Christmas is full of weird food traditions that many people don’t know the origins of.
The connection between mounds of food and holidays is an easy one to make. In pretty much every culture an abundance of food is a sign of wealth and happiness, and up until the concept of money was introduced, a sign of power for a country was not only how advanced and large its military was, but how beefy its food stores were.
So it only makes sense that people would get to partying by chomping down on massive quantities of yummy treats as a sign of enjoying themselves and the work they put in the past couple of months.
But why are specific Christmas foods such immutable traditions? Like fruit cakes? I don’t think I’ve ever met a single person who enjoys eating those things, yet they’re everywhere during the holiday season. As is Egg Nog.
And as “acquired-taste” as some of these Christmas foods are, the one tradition that probably made the least amount of sense to me was popcorn on a string.
It’s not like it’s a tradition that dates back to the origin of Christmas or anything either. Popcorn was invented until 1885, so it wasn’t a winter solstice staple that carried through generation after generation.
Well, it does, it just wasn’t always with popcorn, apparently.
Decorating Christmas trees with garlands is a practice almost as old as Christmas itself. One of the more popular design items? Garlands.
But food garlands were specifically used to dress-up Christmas trees to nourish birds during winter. Dried fruit, nuts, berries, and pieces of popcorn provided necessary sustenance during the harsh winter months.
The practice is thought to have originated in Europe, but now, popcorn on a string is an American Christmas tradition.
Anybody looking forward to decorating their trees with the movie snack staple?