Obscure Holiday Trivia! (in Contests)

RedWolf December 21 2006 5:57 PM EST

No, sorry, I am not asking obscure holiday trivia. I'm asking FOR obscure holiday trivia! :-P

Post you're strange, interesting, or generally unknown winter, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Las Posadas, winter solstice, Festivus, Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe, or whatever-you-celebrate-this-time-of-year facts here.

The 8 that I like the best will receive 20k. So, let's hear what you've got ;-)

Wasp [C and S Forgery Lmtd.] December 21 2006 6:07 PM EST

Last January me and my girlfriend went to Paris for a few nights. We had a really nice time there and was a right laugh. First night we walked from moulin rouge all the way under the eiffel tower, we walked so far it was about 1am when we got there and had to get a cab back to our hotel lol.

The funny thing was the second to last night, we went to the Sacre coer and went looking around but ended up wanting to take a shortcut home so we jumped a fence and accidently ended up breaking into the Sacre coer's gardens at like 10pm was a right giggle!

AdminG Beee December 21 2006 6:10 PM EST

Hogmanay is the best time of the year, although the hangover is usually a killer. That's why the 2nd of Jan. is also a national holiday in Scotland though.

Slashundhack [We Forge Our Own Stuff] December 21 2006 6:42 PM EST

Little known fact Santa claws was originally a bearded woman who used to eat bad roman children .She would raid small roman villages with her chariot loaded with fire wood for the cooking fire. And breakdown drying racks for preservation of the flesh, after all she only came once a year.

Slashundhack [We Forge Our Own Stuff] December 21 2006 11:32 PM EST

Oh yes and the red suit should be obvious .The white trim was only used the time she got married to Jacus Elvius Frostius Minimus ,of course every one knows the last name .It is where we get mini from .Due to the renowned and well known diminutive size of his entire family . As a side note Jacus was also known for his hatred of horses and subsequent use of reindeer for transport.

Thraklight Resonance December 21 2006 11:38 PM EST

Is Jan 2nd called national "Stumbling Home Drunk Day" or national "Crawling Home Drunk Day" in Scotland?

Or did I just describe the difference between a work morning and weekend morning over there? :-)

QBOddBird December 22 2006 12:52 AM EST

Contrasting the manger scene typically found during Christmas time which displays three wisemen at the Child's birth, scriptures state that they arrived some years later, and doesn't give an actual number of wisemen.

Meh, best I've got. =)

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] December 22 2006 3:21 AM EST


Wassailing is the practice of going door-to-door singing Christmas carols and requesting in return wassail or some other form of refreshment. In modern times it is most commonly known through reference in various traditional Christmas carols (e.g., "Here we come a-wassailing / among the leaves so green").

The practice however has its roots in the middle ages as a reciprocal exchange between the feudal lords and their peasants as a form of recipient initiated charitable giving, to be distinguished from begging. This point is made in the song "Here We Come A-Wassailing", when the wassailers inform the lord of the house that

"we are not daily beggars that beg from door to door but we are friendly neighbors whom you have seen before."
The lord of the manor would give food and drink to the peasants in exchange for their blessing and goodwill, i.e...

"Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail too;
And God bless you and send you
a Happy New Year"
... which would be given in the form of the song being sung. Wassailing is the background practice against which a carol such as "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" can be made sense of.

Although wassailing is often described in innocuous and sometimes nostalgic terms, the practice has not always been considered so innocent. In fact in early New England wassailing was associated with rowdy bands of young men who would enter the homes of wealthy neighbors and demand free food and drink in a trick-or-treat fashion. If the householder refused, he was usually cursed, and occasionally his house was vandalized.

The example of the exchange is seen in their demand for "figgy pudding" and "good cheer", i.e., the wassail beverage, without which the wassailers in the song will not leave, "we won't go until we get some."

In cider-producing areas of England, such as the West Country, wassailing also referred to drinking (and singing) the health of trees in the hopes that they might better thrive.

An old rhyme goes: “Wassaile the trees, that they may beare / You many a Plum and many a Peare: / For more or lesse fruits they will bring, / As you do give them Wassailing.”

The Traditional Wassail Ceremony
Some scholars prefer a pre-Christian explanation of the old traditional ceremony of Wassailing. How far the tradition dates back is unknown but it has undeniable connections with Pagan ritual. Of recent times the word Wassail (from the Anglo-Saxon toast wæs þu hæl, "be thou hale" -- i.e., "be in good health") has come to be synonymous with Christmas but this is incorrect. The pre-Christian tradition of wassailing far outdates the celebration of Christmas. Traditionally the Wassail is celebrated on Twelfth Night (6th January). However most people insist on wassailing on 'Old Twelvey Night' (17th January) as that would have been the correct date before the introduction of the Gregorian Calendar in 1752. The purpose of Wassailing is to awake the cider apple trees and to scare away evil spirits to ensure a good harvest of fruit in the Autumn. The ceremonies of each wassail varies from village to village but they generally all have the same core elements. A wassail King and Queen to lead the proceedings, and song and/or a processional tune to be played/sung from one orchard to the next, the wassail Queen will be lifted up into the boughs of the tree where she will place toast that has been soaked in Wassail from the Clayen Cup as a gift the tree spirits and to show them the fruits of what they created the previous year. Then an incantation is usually recited such as

Here's to thee, old apple tree, That blooms well, bears well. Hats full, caps full, Three bushel bags full, An' all under one tree. Hurrah! Hurrah!

Then the assembled crowd will sing and shout and bang drums and pots & pans and generally make a terrible racket until the gunsmen give a great final volley through the branches to make sure the work is done and then off to the next orchard. Perhaps unbeknown to the general public, this ancient English tradition is still very much thriving today. The West Country is the most famous and largest cider producing region of the country and some of the most important wassails are held in Carhampton (Somerset) and Whimple (Devon).

Private readings about people in Somerset in the 1800s revealed that inhabitants of Somerset practiced the old Wassailing Ceremoney, singing the following lyrics after drinking the cider until they were "merry and gay:"

"Apple tree, apple tree, we all come to wassail thee, Bear this year and next year to bloom and to blow, Hat fulls, cap fulls, three cornered sack fills, Hip, Hip, Hip, hurrah, Holler biys, holler hurrah."

Source: "Remininiscences of Life in the parish of Street, Somersetshire dated 1909 at pages 25-26 written by an "old inhabitant" William Pursey of Street 1836-1919.

Brakke Bres [Ow man] December 22 2006 7:33 AM EST

you must love the lengthy replies from GL :)

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] December 22 2006 8:14 AM EST


Doesn't everyone. ;)

(I didn't mean to hi-jack your Contest thread the other day Henk! :P )

Slashundhack [We Forge Our Own Stuff] December 22 2006 5:34 PM EST

Little known Christmas fact buttered rum was invented by some drunken cow.

Mrs Beee December 22 2006 8:01 PM EST

I used to love going to midnight mass from the pub, then being allowed back into said pub.

This first of the three Christmas masses was originally celebrated by the Pope towards midnight in the chapel of the Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica in Rome before a small congregation. Pope Sixte III had constructed this small chapel in 440 to house a crèche which faithfully reproduced the one in Bethlehem.

The celebration of mass at midnight at Santa Maria Maggiore is based on the ancient belief that Jesus was born precisely on the stroke of twelve. We owe this to the XIIIth century Hungarian Saint Elizabeth. A IVth century Latin hymn, Quando noctis medium, already reflected the belief that the Messiah was born on the stroke of midnight.

Solemn and impressive with the happy sound of pealing bells, with light sparkling everywhere and with hymns of joy, Midnight Mass reached its high point with the procession of the Christ Child. Some Quebec churches have preserved this custom today, sometimes even conferring on a young couple and their baby the privilege of representing the Holy Family.

Merry Christmas everyone, 2 sleeps till Santa comes!!!!

Slashundhack [We Forge Our Own Stuff] December 23 2006 1:15 AM EST

Another little known Christmas fact .Originally stuffing the Turkey came about before the New World was discovered.It involved Crusaders and running villagers!

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] December 23 2006 4:38 AM EST

It's still law in England that everyone *must* attend church on xmas day, and you *can't* use a vehicle to get to church. ;) When I'm back at work, I'll dig out the official info! ;)

AdminNightStrike December 23 2006 10:35 AM EST

Donner is actually Donder, and was originally Dunder. The reindeer's name was changed for the song.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] December 23 2006 8:38 PM EST

The last two reindeer names were Dunder and Blixem when the poem was first published anonymously in the Troy, New York Sentinel on 1823-12-23.[2] When Moore later published the work as his own (Poems, 1844), the names were spelled Donder and Blitzen.[3] In a number of later reprintings, Dunder/Donder's name is further simplified to Donner.[4]

In An American Anthology, 1787–1900, Edmund Clarence Stedman reprints the 1844 Moore version of the poem, including the German spelling of "Donder and Blitzen", rather than the earlier Dutch version from 1823, "Dunder and Blixem". Both phrases translate as "Thunder and Lightning" in English, though German for thunder is now spelled Donner, and the Dutch words would nowadays be spelled Donder and Bliksem.

According to the Donder Home Page,[5] Robert May used Donner and Blitzen in his 1939 story "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer." The sheet music for Johnny Marks' 1949 song "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer" also uses Donner and Blitzen.

Dasher - The first reindeer and the right-hand leader of the sleigh before Rudolph was included. He is the speediest reindeer.
Dancer - The second reindeer and the left leader before Rudolph was included. She is the graceful reindeer.
Prancer - The third reindeer and on the right in the second row. He is the most powerful reindeer.
Vixen - The fourth reindeer and on the left-hand side in the second row. She is beautiful, and also powerful like her companion Prancer.
Comet - The fifth reindeer and on the right-hand side in the third row. He brings wonder and happiness to children when Santa flies over everyone's houses.
Cupid - The sixth reindeer and on the left-hand side in the third row. She brings love and joy to children when Santa flies over everyone's houses.
Dunder - The seventh reindeer and on the right-hand side in the fourth row.
Blixem - The eighth reindeer and on the left-hand side in the fourth row. She is the "lightning" reindeer, but in American pop culture Blixem/Blitzen is frequently portrayed as a male.

RedWolf December 30 2006 8:21 PM EST

whoops! forgot about this. I guess since only 8 people entered, then they are the winners. :-)

RedWolf (Neil)		NightStrike (Loans)	$20000	8:19 PM EST
RedWolf (Neil)		Mrs Beee (mummy_beee)	$20000	8:18 PM EST
RedWolf (Neil)		QBGentlemanLoser (Dark Lament)	$20000	8:18 PM EST
RedWolf (Neil)		[OB]OddBird (Bridgeburners)	$20000	8:18 PM EST
RedWolf (Neil)		thrakmonkey (Rockets RedWoogie)	$20000	8:17 PM EST
RedWolf (Neil)		Slashundhack (Ranfas)	$20000	8:17 PM EST
RedWolf (Neil)		G Beee (Lorenzo)	$20000	8:17 PM EST
RedWolf (Neil)		Wasp [t] (Lord Gothmog)	$20000	8:17 PM EST

Slashundhack [We Forge Our Own Stuff] December 31 2006 12:12 AM EST

Hey thanks big red considering I just made up random bull I'm amazed I got anything .Have shovel will Spam !

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] December 31 2006 2:31 PM EST

:D Thanks!
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