Geeky Historical Christmas Facts 19, 20 and 21

Just a few more of our historical christmas facts to go! We hope they’ve been making you feel really christmassy! Today’s pic is a backstage pic from our first festive show – Viva Las Vegas Christmas, at Swansea’s Monkey Bar, 2015… All we remember about that year was the snow and poor Banbury Cross and Sophia St Viller battling through it to get to us, then battling through it to get back to London the next day!  Luckily we had the lovely Burly Chassis ladies (pictured in their poinsettas) to warm us up! 

Fact #19 Turkey. 

When it comes to the Christmas meat of choice, it’s hardly surprising due to its dry nature that our turkey tradition could be down to Scrooge! In previous centuries goose, for the middle class a boar’s head, and for the stinking rich a swan (yes, a fucking swan. we know, that’s showing off, now, isn’t it?) was the popular choice for christmas dinners/feasts. The turkey was brought to these shores from The Americas by merchants in the 1600s as a delicious festive flavour, but it really took off in Victorian times, and particularly after Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was published, when penny pinching miser Scrooge ordered one for christmas dinner.

Fact #20 Boxing Day. 

Before you ask, it’s not so-called as that’s the day the christmas boxes (rubbish) gets put out, in fact it’s origins have many interpretations. firstly that the bank holiday evolved from St Stephen’s day, commemorating the first Christian martyr who was a deacon in an early church in Jerusalem. After a disagreement with members of the synagogue, he was accused of blasphemy. He was said to have seen God before he was stoned to death. The second of our origins lies in the middle ages. Servants would have to work on Christmas day but their lords would give them the day after off and present them with a gift box. We also have a third origin in the church donation boxes. Apparently it was tradition that these were opened on ‘boxing day’ and the cash distributed to the needy/poor.

Fact #21 the poinsettia. 

I’ve always wondered what the hell this flower, which was cultivated by the Aztecs in Mexico, has to do with Christmas. Now, here it is: An old Mexican legend tells of a poor Mexican girl called Pepita who had no offering for the baby Jesus at the Christmas Eve Services. As a gutted Pepita walked to the chapel, her cousin Pedro tried to cheer her up saying that he was sure the smallest gift, if given in love will make Jesus happy. Ever resourceful, Pepita picked a handful of weeds and made them into a bouquet and presented them to the nativity scene in the church. Suddenly the flowers burst into bright red flowers and everyone thought they’d seen a miracle. From that day on, the poinsettia were known as the Flores de Noche Buena (Flowers of the Holy Night) and people compare the shape of the flower to the star of bethlehem and the red to represent the blood of christ, while the white leaves represent (his) purity.

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