Christmas Superstitions

The December 24, 1896 edition of The Chatham Record lists what it considers to be quaint superstitions regarding Christmas in Europe:

superstitions-of-christmasSuperstitions of Christmas.

The superstitions of Christmas are more numerous even than the observances which owe their origin to heathenish rites. Among certain European peasants the belief still prevails that on Christmas morning the oxen always spend a portion of the time on their knees. This they do, according to the peasants, in imitation of the ox and the ass which, a legend states, were present at the manger and knelt when Christ was born.

In certain counties of England the idea prevails that sheep walk in procession on Christmas Eve, in commemoration of the glad tiding first announced to shepherds. Bees are also said to sing in their hives on the night before Christmas, and bread baked at that time never becomes mouldy – at least so once though many English housewives.

christmas-1896Elsewhere on the  page, the paper depicts a child perched atop a ladder holding a hoop.  Santa breaks through the hoop, apparently about to land on a flying reindeer (who looks none too happy about the situation).

I’ve seen the hoop/ladder/reindeer thing plenty of times. Where do I go to hear the singing bees?



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