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Christmas Superstitions Christmas Traditions and Origins of Christmas Superstions

There’s often something welcoming and inviting about the traditions and superstitions that centre on this festive time of the year. From carol singing to decorating our homes and preparing festive fare, so much of what’s familiar is what brings people together, bringing a sense of warmth and companionship throughout the world. Not everyone celebrates Christmas but most who do will acknowledge the traditions and superstitions passed on through the years. Some may even wonder about their origins.

For luck during Christmas, decorate the home with evergreens such as holly, ivy, rosemary and mistletoe. Mistletoe is believed, by some, to be a magical plant that keeps evil spirits away. It is bad luck to throw holly on the fire or to cut down an oak tree that has mistletoe growing on it, so superstition says!

The “Twelve Days of Christmas” and superstition ~

On each of the twelve days of Christmas, the weather is said to signify what the weather will be on each corresponding month of the coming year. It is also said that snow on Christmas day means Easter will be green. Conversely, if there is no snow at Christmas, Easter will be white.

A superstition among farmers says that a mild January will result in wintry weather from February through to the end of May and as a result, will bring about poor crops. While a clear, star-filled sky on Christmas Eve promises good crops in the summer.

Fire, Superstition and Christmas

People should keep the home fires burning over the twelve days of Christmas, as it is said to be bad luck to let any fire in the house go out during the Christmas season. During the twelve days of Christmas, people used to cleanse the house and implements with special care otherwise they believed the fairies would steal them. If a cherry tree branch that is placed in water at the beginning of advent flowers by Christmas, this is a sign of luck.

Christmas celebrations ~

For good health throughout the coming year, eat an apple on Christmas Eve. Another way to ensure luck in the New Year is for all members of the household to assist with stirring the Christmas pudding. As a symbol of luck, prosperity and marriage, a coin, a thimble and a ring were dropped into the pudding before it was cooked and these predictions would refer to whoever found the object.

People born at Christmas Eve or on Christmas day are considered to be lucky.

No matter how replete one might feel after the Christmas dinner, it is recommended that they round off the meal with a mince pie or two, for each one is said to signify a month’s happiness. Or, for a year’s good luck, a mince pie should be eaten on each of twelve consecutive days. And never cut a mince pie as this signifies cutting your luck.

New Year’s Eve superstitions ~

If the New Year ‘Eve’s ‘First Footer’ is dark haired and carries some coal, then a year of good luck will follow. This widely known superstition is said to have originated in Scotland. On the other hand, if the first person to enter a house in the New Year is a woman or a fair or red-haired man, then bad luck might be expected. Some also believed that empty pockets and empty cupboards on New Year’s Eve speak of a year of poverty.

And don’t lend anything on New Year’s Day as that could be unlucky too.

Then sticking with tradition and superstition, once all the Christmas and New Year celebrations are over, be sure to take down all Christmas decorations before the end of the evening of 5th January as it is said to be unlucky to keep them up after Twelfth Night.