There are some great pagan ideas, first-rate medieval treats, but then there is a huge gap in festivities - a Christmas-free zone until the middle of the 20th century - until it all came back into fashion. Here we take a look at some Christmas traditions and their origins.
When druids and pagans inhabited Scotland they took greenery into the house, as a symbol of life in the dark nights of midwinter. Mistletoe, revered by the druids for its fertility properties, was cut from the sacred oak tree.
2. Yule log
To banish the dark, the pagans brought fire into the house. At some point this time of year became known as Yule and during the festival a Yule log was gathered.
3. Christmas tree
It is the pagans too who have been credited with the early tradition of decorating a tree. It is thought that they hung shapes from an evergreen brought into the house to symbolise life.
4. Yule log, the Celt version
The Celts burned the Cailleach a log with the face of an old woman carved into it that was supposed to take away any lingering bad luck.