Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas Spider - possible fakelore ?

According to the supposedly German (or Ukrainian or Finnish) legend, the Christmas spider story is about some spiders who decorate a Christmas tree with their webs during the night, and Jesus, not wanting to disappoint the people in the house or insult the spiders' artwork, turning the webs into golden threads.
Christmas trees were first introduced into Canada at a party given by Frederika Charlotte Louise von Massow, Baroness (Freifrau) Riedesel zu Eisenbach in Sorel during 1781. She and her husband had just been released by the American revolutionaries, after spending years in captivity after being captured  while commanding German and First Nations troops in New York during the Revolutionary War.

The spider was bought at the annual Christmas market at the Maple Leaf – Almrausch Club near Ottawa.

(Update, Dec 17 - I've heard back from some Germans (and a Finn) that they have never heard of this story, and all the references to this legend are in English - I myself only got the story from the vendor's table, and that was only a few years ago. I also thought that spiders would be dormant in houses in Germany at Christmas back when houses were only heated with fires.)

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