It’s that time of the year, and we’ve jingled our way to yet another Christmas.
With a copy of Guinness World Records 2023 under the Christmas tree and a good glass of eggnog in our hands, at the Guinness World Records HQ we are ready to celebrate the season with a true avalanche of records: from Christmas trees to record-breaking Santa Clauses, from baubles to jaw-dropping hairstyles.
Grab yourself a mince pie, take a seat in front of a crackling fireplace and check out these festive records.
Tallest rideable bicycle
Forget Santa’s sleigh: what better way to enter right into the Christmas spirit than pedalling on a giant ridable bike shaped and painted like a giant Christmas tree?
Yes, you’re seeing it right: it’s a bicycle, but it’s also a giant Christmas tree.
The tallest rideable bicycle is a majestic vehicle that stands at an incredible height of 7.41 m (24 ft 3.73 in) and was created by cult cycle constructor Adam Zdanowicz in Białystok, Poland, on 21 December 2020.
Thanks to his awe-inspiring invention, Adam broke the record in December 2020. He recalls that he always loved creating quirky and unique contraptions, especially bicycles: Adam constructed his very first one in 2009 and never stopped, going bigger as his projects continued and got more creative and daring.
"Elevating my ideas to new heights gives me a great sense of fulfilment and satisfaction,” he says.
"Making my dreams come true is an inspiration for me to try new amazing things, and the tallest rideable bicycle is a perfect example of my approach and beliefs." - Adam Zdanowicz
Adam says that this is the largest contraption he has ever designed and made, and describes riding it as a "challenge and a great adventure".
With an eye to sustainability, Adam approached the challenge in the respect of the environment and used only recycled materials to construct his bike.
Not only is this his most ambitious project so far, being the biggest contraption he has ever designed and built, but it was also done avoiding material waste. Overall, it took a month to create the structure and three additional weeks for making the vehicle work.
Enjoying the results of his hard work, quite interestingly dressed as Santa, Adam describes riding it as a "challenge and a great adventure".
Would you like to take a ride on this festive bike?
Longest-running Santa school
Yes, there is a school for would-be Father Christmases!
The longest-running school for those who want to become a fully-fledged and elf-approved Santa Claus is the Charles W Howard Santa Claus School, which is situated in Orleans County, New York, USA.
Founded in October 1937 by New York-born farmer and toy maker Charles W Howard, the school (now a non-profit organization) received its first application from an aspiring Mrs Santa called Mrs Hill.
Many years later, the institution is still up and running in the form of a three-day intensive course, teaching candidates how to ride a sleigh or helping them master all the must-know, popular Christmas songs.
One of the students in the school referred that the course left him feeling "reinvigorated and rejuvenated".
"We teach the heart of Santa and that’s what stands us apart from all the other schools that have started after the Charles W Howard Santa Claus School," said Tom Valent, dean of the school since the 80s.
Making a perfect impression when portraying Santa is important, and dean Valent (a former student of the school himself) is making sure that all the graduates meet the perfect standard to receive a BSC: Bachelor of Santa Claus.
Want to know more about this one-of-a-kind school? Check this out.
Most beard baubles in a beard
Joel Strasser has done it again!
The American record holder has once again broken his previous record for the most beard baubles in a beard by hanging the incredible number of 710 Christmas baubles to his flourishing beard.
He once again proved his skills in Kuna, Idaho, USA, and on 2 December 2022, bettered his previous record of 686 baubles.
In the last few years, Joel and his skills of adding baubles to his beard have been a certainty for the records keepers at Guinness World Records HQ.
Learn all about Joel’s incredible festive record.
Joel is a serial record-breaker who already has plenty of achievements to his name.
Over time, he has collected multiple Guinness World Records titles – also bettering his previous different records several times.
He’s famous for adding various items to his beard, and some of his records include:
- Most paper straws in a beard (534)
- Most chopsticks put into a beard in one minute (with a total of 86)
- Most golf tees in a beard (607)
- Most pencils in the beard (456)
The oldest Christmas tree
For many people around the world, winter comes with family traditions that accompany them from the very first years of their childhood.
Christmas movies, Yule logs, fireplaces, sweets and Christmas stockings have become part of the world’s heritage.
Paul Parker, from the UK, certainly knows something about family traditions and Christmas. Thanks to an artificial Christmas tree that has been handed down in his family since 1886, Paul has earned himself the record title for owning the oldest Christmas tree in the world.
The record-breaking tree stands 30 cm (1 ft) tall in an ornate pot, ready for the holidays.
Officially recognized as the world’s oldest in February 2022, the tree was originally bought for Paul's great-great Aunt Lou, possibly from Woolworths.
It was eventually bequeathed to Paul by his mother, Janet, in 2008, continuing the tradition.
However, although they might not own the oldest Christmas tree in the world, there’s an individual who is a true ninja when it comes to decorating a Christmas tree: precise, fast, and efficient!
TV presenter Sam Homewood prove his skills and officially broke the record for fastesttime to decorate a Christmas tree on the set of the CITV children’s programme Scrambled! in Bedgbury, UK.
Sam achieved an incredible time of 34.52 seconds in 12 November 2018. An outstanding time, considering that most families take hours!
Do you think you can beat Sam?
Seasonal greetings: the first Christmas card
It was the year 1843, Dickens' A Christmas Carol was first being published by Chapman & Hall and the very first mass-produced Christmas card was being printed for the UK market and sold for a shilling per piece.
First commissioned by Henry Cole, educator and the first director of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the lithographed card depicts a Christmas dinner with three generations of the Cole family enjoying a Christmas dinner.
On the side, the card brings attention to the giving nature of Christmas by depicting scenes of charity work.
British artist John Callcott Horsley, a friend of Cole, was commissioned to illustrate the idea.
Although only 12 of the original 1,000 cards remain in existence, Cole’s greeting card is still one of the first signs of the commercialization of Christmas in the 1800's.
In fact, though, Dickens and Cole were only two of the many pioneers of the a Victorian trend, kickstarting what would then become one of the most famous and commercialized holidays of all time.
One of the coveted cards, sent by Bath-born businessman Sir Arthur Cole to his mother in 1843, would proceed to set another record in the 21st Century, once it was sold for £20,000 ($28,000) at auction in 2001.
The incredible price made it the most valuable Christmas card ever.