7

The mistletoe kissing Christmas tradition as we know it seems to have its origin in the 18th century England. Kissing under sprigs of mistletoe is a well-known holiday tradition, but this little plant’s history as a symbolic herb dates back thousands of years. Many ancient cultures prized mistletoe for its healing properties. The Greeks were known to use ...


6

Complicated Well, it definitely doesn't claim to be folklore at all, it was just in a book by Thomas Nast. (Linked full size image is over 7 MiB; Wikimedia Commons page; image is in the public domain) Santaclausville, N[orth] P[ole] Another example related to Nast is by George P. Webster: "His home through the long summer months, you must know, Is ...


4

What are the origins of the Ethiopian Christmas day game of Gena? It is Ethiopian tradition that the country was converted to Christianity during the time of the Apostles. We see in Acts 8: 26-40 that the Apostle Philip baptized a prominent Ethiopian eunuch, who in turn was believed to have evangelized his home country of Ethiopia. We believe that ...


4

As I briefly mentioned in my answer on your other question, this too comes from the traditions of old. Performing antics in exchange for food and drink. This practice is called mumming, from which the practice of trick-or-treating evolved. This means that "trick-or-treating" once actually had to do with tricks. Not just a weird saying. More of an in-...


4

On the Wikipedia page for Halloween Costumes it says: An early reference to wearing costumes at Halloween comes from Scotland in 1585. Looking at the external links on the page I found something that sort of explains this. As the centuries wore on, people began dressing like these dreadful creatures, performing antics in exchange for food and drink. ...


3

Here is how the "trick or treat" of Halloween first caught on: The phrase trick-or-treat was first used in America in 1927, with the traditions brought over to America by immigrants. Guising gave way to threatening pranks in exchange for sweets. After a brief lull during the sugar rations in World War Two, Halloween became a widespread holiday that ...


3

Poinsettias didn't arrive in the United States until 1825. The National Poinsettia Day is celebrated on Dec. 12 in the US, honoring both the plant and the man who brought it to America [source: University of Illinois]. Named after Joel Roberts Poinsett, first United States ambassador to Mexico and the amateur botanist who introduced the plant to the U.S. ...


2

ABC News explains it here: In Greece, the pomegranate has held strong symbolic meaning since ancient times. A common tradition on New Year's Eve is to throw pomegranates on the ground, and break them apart. The more they burst, the more abundance your household will have. Crete is in Greece, and so the pomegranate is well known as a sign of abundance. ...


2

When and why did necromancy became a bad thing? Probably since it was first practiced. However, there are no sources that ancient that have survived to our day. Some people would have been against it from day one because they would have thought it unholy and unnatural to the lest. The oldest literary account of necromancy is found in Homer's (12th-8th ...


2

As you know, the highlight of the ritual is throwing beans at the oni. This specific activity is known as mame (魔滅), meaning "to destroy the demon" (魔を滅する, ma wo mes suru). Alternatively, mame can also be rendered as 魔目, meaning "demon's eyes". So to shoot the demon's eyes is mame wo iru (魔目を射る). The Japanese word for beans is mame (豆), and to roast beans ...


1

In myths, humans follow a limited number of patterns, regardless of their cultural background. This field of study is called Comparative Mythology. This has uncovered a number of parallels, or archetypes, between the myths of different cultures, including some very widespread recurring themes and plot elements, like: Creation of mankind from clay ...


1

I can remember several years ago, a friend of mine got pinched on St. Patrick's Day in Wagner, Oklahoma of all places. So why do we wear green on St. Patrick's Day and get pinched if we do not? To be honest the answer has to do several items: St. Patrick The Color Green The Irish Potato Famine Leprechauns Why do people wear green on St. ...


1

Actually, trafficking with chthonic spirits could be prosecuted as impiety under Greek law by classical times. The Witchcraft and Magic in Europe's second volume, on ancient Greece and Rome, has some interesting stuff on this.


1

Well, from what I remember, it was because of the winter solstice, and getting new followers. That's what I remember.... The beginning of the article I'm about to talk about, mentions saturnalia, a roman feast to the god Saturn. Then, there's Sol Invictus and Mithras, which was a feast by Roman Emperor Aurelian. The Mithraists (Mithras) are linked because ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible