Christmas Bunting & Other Christmas Traditions
Regular readers know that, here at Independence Bunting, we have a special love for holidays. We invite you to look at our great selection of Christmas bunting and other items to make this time of year even more special. We’d also like to share with our customers a brief history of how the observance of this sacred day began.
The Bible is silent on the exact date of Jesus’ birth.
However, feasts held in honor of the event are known to have been held as far
back as the 100s. While he was almost certainly born during the warm season,
early Christians eventually settled on a date in late December for the annual
observance. This remains the custom in most Christian nations today, although in
some eastern European lands, the holiday is celebrated on January 7.
By the year 400, Christmas was universally observed by Christians, though it held equal prominence with other annual festivals, such as those honoring the wise men and various saints. This changed around 800, when the Holy Roman Empire was formed by Charlemagne. By 1000, it was common practice to crown new kings on the day. King Richard II of England held a Christmas feast in 1377, during which 28 oxen and 300 sheep were slaughtered to feed the many attendees.
The Middle Ages saw the addition of many beloved traditions that continue to this day, such as caroling, giving gifts, and displays that feature holly, ivy, and other evergreens. Pageants, feasts, and other forms of celebration marked the occasion.
An Anti-Christmas Backlash
In the 1600s, a growing number of churchgoers became concerned about what they saw as the excesses of Christmas celebrations, which included drinking, dancing, and other festive expressions. In 1647, the holiday was officially banned in England. This led to riots, as common people revolted against the Puritans who were then in power. The ban was dropped in 1660, and public Christmas observances gradually returned. By this time, however, it became clear that the revelry that marked the occasion should also be accompanied by special efforts to help the poor and needy.
A Season of Charity and Love
In 1843, Charles Dickens published his immortal tale A Christmas Carol, which told the story of how Ebenezer Scrooge’s greedy heart was changed thanks to a special dose of holiday magic. The story was immensely popular and made Dickens the unofficial spokesman for how the season should be celebrated. Under his influence, rowdy city-wide parties gave way to more intimate, family-oriented gatherings. A strong emphasis on helping the less fortunate became a standard theme at this time as well. Dickens was also responsible for making popular the most commonly heard expression in many parts of the world this time of the year: “Merry Christmas.”
Christmas in America
American author Washington Irving published several short
stories in the 1820s, which included Christmas as a central theme. In 1822,
American poet wrote A Visit From Saint Nicholas, which begins with the famous
line “’twas the night before Christmas.” These writings revived interest in the
holiday throughout the United States, which had been on the wane for years due
to lingering Puritan influences that had spread over from England centuries
By 1850, the day was observed across the nation. It also began to have a major effect on the economy, as retailers prospered from the uptick in commerce during November and December. Finally, in 1870, Christmas became an officially recognized US holiday by presidential decree. In 1875, a fellow named Louis Prang started the custom of sending decorative cards to loved ones during the season, earning him the title “father of the American Christmas card.” The rest, as they say, is history.
Let Independence Bunting Make Your Christmas Extra-Special
We have everything you need to make your celebration all the more memorable, including pleated fans, decorative bunting, pull downs and outdoor holiday bows. So browse our extensive selection, then place your order with confidence using our secure online form. Best wishes for the rest of 2012 and throughout the coming year.