Have you ever thought where did the tradition of giving tangerines and oranges for the New Year come from?
Most people can not imagine New Year and Christmas without these fragrant fruits. But where did this tradition come from?
We offer you a choice of two options, why we stock up on mandarins and oranges for the New Year holidays.
Version 1. Fresh fruit in the middle of winter was considered a luxury.
In the old days, when there were no supermarkets, where everyone can buy relatively inexpensive fruit, children were more than happy to find an orange or mandarin in a Christmas stocking. In the wealthy families, they even decorated Christmas trees, which after the holiday were given to the children to be “plundered”: they were allowed to pick candy, gingerbread, fruit and other edible decorations.
And even in the 20th century, it was considered a great success to receive a golden fruit as a gift, especially in the post-war period.In the novel by Shirley Conran "Lace" there is a fragment that vividly illustrates this version: it tells about a girl named Kate, who found an orange in a stocking with gifts. Her father bought some fruit from a sailor for wild money, because after the war in England there were no oranges, no bananas, no ice cream. Kate ate this orange all day, enjoying every slice, and then another week gnawed skin.
Version 2. Remember who was the prototype of Santa Claus
This version is certainly known to those who are familiar with the history of the life of the very first "Santa Claus" - Saint Nicholas, who is especially revered in Christianity as the patron of children. We have reached his biography, in which there was such a story.
The father of the three daughters could not collect a dowry for them, so he decided to extract income from their beauty, and it would have happened if not for Saint Nicholas. Being modest, he quietly threw a bag of gold into their house through a chimney or an open window - here the sources are different. According to the legend, gold got into stockings, hung out in front of the hearth for drying, where it was found in the morning.
The delighted father married his daughters, and people had a tradition to hang out stockings for gifts and put golden oranges or tangerines in them as a symbol of gold donated by St. Nicholas.
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