Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, be plenteous in mercy is to have the real spirit of Christmas. Calvin Coolidge.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Legend Of Christmas Robin


Legend Of Robin

The little red-breasted, cheerful robins, often called the Christmas robins, indicate the season of sun and spring. This, rather ordinary, dull brown bird holds such tremendous importance to Christmas that the legend of the robin is unknown to none. Robins are known for having shared the holy stable of Bethlehem, with Jesus' family, when the other animals chose not to respond to Mary's constant appeals for company. It is believed that this bird used its soft, yet strong, breast feathers to re-ignite a fire from vanishing sparks so that baby Jesus could stay warm. Apparently, while working up the dying fire, the robin got too close to the fire and burnt his breast feathers. The red breasts of robins are thus associated to the self-less service they provided. These colorful birds are regarded as the traditional symbol of UK and can often be found patterned on greeting cards and gift wrappers.

The Legend Of The Christmas Robin
The Christmas night was extremely cold and a cold breeze blew constantly into the stable where Mother Mary lay with her infant, Jesus. The fire in the stable, the only source of heat for the baby, was about to go off and all that Mary could do was call the surrounding animals for help. She asked the sleeping ox, lazy donkey, horse and the sheep, but they were either of no use or just refused to help. Suddenly, Mary heard the flapping sound of wings. A robin had heard Mother Mary's cry for help and had flown to the stable to help her out. The robin flapped his wings hard at the dying embers of fire until the fire was rekindled and became bright red. He fanned continuously, flapping hard so that the fire never went out and kept the baby warm. To ensure that the fire stayed alive, the robin used his beak and dropped some dry sticks in the fire. This caused the fire to rise abruptly and it burnt the breast of the bird. Despite the burns that he received, the bird didn't bother and continued fanning so that the infant could be kept warm for long enough to sleep comfortably. Mother Mary heartily thanked the robin for his efforts and tenderly looked at his breast that was now red with the burns and blessing him for his deed of valor and selflessness.

Facts
The American male robin has a darker shade of red on its breast when compared to the female. This makes it easy to distinguish between the two.
The European robin is regarded as the National Bird of Britain.
The robin is closely associated with Christmas and is called the ‘Christmas Robin’.
The American robin is also known as robin redbreast; so is the European robin.  
 

13 comments:


  1. Importance

    Though the legend of robin was known to people even in the olden times, it came to be considered as a legend only in the mid-19th century and has gained immense popularity since then. It is believed that robin was only a little brown bird with no distinct feature, such as the red breast that it now boasts of. Legend has it that the robin got its red breast while it was trying to work a dying fire and burnt its breast feathers in the process.

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  2. Popularity Attained

    This story of robin gained such immense popularity towards 19th century that its pictures began to appear on Christmas greeting cards and postage stamps. Artificial feathers of this sacred bird are still used to decorate Christmas cards and even artificial robins can be found on Christmas trees as decorations; robin-shaped Christmas cakes are also becoming popular these days.

    Thus, the story of robin explains that hard work and determination are the keys to success, no matter how weak you are. It also tells you that selflessness is a virtue that never goes unnoticed.

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  3. Adapted from 'A Cristmas Stocking' by Louise Betts Egan

    "Legend tells how a robin,
    On the night of the first Noel
    Braved the frosty winter night
    So the baby might sleep well.

    Throughout the night, the small grey wings
    Did flutter for all their worth
    And fanned the fire that warmed the Christ
    His first night here on Earth.

    In the heat of stirring the lonely fire
    The shepherds have it said
    The Robin wears with honor
    A breast of Christmas Red."

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  4. I love robins. Their little red breasts are always so cheerful and pretty. They have always heralded another turning of the wheel and the return of the sun and spring. Seeing my first robin is just as wonderful as seeing snowdrops! Both are cause for celebration in this household. Well, today I learned of a couple of nice legend thats tells how he got his red breast.



    The legend reads that the robin was originally a plain, dull brown bird. Mary requested that it fann the dying embers of the fire in the stable to warm the infant Jesus. The robin got too close to the flames and singed its breast feathers but carried on fanning the embers with its wings until the fire burned strongly again, and as a mark of its diligence, all robins have since had red breasts.



    Another pretty legend read that when Jesus was dying on the cross, the Robin, then a simple brown, flew to his side and sang into his ear in order to comfort him in his pain. The blood from his wounds stained the Robin's breast, and thereafter all Robins were born with the mark of Christ's blood upon them.



    Here are some fun robin facts



    The American male robin has a brighter, richer red on it's breast than the females making it easy to tell them apart.


    The European robin is the national bird of Britain


    Strongly associated with Christmas


    The American robin and the European robin are two different birds and not to be confused.


    An American robin can produce three broods a year.

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  5. Today the robin is considered by some to be Britain’s favorite bird. If you’re ever in Britain around Christmas time, you’ll find pictures of robin red breasts adorning Christmas cards, ornaments, stamps, chocolate boxes, shop windows and Christmas wrapping paper. Their images can even be found decorating Christmas cakes. With the existence of so many positive tales about the robin red breast in folklore and also in everyday life with its cheerful song and its role in keeping gardeners company, it is easy to understand why the robins were well-liked enough to be retained as decorations for Christmas cards and decorations.

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  6. In England, many Christmas cards feature the English robin. It is said that he has a red breast, but it looks more like a bird with brown feather on top, white feathers underneath, and orange feathers on the breast. There seems to be no reason for a picture of an English robin to be on a Christmas card, but there is a reason for the robin.

    It is said that when the baby Jesus was born, he was cold. His mother, Mary asked the ox to blow on a fire to stoke it, but the ox was fast asleep and did not hear her request.

    She then asked the donkey to blow on the small fire that was made to keep them warm. However, the donkey was also asleep and did not hear her request.

    As she worried about how to stay warm and keep baby Jesus warm, she her a small fluttering of wings. The robin flew down to the fire and used his wings to stoke the fire like a bellow. All the while he sang a song.

    As he flapped his wings to keep the fire going, he picked up small twigs and debris near the fire to continue giving kindling to the fire. As the kindling was put on the fire, a flame burst forth.

    This flame burned the robin's breast and turned it the reddish-orange color.

    Mary picked up the robin and said, "May your chest always be red to show your good deed and kind heart."

    Today, the robin's breast is red to recall this one little robin's good deed.

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  7. "A CHRISTMAS ROBIN AMIDST 'MacINNES' HOLLY"
    (The plant badge of the Clan MacInnes)

    The English robin is connected with a legend of Christ's birth. On that first Christmas, it is said, the night was wrapped in a bitter chill. The small fire in the stable was nearly out, and the Mother Mary worried that her baby would be cold. She turned to the animals about her and asked them for help.

    "Could you blow on the embers," she asked the ox, "so the fire might continue to keep my son warm?" But the ox lay sound asleep on the stable floor and did not hear her. Next, Mary asked the donkey to breathe life back into the fire, but the sleeping donkey did not hear Mary either. Nor did the horse or sheep. She wondered what to do.

    Suddenly, Mary heard a fluttering of little wings. Looking up, she saw a plain, brown-colored little robin fly into the stall. This robin had heard Mary calling to the animals and had come to help her himself. He went over to the dying fire and flapped his wings hard.

    His wings were like little bellows, huffing and puffing air onto the embers, until they glowed bright red again. He continued to fan the fire, singing all the while, until the ashes began to kindle.

    With his beak, the robin picked up some fresh, dry sticks and tossed them into the fire. As he did, a flame suddenly burst forth and burned the little bird's breast a bright red. But the robin simply continued to fan the fire until it crackled brightly and warmed the entire stable. The Baby Jesus slept happily.

    Mary thanked and praised the robin for all he had done. She looked tenderly at his red breast, burned by the flame, and said "From now on, let your red breast be a blessed reminder of your noble deed."

    And to this day, the robin's red breast covers his humble heart.

    (From "A Christmas Stocking" by Louise Betts Egan.)

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  8. The Robin has long been associated with Christmas particularly in Great Britain. During the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901) with the introduction of the world’s first unified postage stamp – the famous “Penny Black” in 1840, the Royal Mail postal service in Britain rapidly expanded to include the general public. As a consequence of this reform, there was a steady increase in the public use of the service necessitating the employment of a growing army of letter carriers, thereafter renamed postmen.

    Initially the postmen were servants of the Crown whose national colour was red, and so the first postmen in Britain wore a bright red liveried uniform, as such they were given a common nickname and became known as “Robin Redbreasts”. At that time and until well into the 20th century, postal deliveries were made 364 days of the year, which included Christmas day, and so the Robin, the Postman and the gifts he brought became associated. Many old Christmas cards depicted Robins delivering the mail.

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  9. The Robin throughout history has been variously associated with charity, compassion, good luck, bad luck, fire and death; as such he has become a legend in the folklore of many countries. Many stories about the Robin attempt to explain the origin of his red breast, the most common being associated with the birth and death of Christ. One such story relates that when Jesus was crucified on the cross, a Robin flew down and removed a thorn from the crown on his head to relieve some of his suffering. In doing so, the blood of Jesus stained his throat and chest, and ever since his breast has remained red.

    In a similar story concerning the birth of Christ, a Robin flew into the stables where the baby Jesus was born. Seeing Mary and the boy child sleeping, the Robin noticed a nearby fire had almost gone out, and while fanning the embers back into flame, he burnt and singed his breast feathers. Mary blessed him for his courage, and when his feathers grew back again they remained red in recognition of his efforts.

    Because of his red breast and this association with fire, like the Raven in mythology, the Robin is said to have brought fire from heaven. As such, in folklore, Robins are considered holy birds, and are beloved by gardeners for they remind him of paradise and the legendary Garden of Eden. A similar myth has it that the Robin was a storm-cloud bird held sacred by Thor, the god of Thunder in Norse mythology.

    In the old folklore traditions of Great Britain, if a Robin pecks at your window or enters your house, it is likely a death will soon occur there. Likewise, if a Robin flies into a house through an open window, it was taken as a sign of death being present. This idea is thought to have come from an old 16th century folktale called “Babes in the Wood”, which implies that if a Robin finds a human corpse, it would cover the corpse with moss, leaves and flowers, effectively burying it.

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  10. Christmas Robin Activity http://www.cartoonito.co.uk/tv-show/winter/activities/christmas-robin-activity

    How to draw a Christmas Robin - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rcqlu1MgKE

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  11. STORY: LITTLE ROBIN’S CHRISTMAS SONG
    A Scottish Folktale Retold by Dianne de Las Casas

    On a cold Christmas morning, Gray Cat walked
    Tip toe, tip toe
    Through the cold, cold snow.
    She saw Little Robin sitting on a branch. Gray Cat asked, “Where are you going on this chilly,
    frosty morning?”
    Little Robin answered,
    “A Christmas song I’ll sing
    As a present to the king.”
    Gray Cat’s stomach growled. She said slyly, “Why don’t you hop down here and I’ll show you
    the pretty white ring I have around my neck.”
    But Little Robin was clever. He knew Gray Cat wanted him for breakfast! He flapped his wings
    and as he flew away, he said, “You can show your white ring to the little brown mouse but you
    can’t fool me. I won’t be your breakfast on this cold Christmas morning.”
    Robin flew and flew until he came to a fence. There, he decided to rest. Brown Hawk walked
    nearby.
    Tip toe, tip toe
    Through the cold, cold snow.
    He saw Little Robin sitting on the fence. Brown Hawk asked, “Where are you going on this
    chilly, frosty morning?”
    Little Robin answered,
    “A Christmas song I’ll sing
    As a present to the king.”
    Brown Hawk’s stomach growled. He said slyly, “Why don’t you hop over here and I’ll show you
    the pretty green feather I have under my wing.”
    But Little Robin was clever. He knew Brown Hawk wanted him for breakfast! He flapped his
    wings and as he flew away, he said, “You can show your green feather to the little gray pigeon
    but you can’t fool me. I won’t be your breakfast on this cold Christmas morning.”

    On a cold Christmas morning, Gray Cat walked
    Tip toe, tip toe
    Through the cold, cold snow.
    She saw Little Robin sitting on a branch. Gray Cat asked, “Where are you going on this chilly,
    frosty morning?”
    Little Robin answered,
    “A Christmas song I’ll sing
    As a present to the king.”
    Gray Cat’s stomach growled. She said slyly, “Why don’t you hop down here and I’ll show you
    the pretty white ring I have around my neck.”
    But Little Robin was clever. He knew Gray Cat wanted him for breakfast! He flapped his wings
    and as he flew away, he said, “You can show your white ring to the little brown mouse but you
    can’t fool me. I won’t be your breakfast on this cold Christmas morning.”
    Robin flew and flew until he came to a fence. There, he decided to rest. Brown Hawk walked
    nearby.
    Tip toe, tip toe
    Through the cold, cold snow.
    He saw Little Robin sitting on the fence. Brown Hawk asked, “Where are you going on this
    chilly, frosty morning?”
    Little Robin answered,
    “A Christmas song I’ll sing
    As a present to the king.”
    Brown Hawk’s stomach growled. He said slyly, “Why don’t you hop over here and I’ll show you
    the pretty green feather I have under my wing.”
    But Little Robin was clever. He knew Brown Hawk wanted him for breakfast! He flapped his
    wings and as he flew away, he said, “You can show your green feather to the little gray pigeon
    but you can’t fool me. I won’t be your breakfast on this cold Christmas morning.”

    © Copyright 2008 The Story Connection

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  12. We often see robins on Christmas cards. They are very attractive birds with their bright red waistcoats. I have found two legends about how the robin got his red breast. The first is that when he carried fire to the earth for man he scorched his chest. The second is that he went to Bethlehem to see baby Jesus soon after his birth but found the stable cold with the fire going out. To help he fanned the fire with his wings until it glowed red hot, thus scorching his breast.

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