8 Pittsburgh holiday traditions you’ve always wondered about, finally explained

Why this time of year is filled with fish, trees (real and animated), and an NYE ball that goes up.

Santa Claus is coming to 'tahn.

Santa Claus is coming to 'tahn.

Jasmine Goldband / The Incline
MJ Slaby

‘Tis the season. The holidays in Pittsburgh are in full swing — the ice rink at PPG Place is open, Light Up Night has come and gone, and the city is full of holiday decorations.

It’s a time of year that’s filled with annual traditions. But have you ever wondered about why some Pittsburgh holiday traditions exist? We dove into our archives to find explanations for eight popular local traditions.

If you still have questions about a local tradition we didn’t include, let us know here, and we’ll find the answers.

Comcast Light Up Night 2016

Comcast Light Up Night 2016

courtesy of Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership

Christmas before Thanksgiving at Light Up Night

Light Up Night has long been a November tradition to kick off the holiday shopping season. But it actually started as a way to celebrate the Pirates, and the first one was in April 1959.

But in 1960, it became the holiday tradition we know.

Light Up Night went on hiatus starting in 1973 to conserve energy and returned in 1982 in an attempt to raise morale during the steel industry collapse, per the Downtown Partnership.

Read more.