The Meaning of Christmas & Holiday Sayings

Many terms have been used over the decades by our ancestors and maybe lost by the 21 century. It might be interesting to review some of these sayings as they relate to the holiday season.

One item present in the cold winter and places that get snow at Christmas time is Hogamadog. It is the act of rolling snow along the ground to make large snowballs that were put together to create a snowman. The term originated in Scotland.

The term Twelvetide was used at Yuletide to mean the 12 days of Christmas. It used to be decades ago the first of the 12 days started on Dec. 25th and went through to January 5th.

There is a Yule Hole which was an extra notch in a belt used when someone has overeaten during the holidays.

A Swedish cream-filled bun enjoyed by many was Semior. It is eaten all during December.

To wish good cheer to everyone in a house was the Kirsmas, an alcoholic drink toasted with to offer success and good cheer to everyone in a house at Christmas time.

The holiday practice of First Foot, a Scottish and English tradition, was part of New Year’s celebrations. It was thought the person who was the first to enter a home was a ‘lucky bird’ and should be a male. That person blessed the house by being the first to enter the house on New Year’s Day. Men were even hired to enter a house for that purpose. If the man had dark hair, even better, that was considered very lucky.

Some very unusual, others a traditional custom and practiced by many of our ancestors.

Photos: A snowman card of 1900; Twelvetide; Yule Hole; Semior dessert treat; and First Foot sayings.

Related Blogs:

New Year’s Traditions

Foods for Good Luck

Weddings between Christmas and News Years

< Return To Blog This blog is always so interesting!
Sara N Martin 23/12/20

Thank you. I try to find different and unusual items that may have directly affected your ancestors.
alice 23/12/20

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