Why a Christmas Tree?

Author: Little People's Bedroom   Date Posted:16 December 2015 


Have you ever wondered how the Christmas tree came about?


A pagan origin....

The Christmas tree is a distant descendant of the Germanic cultures. Considered by the Celts as the day of the rebirth of the Sun, the 24th of December was associated with spruce, symbol of childbirth. This pagan tradition was quickly reproduced in the Christian world: in the 11th century, the faithful represented, in their Mysteries, the tree of heaven as a tree topped with red apples. 

An Alsatian tradition...

It's in 1521 that the Christmas tree would have made its first appearance in Alsace, France. In this region, inhabitants were allowed to cut trees that were still green at the Saint Thomas (December 21st). They were decorated with roses, apples (referring to Adam and Eve), confectionery and biscuits. In the eighteenth century, the custom of decorating a Christmas tree was well established in Germany, France and Austria. In 1841, Prince Albert, native of Germany and husband of Queen Victoria, introduced this tradition in the UK by making up a Christmas tree at Windsor Castle. From the Court, the Christmas tree fashion spread rapidly among the bourgeoisie and common people.

The decorations...

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the trees were illuminated by small candles. It was not until 1880 that the first electrical decorations appeared in the United States. Until 1950, Christmas decorations were mostly produced in Germany and Eastern Europe. Characters were usually made of cotton and angel hair made of metal fibres.  As for the Christmas baubles, it is, originally, an apple. It was a glass craftsman in 1858 who had the idea of creating Christmas baubles as we know them today, after a particularly harsh winter, which had resulted to low crops.


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