The holidays are officially here, and regardless of how your family celebrates, we wish you the happiest and most joyful of seasons. We don’t get too much snow here in Corona, CA, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know how to get into the holiday spirit. Instead of discussing plumbing and HVAC issues this week, we’d like to talk about certain fun holiday traditions, and where they originated.
Christmas trees pre-date Christianity, and were used in Europe to celebrate the winter solstice and other holidays. Evergreens were usually used because they stayed green throughout the winter, making them a symbol of hopefulness and a reminder that spring would return one day. Christians easily latched onto that message and incorporated it into their own celebrations over the birth of Jesus Christ. Lights were added to the trees to represent stars (lighted candles were used back in the old days), while ornaments were added in the 1800s.
Candy and sweets are a tradition during the holidays, and a way of making them special. There’s no definitive word on when candy canes came to be accepted as part of the holidays, but the legend holds that a choirmaster in Germany in the late 17th century used them as a way to keep the children in the congregation quiet during the service. They were bent into a crook to resemble a shepherd’s staff.
The hanukkiah is a type of menorah, which is the Jewish word for lamp. It’s become the symbol of Hanukah, the Jewish festival of lights. The holiday celebrates a revolt against the Seleucids, who ruled Israel during the second-century BC. After defeating their occupiers, the Hebrews went to the temple and found only one day’s worth of oil there. Miraculously, the oil lasted for eight full days, giving them time to make new oil under the proper (holy) traditions. A hanukkiah differs from a normal menorah in that it has night spots for the candles (one for each of the eight nights, plus one for a “helper” candle) instead of seven like most menorah do.
From all of us at Avis Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning Inc., the very happiest of holidays to you and your family.