Learn about international cultures and customs to prepare for your trip abroad

Top 12 Facts about December

3 min read
7 October 2020
students in a parc full of snow

December is known around the world as a family time of celebration honoring cultures, religions and traditions that have been with humanity for hundreds of years. See below for a mix of the weird and wonderful facts about this magical month!

  1. An almanac prediction states that if snow falls on Christmas Day, Easter will be warm, green and sunny.
  2. The name December comes from the Latin decem for “ten”, as it was the 10th month in the Roman Calendar.


students in front of an american bus
Students at our Toronto school 
  1. The term Yuletide comes from a Norse tradition of cutting and burning a tree to bring in the Winter Solstice. This was to last through 12 days – later known as the 12 days of Christmas.
  2. December 12th is Poinsettia Day.
  3. Saint Nickolas, who would eventually be called Santa Claus, was originally the patron saint of children, thieves and pawnbrokers!
  4. December 28th is considered by some to be the unluckiest day of the year.
  5. The first artificial Christmas tree was made in Germany, fashioned out of goose feathers that are dyed green!
  6. Spiders and spider webs are considered good luck on Christmas.
  7. Common decorations on a Christmas tree each have their specific meanings. Candles – the light of the world, the Star at the top is a reminder of the first Christmas night and Candy canes are to represent the Shepherd’s cane.
  8. “Jingle bells” was composed in 1857, and not for Christmas – it was meant to be a Thanksgiving song!
  9. In 1647 Oliver Cromwell, English Puritan leader, banned the festivities of Christmas for being seen as immoral on such a holy day. Anyone who was seen celebrating was arrested! The ban was lifted in 1660.
  10. An ancient legend states that forest animals can speak in human language on Christmas Eve!


Don’t miss a thing!
top view people hands

Stay up to date on everything Kaplan with our newsletter


  • Fun facts

    Upgrade your French language skills with these simple tips 

Share this article