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25th December, 2019

More on Christmas - Popular Beliefs and Superstitions

More on ChristmasPosted on : 15th December 2014
In the previous article we had discussed some of the popular superstitious beliefs related to Christmas and explained the reasons behind them. To understand this further, lets discuss more such beliefs.

Welcoming Christmas
Opening the doors of the house at midnight, Christmas Eve is supposed to be good as it lets out the evil spirits. 'First Foots' are those that enter the house first, a darker haired man entering the house first on Christmas Day is a good sign, and if the first guest is a woman it is said to bring in bad fortune. A first foot bringing in an evergreen is considered a blessing. The first person to open the door on the morning of Christmas should shout and welcome 'Father Christmas'. Some people also believe that sweeping your threshold on Christmas sweeps away all the troubles.

Christmas Carols and Songs
It is considered unlucky to sing Christmas carols at any occasion other than Christmas. It is also considered unlucky to send carolers away empty-handed. There is a wrong notion regarding a custom known as Wassailing. This custom is originally related to honoring one's livestock and crop yield and even the sea(in some parts of Scotland) during Christmastime. Drinking toasts, lighting celebratory fires, firing in the air and playing games are all symbolic to this custom. Though, in recent times it has come to be recognised with getting drunk and singing carols at people's homes.

Christmas Food
It is believed that if you make a wish while stirring a Christmas pudding, it will come true. If you tell anyone about what you have wished for, it will not come true. If everyone in the family takes turns while stirring, it will bring good fortune to the family. Young girls, who are hoping to get married soon should also give a stir when the Christmas pudding is being cooked. It is also considered unlucky to cut into a Christmas cake before Christmas Eve and some portion of the cake should be kept till Christmas Day. Also, eating an apple on Christmas Eve is supposed to bring good health throughout the next year. Mince pies bring in good luck, so it should not be cut during Christmastime. The number of pies eaten at different households during Christmas equals the number of lucky months in the coming year.

Christmas Food

Yule Log, Christmas Candle - Light and Fire
The Yule Log must be kept burning all night, and it should be lit by the log used the previous year to keep evil spirits at bay. The log should not be bought but arranged otherwise. Even the remains of the log are considered lucky and are a protection against fire and lightning. Christmas candles are to be left undisturbed and burning till Christmas morning. And, if there is difficulty in lighting the fire on Christmas Day, it is an indication of a bad year ahead.

Christmas Table
The table set for Christmas Dinner should be set for an even number of people because odd numbered dinner table brings in bad luck. A pot of honey on the Christmas table keeps evil away from your home and fish scales under the dinner plates bring in good luck. Everyone should leave the dinner table at the same time as any one leaving early is supposed to bring in bad luck. Sitting with your back to the door at Christmas dinner is unlucky. Also, it is believed that a Christmas Dinner should have nine courses and no one should be left hungry on Christmas Eve.

Shoes, Presents and Work
Gifting new shoes and wearing new shoes on Christmas brings good fortune, though the English believe in gifting new shoes on Christmas. In Greece it is believed that burning old shoes prevents misfortune the next year. Hanging stockings near the chimney is said to to be good as it brings in luck and children believe that Santa Claus will fill them with loads of goodies. Work should be avoided on this day, only the unavoidable tasks should be completed on this day.


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