20 weird Christmas facts to mark Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer first being on TV

This Is Local London: The story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer first appeared on TV in 1964 The story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer first appeared on TV in 1964

THE heart-warming story of the little red nosed reindeer first lit up TV screens on this day back in 1964.

To mark this occasion here are 20 weird and interesting facts to get you into the festive spirit.

  • The Christmas meal in England used to be a pig's head and mustard – lovely!
  • In England and Wales the chances of a white Christmas are just 1 in 10 whereas it’s 1 in 6 for Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • The first Christmas celebrated in Britain is thought to have been in York in 521AD.
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was created in 1938 for a US firm's Christmas promotion.
  • The Bible does not put a number on how many wise men there were. Matthew's Gospel merely refers to "wise men".
  • In Victorian times mince pies were made with beef and spices.
  • Nearly 60 million Christmas trees are grown each year in Europe.
  • Christmas tradition in Iceland. has 13 ‘Yuletide Lads’ who either leave presents or pull pranks for children during the 26-day holiday season as a reward or punishment for their behaviour.
  • The Dutch custom of leaving shoes packed with food for St Nicholas's donkeys is where we get our custom of hanging stockings out from.
  • Meanwhile, 12th-century French nuns leaving socks full of fruit and nuts at the houses of the poor is the origin of us putting tangerines in stockings nowadays comes from.
  • Father Christmas’ sleigh would not travel at the speed of light. The jolly red-suited man would have 34 hours to complete his deliveries thanks to the International Date Line and his sleigh would only have to travel at 99.999999 per cent of the speed of light assuming he only visits 800 million houses over the entire surface area of the Earth.
  • Artificial Christmas trees used to be made from the same bristles as toilet brushes.
  • The price index for the gifts in the '12 Days of Christmas' went from $12,673 in 1984 to more than $24,000 for 2011.
  • St Nicholas is the patron saint for kids but also for unmarried women, prisoners, thieves and pawnbrokers. According to legend the real St Nick did more then give presents but done such deeds as giving money to a man’s daughters so they could avoid a life of prostitution.
  • The reindeer Donner and Blitzen were originally caller Dunder and Blixem meaning thunder and lightning which were taken from the Dutch oath and tinkered with over time to the names we know today.
  • As well as shortening the word, the X in Xmas is thought to be a Greek abbreviation for Christ.
  • In Anglo-Saxon the word for mistletoe translates to “dung on a stick”.
  • The postcode for Father Christmas is HOH OHO.
  • You can follow Santa’s journey on Christmas Eve using NORAD Santa tracker website.
  • Robins on cards were a joke 150 years ago when postmen wore red tunics.

If you've come across any amusing or fun Christmas trivia share it in the comments below.


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