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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Christmas Tree Tradition

The ever famous and the evergreen Christmas trees have been adorning the beauty of many Christmas seasons since as long as one can remember. Whole generations have passed through in between who probably have never heard a Christmas without a Christmas tree being set up in the house and decorated with dazzling ornaments and lights. Till date, this needle like firry tree stands, not only as an integral part of the Christmas tradition, but has a symbol of an important historical era gone by. Today, although the Christmas trees that are used don't necessarily have to be traditional live trees that have been cut down, the tradition continues, and continues to flourish world over.

It all started in Germany a thousand years ago when Saint Boniface, while converting the German people to Christianity, came across a bunch of pagans worshipping an Oak tree. It is believed that in anger Saint Boniface uprooted the Oak tree, only to find a young fir tree emerging from beneath the roots, which he took as a sign of faith. However, it was only in the 16th century that the Christmas trees began to be brought inside the homes for decorative purposes around the Christmas season. The following lines will throw light on Christmas tree traditions that have long been in existence and are still held close to the heart.

Traditions of Christmas Tree
  • According to the old traditions, it wasn't until the arrival of Christmas Eve that Christmas trees were bought and decorated. It was in the tradition to leave them decorated for 12 days.
  • Tree worship has been a common practice in many ancient cultures and the trees are being planted since many centuries. For long they've known to bring in good fortunes and have also been linked to divinity.
  • Egyptians are believed to be the treasurers and worshippers of the evergreen. To symbolize and celebrate life's triumph over death, they used to bring in palm leaves into their homes.
  • The modern Christmas tree tradition is known to have sprung from the ancient tradition of the Germans and Scandinavians who used to place evergreen trees in front of their homes to symbolize their hope in the forthcoming season.
  • The start of the tradition to decorate trees is attributed to Martin Luther. It is believed that around the year 1500, when Martin Luther was walking across the snow covered woods, he was very impressed by the snow covered branches shining under the moonlight. To share this story with his children, he put a small fir tree and decorated it with candles in honor of Christ's birth.
  • The Christmas tree tradition is believed to have entered America via hessian troops during the American Revolution or by the German immigrants who brought them to Pennsylvania.
  • In Great Britain, the Christmas tree tradition is known to have brought in by Prince Albert, a German, who married Queen Victoria in 1840 and set up a Christmas tree at the Windsor Castle in England. Soon after which, the custom spread quickly over England, from royal court to middle class to working people.
  • Today, species like Scotch pine fir, Douglas fir, noble fir, white pine, balsam fir, and white spruce make up for most of the Christmas tree sales, with Scotch pine leading the way.

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