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The unpredictable origins and etymologies of our cracking Christmas customs. We don't know that the date we celebrate was chosen by a madman, or that Christmas, etymologically speaking, means 'Go away, Christ'. Nor do we know that Christmas was first celebrated in 243 AD on 28 March - and only moved to 25 December in 354 AD. We're oblivious to the fact that the advent calendar was actually invented by a Munich housewife to stop her children pestering her for a Christmas countdown. And we would never have guessed that the invention of crackers was merely a way of popularizing sweet wrappers.
'Witty and revelatory. Blooming brilliant' -- Raymond Briggs
'Everything we ever thought about Christmas is wrong! Great stuff' -- Matthew Parris
'Rather strangely for a book about Christmas, I could read this all year round. Lyrical and full of joy, it will definitely be in stockings round our house this December' -- Bryony Gordon, author of 'The Wrong Knickers
Publication date: 03/11/2016
|Publication date:||3rd November 2016|
|Genres:||History, The Real World,|
|Categories:||Social & cultural history,|
Mark Forsyth is a writer, journalist, proofreader, ghostwriter and pedant. He was given a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary as a christening present and has never looked back. In 2009 he started the Inky Fool blog, in order to share his heaps of use-less information with a verbose world. He is also the author of the Sunday Times Number One bestseller The Etymologicon, and its successful sister volume, The Horologicon, both published by Icon Books.More About Mark Forsyth