The Interesting Connection Between Christmas and Mushrooms
What Do Mushrooms Have To Do With Christmas?
The legend of Santa Claus has some deep ties to mushrooms. You might already know about the ways that the Coca Cola company utilized the character of Santa Claus to sell soda. But they also extrapolated from historic legends and characters from Northern European countries. Read on to see the interesting connection between Christmas and mushrooms.
Before you finish reading up on all of these Christmas connections below, we invite you to download this Holiday eCard from Fantastic Fungi, celebrating the connection between Amanita Muscaria and these wonderful holiday stories.
How Christmas Started
Originally, the figure of Santa Claus came from the Nordic countries. In this region, Arctic shamans used to dole out psychedelic mushrooms as part of their winter solstice celebrations. They dressed in red clothing with white spots, similar to Amanita mushrooms. People enjoyed a magical experience and communed with nature on the night of the solstice. Just like Santa enters homes through the chimney, Arctic shamans typically entered snow-blocked homes through an opening in the roof.
Nordic shamans had a deep connection with reindeer as well. They were generally recognized as the spirit animals for the shamans. Under the influence of magic mushrooms, it’s easy to see how someone could hallucinate flying reindeer beneath a beautiful night sky in December.
There’s another interesting connection between mushrooms and the tradition of gift-giving at Christmastime. Most people put up an evergreen tree inside their homes to mark the holiday. Gifts are wrapped and placed underneath the tree. Mushrooms also tend to grow at the base of trees, where decaying organic matter can feed the fungi. It’s more than a coincidence that people leave red and white presents underneath their pine trees on Christmas.
This year, honor the history of Nordic shamans at Christmas. Create some delightful mushroom-shaped ornaments to hang on your tree and share the story of the Arctic mystics who delivered gifts in the middle of the night, assisted by their sleigh and reindeer. Spread your newfound knowledge of the connection between Christmas and mushrooms!