History of the 12 Days of Christmas: They’re after Christmas?

Partridge

THE HISTORY OF THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: THEY’RE AFTER CHRISTMAS? The 12 Days of Christmas are the dozen days in the liturgical or ecclesiastical calendar of the Western Church between the celebration of the birth of the Christ Child (Christmas Day, December 25) and the coming of the Wise Men, or Magi, to visit at his…

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History of Christmas Traditions: Some pre-Christian?

Traditions

HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS Many of the customs that we commonly associate with Christmas come from previous pagan or pre-Christian European backgrounds. Let’s look at some of these familiar traditions and some connections to other folklore elements with which we may be unfamiliar.   Christmas Traditions The word Yule comes from the Germanic jōl or the…

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History of Advent: Why We Celebrate Christmas on December 25

Advent

THE HISTORY OF ADVENT: WHY WE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS ON DECEMBER 25 Here begins our series of articles on the History of Christmas. The traditional season of Advent, leading up to Christmas, begins today. It is celebrated in the church calendar as one of the most festive seasons of the year.   Meaning of Advent “Advent”…

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History of Thanksgiving Indian: Why Squanto already knew English

Squanto

HISTORY OF THANKSGIVING: FRIENDLY INDIAN SQUANTO We’ve all heard the story of how the Pilgrims, landing in Massachusetts four hundred years ago on the Mayflower in 1620, were ill-equipped to survive the harsh winters of the New World. We’ve also heard how they met a Native American Indian of the Pawtuxet tribe named Squanto, who befriended…

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History of Thanksgiving: the Secular and the Sacred

Thanksgiving

HISTORY OF THANKSGIVING The origin of Thanksgiving Day in America has been attributed to a harvest feast held by the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. In 1621, Governor William Bradford of the Plymouth Colony proclaimed a day of “thanksgiving” and prayer to celebrate the Pilgrims’ first harvest in America the year after their arrival on the…

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History of Veterans Day: Lest We Forget

Veterans Day

HISTORY OF VETERANS DAY A professor once commented, “We write things down so we can forget them.” Now, of course, this is true in the sense of writing down appointments, so we don’t have to worry about missing meetings. But that’s just it; we do forget things. As individuals, we forget things that are important…

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History of Guy Fawkes Night: How Gunpowder mixed with Parliament

HISTORY OF GUY FAWKES NIGHT For our friends across the Pond November 5th is known as “Bonfire Night” or “Guy Fawkes Night,” and all over Britain people fire off fireworks, light bonfires, and burn effigies of Guy Fawkes. Guido Fawkes was an Englishman who, in popular legend, tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament…

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History of the World Series

World Series

HISTORY OF THE WORLD SERIES The World Series is over a hundred years old, starting in 1903 as a contest between the National League and the American League. This sporting event, usually held in October, but this year in November, and sometimes called the Fall Classic, has already infringed upon the territory of the next…

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History of Halloween

Jack-o-Lantern

HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN Halloween (Allhallows Even) is the evening of October 31. In its strictly religious aspect, this occasion is known as the vigil of Hallowmas or All Saints’ Day, November 1, observed by the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches. In the fourth decade of the 8th century, Pope Gregory III moved this holiday to the…

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History of Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus

HISTORY OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS The man who sailed from Spain to discover America was neither Spanish nor did he actually discover America, at least not the mainland. But it was true that: In fourteen hundred and ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue   Origin of Christopher Columbus He was actually Italian, born in 1451 to…

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History of October: the Pumpkin Spice Saga

October

HISTORY OF OCTOBER: THE PUMPKIN SPICE SAGA October, the tenth month of the year in both the older Julian and the current Gregorian calendar, was the 8th month (Latin octo) in the ancient Roman calendar, but with the addition of January and February, it got bumped to #10. This month is significant because, according to…

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