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The history of Valentine’s Day

Discovery News has posted an interesting article about the origins of Valentine's Day. Imagine half-naked men running through the streets, whipping young women with bloodied thongs made from freshly cut goat skins. Although it might sound like some sort of perverted sado-masochistic ritual, this is what the Romans did until 496

Earliest known American depicition of the Easter Bunny

I hope you all had an excellent long Easter weekend; I know I did! The Winterthur Museum in Deleware has acquired one of the earlier known American depictions of the Easter Bunny, an illustration which dates back to the 18th century. Together with the Christmas tree, the custom of the Easter

Photos from a Nazi Christmas party

Life has posted an interesting series of photographs taken at a Nazi christmas party in 1941. Swastikas and Tannenbaum The image is chilling, bordering on surreal: On December 18, 1941, as World War II rages and countless innocents endure the horrors of the Third Reich's "final solution" -- killing operations at the

The world’s oldest artificial Christmas tree

The world's oldest artificial Christmas tree is set to be put out on display again, for it's 124th year. It was purchased by the Parker family in 1886 and still has it's original baubles and tinsel. The tree is made of green raffia, stands 14 inches tall and has a base

The first Christmas card

Here is an interesting post from Mental_Floss about who sent the first Christmas card. The commercial Christmas card as we know it originated in London in 1843. That winter, Sir Henry Cole, a civil servant who helped organize the Great Exhibition and develop the Victoria and Albert Museum, decided he was

How the Nazi Grinch stole Christmas

Apparently the Nazi Party tried their best to remove Christ from Christmas by paganising carols, the effects of which continue to this day. Many of the changes made under Hitler, put in place to remove the influence of the Jewish-born baby Jesus, are still in use today, much to the alarm

The historical reason why we wear costumes on Halloween

National Geographic has an interesting article about the history of (and the business of) Halloween. In addition to sacrificing animals to the gods and gathering around bonfires, Celts often wore costumes—probably animal skins—to confuse spirits, perhaps to avoid being possessed, according to the American Folklife Center at the U.S. Library of

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, everyone! I live in Toronto, so I'm going to be taking the day off (along with the rest of the nation). Regular updates will resume tomorrow! In the meantime, here is the history of Canadian Thanksgiving: The history of Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to an explorer, Martin

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