CHRISTMAS FACTS

Although Christmas is all about traditions, there are plenty of very interesting and sometimes even weird things about this holiday. Do you know why Rudolph the reindeer has a red nose? What people eat for Christmas dinner in Japan? How does Santa stretch the time in order to deliver all the gifts in just one night? We collected the most interesting and bizarre Christmas facts from all over the world: this holiday can be very surprising!


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Fun Christmas Facts

1. “Jingle Bells” was written for Thanksgiving, not Christmas. The song was written in 1857 by James Lord Pierpont and published under the title “One Horse Open Sleigh”. It was supposed to be played in the composer’s Sunday school class during Thanksgiving as a way to commemorate the famed Medford sleigh races. “Jingle Bells” was also the first song to be broadcast from space.

Christmas facts
MuralMan

 

2. Rudolph’s red nose is probably the result of a parasitic infection of his respiratory system.According to Roger Highfield, the author of the book “The Physics of Christmas: From the Aerodynamics of Reindeer to the Thermodynamics of Turkey” the world’s most famous reindeer has a red nose due to a parasite. However, Rudolf’s relationship with his parasite is symbiotic: after all, the red nose illuminates the path through the winter night for the whole reindeer team.

Christmas facts
Brain Picnics

 

3. In the Netherlands, Sinterklaas (the Dutch version of Santa Claus) arrives from Spain, not from the North Pole. And that’s not the only weird thing about the Dutch Christmas. Sinterklaas has his little helpers, but they are not adorable hard-working elves: they are black-faced boys and girls who can steal your kids if they misbehave, and bring them to back Spain which is, according to the Dutch, a severe punishment.

Christmas facts
itheechhus

 

4. In Germany, Poland, and Ukraine, finding a spider or a spider’s web on a Christmas tree is believed to be a harbinger of good luck. According to one legend, a spider wove a blanket for Baby Jesus, according to the other – a spider web on the Christmas tree turned silver and gold once the sunlight touched it. One way or another, decorating a Christmas tree with artificial spiders and spider webs will inevitably bring you luck and prosperity!

Christmas facts
fiskadoro

 

5. Santa stretches time like a rubber band, in order to deliver all the gifts in one night. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), there are 2,106 million children under age 18 in the world. If we assume that each household has in average 2.5 children, Santa would have to make 842 million stops on Christmas Eve, traveling 221 million miles. Given the different time zones, Santa has 36 hours to deliver gifts, therefore his average speed would be approximately 650 miles per second. It is less than the speed of light (therefore, it’s, theoretically, doable but still quite hard for a chubby old man). Larry Silverberg, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University, suggests that Santa uses relativity clouds to get the work done. Relativity clouds, based on relative physics, allow Santa to stretch time like a rubber band which gives him months to deliver gifts, while only a few minutes pass for the rest of us.

Christmas facts
Picky Wallpapers

 

6. Two weeks before Christmas is the one of the two most popular times for couples to break up.According to data analyzed from Facebook posts and statuses, couples are more likely to end their relationship two weeks before Christmas and two weeks after Valentine’s day, during the spring break. Christmas Day, however, is the least favorite day for breakups.

Christmas facts
Digital Trends

 

7. In Armenia, the traditional Christmas Eve meal consists of fried fish, lettuce and spinach. Many Armenians fast for a week before the Christmas Eve, that’s why, in order not to stress the stomach, the menu for the Christmas dinner is pretty light.

Christmas facts
Pinterest

 

8. Japanese people traditionally eat at KFC for Christmas dinner. Although the percentage of christian people in Japan is close to zero, every Christmas, kids and grown-ups head to the closest KFC to enjoy some fried chicken – the closest food to turkey that you can get in Japan. It’s all thanks to a successful “Kentucky for Christmas!” marketing campaign in 1947. First aimed at foreigners, KFC offered a “Christmas dinner” that contained chicken and wine – a meal that remotely resembled the food expats and tourists had at home. After a huge success, Kentucky Fried Chicken started promoting this offer every year, until the fast food chain became strongly associated with the holiday season.

Christmas facts
Vox

 

9. The “X” in “Xmas” doesn’t take “Christ” out of “Christmas. Xmas is a common abbreviation of the word Christmas, however, some people think that this spelling is not right, because it takes the “Christ” out of Christmas. Don’t worry, no one is taking the “Christ” anywhere. In the Greek alphabet, the letter X (“chi”) is the first letter of the Greek word for Christ or Christos.

Christmas facts
stpeterrcc

 

10. The first artificial Christmas Tree wasn’t a tree at all. It was created out of goose feathers that were dyed green. The first artificial Christmas trees were developed in Germany in the 19th century, due to a major continuous deforestation. The feather trees became increasingly popular during the early 20th century and finally made their way to the US.

Christmas facts
My Vintage Soul

 

11. Iceland has 13 Santas and an old lady who kidnaps children. Christmas in Iceland is a colorful fusion of religion, fairy tales and folklore. Instead of one Santa, the kids are visited by 13 Yule Lads that either reward children for good behavior or punish them if they were naughty. The holiday period begins 13 days before Christmas and each day one of the 13 Yule Lads comes to houses and fills the shoes that kids leave under the Christmas tree either with sweets and small gifts or rotting potatoes, depending on how that particular child has behaved on the preceding day. The mother of Yule Lads, half-troll, half-beast, horrifying old woman Grýla, kidnaps naughty kids and boils them in her cauldron.

Christmas facts
Unlocking Kiki

 

12. In Germany, Heiligabend, or Christmas Eve, is said to be a magical time when the pure in heart can hear animals talking. They can also see that rivers turn into wine, Christmas tree blossoms bear fruit, mountains open, revealing gems hidden inside and bell ringing can be heard from the bottom of the sea.

SPACE STATION FACTS

Space Station Facts

  • 230 individuals from 18 countries have visited the International Space Station
  • The space station has been continuously occupied since November 2000
  • An international crew of six people live and work while traveling at a speed of five miles per second, orbiting Earth about every 90 minutes.
  • In 24 hours, the space station makes 16 orbits of Earth, traveling through 16 sunrises and sunsets
  • Peggy Whitson set the record for spending the most total time living and working in space at 665 days on Sept. 2, 2017
  • The acre of solar panels that power the station means sometimes you can look up in the sky at dawn or dusk and see the spaceship flying over your home, even if you live in a big city. Find sighting opportunities at http://spotthestation.nasa.gov
  • The living and working space in the station is larger than a six-bedroom house (and has six sleeping quarters, two bathrooms, a gym, and a 360-degree view bay window).
  • To mitigate the loss of muscle and bone mass in the human body in microgravity, the astronauts work out at least two hours a day.
  • Astronauts and cosmonauts have conducted more than 205 spacewalks (and counting!) for space station construction, maintenance and repair since December 1998
  • The solar array wingspan (240 feet) is about the same length as the world’s largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380.
  • The large modules and other pieces of the station were delivered on 42 assembly flights, 37 on the U.S. space shuttles and five on Russian Proton/Soyuz rockets.
  • The space station is 357 feet end-to-end, one yard shy of the full length of an American football field including the end zones.
  • Eight miles of wire connects the electrical power system aboard the space station.
  • The 55-foot robotic Canadarm2 has seven different joints and two end-effectors, or hands, and is used to move entire modules, deploy science experiments and even transport spacewalking astronauts.
  • Six spaceships can be connected to the space station at once.
  • A spacecraft can arrive at the space station as soon as six hours after launching from Earth.
  • Four different cargo spacecraft deliver science, cargo and supplies: Orbital ATK’s Cygnus, SpaceX’s Dragon, JAXA’s HTV, and the Russian Progress.
  • Through Expedition 52, the microgravity laboratory has hosted more than 2,400 research investigations from researchers in more than 103 countries.
  • The station’s orbital path takes it over 90 percent of the Earth’s population, with astronauts taking millions of images of the planet below. Check them out at https://eol.jsc.nasa.gov  
  • More than 20 different research payloads can be hosted outside the station at once, including Earth sensing equipment, materials science payloads, particle physics experiments like the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-02 and more.
  • The space station travels an equivalent distance to the Moon and back in about a day.
  • The Water Recovery System reduces crew dependence on water delivered by a cargo spacecraft by 65 percent – from about 1 gallon a day to a third of a gallon.
  • On-orbit software monitors approximately 350,000 sensors, ensuring station and crew health and safety. 
  • The space station has an internal pressurized volume equal that of a Boeing 747.
  • More than 50 computers control the systems on the space station.
  • More than 3 million lines of software code on the ground support more than 1.5 million lines of flight software code.
  • In the International Space Station’s U.S. segment alone, more than 1.5 million lines of flight software code run on 44 computers communicating via 100 data networks transferring 400,000 signals (e.g. pressure or temperature measurements, valve positions, etc.).

International Space Station Size & Mass

  • Pressurized Module Length: 167.3 feet (73 meters)
  • Truss Length: 357.5 feet (109 meters)
  • Solar Array Length: 239.4 feet (73 meters)
  • Mass: 925,335 pounds (419,725 kilograms)
  • Habitable Volume: 13,696 cubic feet (388 cubic meters) not including visiting vehicles
  • Pressurized Volume: 32,333 cubic feet (916 cubic meters)
  • With BEAM expanded: 32,898 cubic feet (932 cubic meters)
  • Power Generation: 8 solar arrays provide 75 to 90 kilowatts of power
  • Lines of Computer Code: approximately 2.3 million