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Where do our Christmas Traditions come from?

Where do our Christmas Traditions come from?

After reading the last Carers Mag and the info about Mummers Plays (England and Ireland traditions). Here in Wales there are a number of traditions, South Wales have the Grey Mare (see Carers Mag for more info) I then discovered that Mid Wales also have their own traditions, this entails a gathering on Christmas Eve where slabs of Toffee are made , games played and tall stories told and then a lantern light procession to church at 3am on Christmas Morning.

I started thinking about other Christmas Traditions and where they came from so did some research. Many link back to Pagan times and the Winter Solstice celebrations of welcoming in the New Season of growth and new beginnings. Pagans used pine branches in their homes during Solstice and it is thought that this may have been the origins of the Christmas Tree although there are many other stories about where the Christmas Tree came from. I was fascinated to read a folk story about the .Christmas Spider' that seems to come from eastern Europe about the origins of Tinsel and Christmas Decorations.

Candy Canes have many explanations for their origins, their colour combinations and even their flavour. Although their place in Christmas Tradition is fairly new. They apparently were first recorded as just straight white sugar candy in 1837 in America. It was 1866 before they gained the curve and called 'Candy Canes' with their first connection with Christmas coming in 1874.

Many of todays Traditions in the UK were started in Victorian times and lots of info can be found on this website

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