For candle customs associated with the celebration of Christmas


The GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE tells us that JOSEPH and MARY brought the baby JESUS to the temple six weeks after his birth (Luke 2:22-24).

Boy Bishop

In the Middle Ages the CHRISTMAS SEASON offered a special delight to a few lucky boys.

Boxing Day

The boxing which takes place on Boxing Day has nothing to do with the prize-fighting ring. Christmas boxing originated in ENGLAND, where the word “boxing” refers to the distribution of small GIFTS of money.

Boar’s Head

Wild boars are large, fierce, pig-like animals with curled tusks. In the Middle Ages the heads of these fearsome male animals, relatives of the domestic pig, composed the central dish of the Christmas banquet in some parts of EUROPE.

Black Peter

Children in the Netherlands receive presents on ST. NICHOLAS’S DAY, December 6. According to old Dutch folk beliefs, each year ST. NICHOLAS and his helper, Zwarte Piet, or Black Peter, sail from SPAIN to Holland in a ship loaded with presents for good children.

Birth of the Invincible Sun

In the first centuries after the death of JESUS, a new religious cult swept across the Roman Empire. Traditional Roman religion included festivals and ceremonies associated with a wide variety of gods.


Both GOSPEL ACCOUNTS OF CHRISTMAS state that JESUS was born in the town of Bethlehem. Bethlehem is located in the Palestinian Authority, within the modern nation of Israel.


In the United States we tend to associate bells both with emergen-cies and with such joyous occasions as weddings and Christmas celebrations.