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Christmas Customs and Traditions

Did you know that many Christmas Customs and Traditions are of recent date and others have existed for hundreds of years? That the custom of Christmas card-sending only became widespread in the late 1800's?

That Christmas carols were first composed in the fourth century? That certain Christmas traditions, many still practiced in our day, may have derived from some of the darkest of religious rites? In a book first published in 1912, (and now available in a reprinting) based on extensive research, there are comprehensive accounts of traditions from many countries, including Scandinavia, in both their pagan and Christian aspects.

Inventing Christmas: How Our Holiday Came to Be

Tracing the pagan survivals in holiday practices associated with not just Christmas but also the entire holiday season from All Saints' Day to Epiphany, the author illuminates such practices and manifestations as ceremonial feasting and drinking, carol-singing, bull-baiting, divination by young women to discover the identities of their future husbands, men masquerading as women and women masquerading as men, the Knecht Ruprecht and the Tomte Gubbe, the Frauen, the Yule log, the Christmas tree, Christmas decorations and gifts, special Christmas cakes, and much more.

There is also substantial coverage of Christmas poetry and song, Christmas in liturgy and popular devotion, Christmas drama, and the pre-Christian winter festivals. With its insightful writing and wide scholarship, this book is an important contribution to the understanding of the most popular holiday in the Western world.

Christmas in Scandinavia

Christmas Customs and Traditions

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