via press release:
HISTORY unwraps the surprising origins of Yuletide customs in…
THE REAL STORY OF CHRISTMAS Premieres on Wednesday, November 29 at 9 pm ET on HISTORY(R)
Note: As an observant commenter noted, this day/date combination is incorrect in the original History press release.
November 8, New York, NY – Why do we prop trees up in our living rooms and exchange gifts every December? What exactly is a Yule log? Where did Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer come from?
From Santa to stockings, many modern Christmas traditions originated in ancient times. In fact, the true story of Christmas in the 21st century bears little resemblance to the holly-jolly tales we cherish today. THE REAL STORY OF CHRISTMAS, a new one-hour special premiering on Wednesday, November 29 at 9 pm on HISTORY, looks across 2,000 years of history to explore the sacred and secular influences that gave rise to the Christmas we know today – and makes sense of the holiday rituals we perform each December.
As THE REAL STORY OF CHRISTMAS shows, many of our seemingly innocent customs evolved from strange, surprising or even disturbing beginnings. With its roots in the Pagan celebration of the winter solstice, early Christmas was both a day of prayer and festival of drunken revelry. Rowdy medieval carolers begged for food and drink, threatening to throw rocks through the windows of those who refuse. Christmas was actually banned for years in America during the 16th and 17th centuries. And the Santa of old world legend was accompanied not by elves but by a devil named Krampus who beat and kidnapped naughty children.
THE REAL STORY OF CHRISTMAS joins HISTORY?s lineup of fall specials exploring the connections between modern holidays and early history, including THE REAL STORY OF HALLOWEEN and THE REAL STORY OF THANKSGIVING.
THE REAL STORY OF CHRISTMAS is produced for HISTORY by Workaholic Productions. Matthew Hickey and Luke Ellis are the Executive Producers for Workaholic Productions. Susan E. Leventhal is the Executive Producer for HISTORY.
HISTORY(TM) and HISTORY HD(TM) are the leading destinations for revealing, award-winning original non-fiction series and event-driven specials that connect history with viewers in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. Programming covers a diverse variety of historical genres ranging from military history to contemporary history, technology to natural history, as well as science, archaeology and pop culture. Among the network’s program offerings are hit series such as American Pickers, Ax Men, The Universe, Ice Road Truckers, Chasing Mummies, Top Shot and Pawn Stars, as well as acclaimed specials including America the Story of Us, WWII In HD, 102 Minutes That Changed America, Moonshot and Life After People. HISTORY has earned four Peabody Awards, seven Primetime Emmy(R) Awards, 12 News &DocumentaryEmmy(R) Awards and received the prestigious Governor’s Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the network’s Save Our History(R) campaign dedicated to historic preservation and history education. Take a Veteran to School Day is the network’s latest initiative connecting America’s schools and communities with veterans from all wars. The HISTORY website, located at http://www.history.com, is the leading online resource for all things history, featuring over 20,000 videos, images, audio clips, articles and interactive features that allow visitors to dig deeper into a broad range of thousands of historical topics.