Superstition and myths have been associated with Christmas for a long time now, and there are no proofs that suggest their inception at a certain point of time. No one is sure of how it all started or why some beliefs are religiously adhered to. Like most festivals, Christmas also revolves around age-old, folkloric myths and superstitions, which are still followed in major parts of the world today. Most of these myths are followed blindly and no one has ever bothered to ask why. For instance, people have rarely bothered to ask as to why stockings are put up by the fire place every year or why a Christmas tree is taken for granted as a part-and-parcel of the festival. It is important to take a few steps back and thoroughly understand what these superstitions are associated with and why they are still important to Christmas festivities even today.
The Yule Log
Originally a Nordic tradition, the 'Yule log' myth is one of the most followed and feared superstitions during Christmas. The myth states that if the Yule log is not left to burn all night then the following year will bring with it bundles of bad luck. Therefore, all families have to look for big logs, stumps or a massive root that will not burn out. The superstition comes with another bone-chilling probability. If, while sitting around the fire, one of the person's shadows on the wall appears to have a vague or no head, then death is expected for the same person that very year.
If a mistletoe is spotted and a couple avoid or refuse to kiss under it, then bad luck is believed to follow them, bringing them problems in their relationships and also straining ties with other family members.
Candles And Lights
Christmas candles and lights should be left untouched from the time they are put up on Christmas Eve till the early hours of Christmas morning. It is believed that if the lighting is turned off or if there is any sort of difficulty in lighting candles, then the person is bound to have a bad year ahead. The halls are also supposed to be decorated with as many lights as possible and an addition of evergreens such as holly and mistletoe to wade off bad forces.
Pies And Puddings
Meat pies and puddings are an integral part of Christmas superstitions. The number of pies consumed determines the amount of luck. The pies are also supposed to be eaten by hand and not with a knife. It is believed, if a knife is used, a person would actually be cutting or 'slicing' their luck. Puddings are associated with making wishes that stay secret till they come true.
Opening The Doors
The first person who opens the door on Christmas morning, and shouts out "Welcome Father Christmas" will be blessed for the year along and will be responsible for releasing unwanted or negative energy from the house.
Being the centerpiece of all Christmas superstitions, the tree is supposed to bring back the green by next year carrying with it hope and good luck. According to more archaic superstitions, Christmas trees are not supposed to be decorated before the eve else they might attract negative forces.
St. Nicholas is believed to have dropped three coins for the three sisters and each coin is said to have landed in three stockings each. Stockings are therefore, put up by the fire place every year in the hope of good fortune and blessings.
Carols and Christmas songs are sung at the houses of various people. The carolers should never be turned away without some drinks, money or food otherwise bad luck and curses are believed to befall those families in the following year.
Christmas superstitions are an inevitable part of the festival today. Due to their folkloric origins, there are many myths based on luck, future predictions and rituals. Some are classified as good or evil omens which depend on what each family wants to believe. Either way, superstitions highlight an important part of the festivities of Christmas.