmas Eve, in Japan the dreams are more likely to be filled with images of crispy and original recipe chicken. In 1974 Kentucky Fried Chicken launched an advertising campaign called "Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!!" -- "Kentucky for... Continue Reading →
The island of Foula in the Shetland Islands of Scotland operates off of a different calendar than the rest of the United Kingdom. When Great Britain adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752, Foula chose to remain on the Julian calendar, except it did not observe leap year in 1900. As a result, the date in... Continue Reading →
On Christmas Eve, 1914, many German and British troops sang Christmas carols to each other across the lines, and at certain points the Allied soldiers even heard brass bands joining the Germans in their joyous singing. At the first light of dawn on Christmas Day, some German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached... Continue Reading →
Many of the most popular Christmas songs were Jewish songwriters: "White Christmas" by Irving Berlin "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)" by Mel Tormé and Bob Wells "Let it Snow" by Sammy Cahn "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" by Irving Berlin “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” music by... Continue Reading →
For the Voyager space exploration program, engineers plotted around 10,000 potential trajectories and then narrowed them down to find the optimal mission objectives. They chose trajectories that would reduce or eliminate planetary encounters taking place over the Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays. source
Not content with just one Santa Claus, Iceland has thirteen of them. Known as "Jolasveinar" or "Yule Lads," they are the sons of the trolls Gryla and Leppaludi, who would eat children who have been naughty throughout the year. Originally the Jolasveinar were much like their parents, but they mellowed with the years, and instead... Continue Reading →
On December 16, 1965, astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra were on Gemini 6 when they transmitted the following message: "Gemini VII, this is Gemini VI. We have an object, looks like a satellite going from north to south, up in a polar orbit. He's in a very low trajectory traveling from north to south... Continue Reading →
"White Christmas", written by Irving Berlin and sung by Bing Crosby, is the best-selling single song of all time. With estimated sales in excess of 50 million for the original version and over 100 million sales for all versions, it has topped the charts since it was released in 1949 and has never been out... Continue Reading →
President Theodore Roosevelt banned Christmas trees from the White House in 1901 out of concerns for protecting the environment. source
Mistletoe (Viscum album) is from the Anglo-Saxon word misteltan, which means “little dung twig” because the plant spreads through bird droppings. source