The Unforgettable History of Christmas Trees

Celebrations of the winter solstice (both pagan and Christian) have long included evergreen trees and other evergreen flora. Evergreen branches were a popular choice for pre-Christian and pagan holiday decorations because they reminded people that spring was on the way, even when the winter solstice had already passed. At the time of Saturnalia, Romans would adorn their temples with fir trees. However, these trees were not at all like the ones we associate with Christmas today.

It's possible that the original name for Christmas trees was "Paradise Trees" (branches or wooden frames decorated with apples). During Advent and Christmas Eve, they were utilized in front of churches in medieval Germany to enact Mystery or Miracle Plays. Adam and Eve's day, the 24th of December, appeared in early Christian calendars of saints. The Garden of Eden was symbolized by the Paradise Tree. As a kind of promotion, it was frequently shown in public during the days leading up to the performance. People who were illiterate were able to learn about the Bible via the performances.

We can trace the origins of christmas tree as we know them now back to the late 1400s and early 1500s. In modern-day Germany (formerly the Holy Roman Empire), the Paradise Tree took on additional trimmings (such as communion wafers, cherries, and later pastry embellishments of stars, bells, angels, etc.) and was renamed the 'Christbaum' (Christ Tree).

Tallinn, Estonia, and Riga, Latvia, dispute who was the first to utilize a tree in holiday and New Year's celebrations. Both Tallinn and Riga lay claim to the title of "First Tree City," with Tallinn claiming the honor in 1441 and Riga doing so in 1510. The 'Brotherhood of Blackheads,' an organization of single Livonia businessmen, ship owners, and foreigners, is responsible for planting both trees (what is now Estonia and Latvia).

The Legend of the Christmas Spider, and Other Delights of the Holiday Season

When silver foil was initially offered in thin strips in Nuremberg, Germany in 1878, it was called "Icicles," and that was the first time tinsel was used. Angel hair, a product of spun glass, made its debut in 1880. Silver-plated copper wire was used to make the first 'tinsel' garlands, which were sold in the 1890s. Plastic/man-made tinsel, on the other hand, quickly gained popularity as an alternative to metal tinsel because to its lower cost and greater portability.

Tinsel, According to Some Legends, Was First Spun into Existence by the Christmas Spider

These stories are repeated not just in Finland and Scandinavia, but also in sections of Eastern Germany, Poland, and the Ukraine. Even though I now reside in the United Kingdom, where the vast majority of its citizens have never heard of the story/legend in question, the stories have recently gained popularity in nations due to christmas tree manufacturers like the United States.

Christmas Tree Lights

A number of people lay claim to being the ones who first used electric lights on Christmas trees, but there isn't any consensus on who exactly did it. Thomas Edison, the famed inventor, used his new electric light bulbs to illuminate his workplace in 1880. In addition, Edison's coworker Edward Johnson decorated his tree in his New York City apartment in 1882 with 80 hand-strung red, white, and blue bulbs (with two extra strings of 28 lights suspended from the ceiling!). Size-wise, each light bulb was roughly the same as a walnut.

The Edison firm released a Christmas lights brochure in 1890. In another Christmas-themed advertisement from 1900, Edison offered rental options for both their light bulbs and their entire lighting system. In 1891, settlers in Montana used electric lights to decorate a tree, as documented in a journal entry. Electricity wasn't commonly available to households, thus most people couldn't utilize electric tree lights.

Pagan Origins of the Christmas Tree

Those in the Northern Hemisphere have been decorating their homes, especially their front entrances, with evergreen plants in honor of the Winter Solstice since before the arrival of Christianity. The longest night and shortest day of the year occur on December 21st and 22nd. The evergreens served as a reminder that the sun god will soon be back to full vigor after being dimmed by the long winter, and that summer would soon follow.

In honor of Ra, the Egyptian sun deity, who had the body of a hawk and wore the disc of the sun as a crown, the dwellings of the Egyptian people were decorated with green palm rushes on the winter solstice. The Celts of Northern Europe adorned their druidic centers with evergreen branches to represent the continuity of life.

North of here, the Vikings associated evergreens with Balder, their deity of light and peace, and worshiped them accordingly. Like the Celts, the ancient Romans decked their homes and temples with evergreen boughs in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture, during the Winter Solstice celebration known as Saturnalia.

There are records of christmas tree decorations being shown in North American houses and businesses as far back as the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1786 North Carolina, Flanders makes reference to a pine tree. Moravian missionaries opened a school for Native Americans in 1805 and instructed the children to "gather a tiny green tree for Christmas." Trees were adorned with moss, cotton, nuts, red pepper swags, and popcorn by German immigrants in Texas in the first half of the 19th century, and similar specimens may be seen in the Midwest and the West.

There is a specific genesis for the picture of a Christmas tree with presents underneath: an etching depicting Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and their children gathered around the tree on Christmas morning, 1848, and published in the Illustrated London News. Two years later, Godey's Lady's Book, America's most popular publication for women, republished a variant of the artwork under the title "The Christmas Tree."

It appears that the practice of placing enormous Christmas tree plant in public places originated in the United States in the nineteenth century. To promote the benefits of electricity, the power lobby sponsored the first "National Christmas Tree" at the White House, a nearly 60-foot-tall balsam fir tree adorned with 2,500 light bulbs.

The Changing Christmas Trees

TIME magazine announced the arrival of the artificial Christmas tree as a cultural norm in December 1964.

According to an article titled "And a Profit In A Polyvinyl Tree," the polyvinyl versions appeared more lifelike than ever and accounted for around 35% of the $155 million Christmas tree market in the U.S.

There has been a steady rise in the popularity of artificial Christmas trees over the past half century. Around 82% of the Christmas trees in the approximately 95 million American houses with trees in 2018 were artificial, while 18% were genuine, according to a poll conducted by Nielsen. There are various factors that contribute to this proportion. It is becoming more challenging to cultivate trees due to climate change. Farmers reduced tree planting during the Great Depression because trees take 7-10 years to mature. Even the farmers who cultivate them are becoming scarce as they reach retirement age. It is said that artificial trees have less of an impact on the environment than real ones do, especially when the carbon footprint associated with shipping real trees to stores is taken into account.

The Christmas Tree Symbolizes

The winter solstice was celebrated in ancient societies as a sign that the Sun God was becoming stronger and warmer days were forthcoming. Evergreen trees, which keep their foliage green throughout the year, were celebrated in conjunction with the winter solstice to herald the coming of warmer weather.

The same mentality spread to Egypt. Whenever the weather turned cold and gloomy, the Sun God Ra would weaken. As the solstice marked the beginning of a new season, Egyptians would adorn their dwellings with palm fronds and branches. During the same time, the ancient Romans celebrated the coming of spring (and a plentiful crop) with evergreen and Christmas tree prices was higher for decorations at a feast called Saturnalia, which was held at the solstice.

Conclusion:

Many modern families have their own traditions and preferences when it comes to decorating the Christmas tree, giving the practice new depths of meaning. Candles, the forerunners of modern electric lights, were widely used as decorations in the eighteenth century. In spite of shifts in fashion, its symbolic and symbolic meaning remains unchanged. I hope you will understand the brief story of Christmas tree. Now it’s time to decorate your homes with different types of Christmas tree ideas because the Christmas of 2022 is coming soon!

FAQs: Christmas Tree

Q. What is the traditional tree for Christmas?

Ans. A Christmas tree is a decorated, often a pine or fir, evergreen tree used in Christmas celebrations. This Christmas tree has one of the most fragrant smells and features a complete pyramid shape with blue or dark green foliage.

Q. Why tree is decorated in Christmas?

Ans. Devout Christians in Germany started decorating Christmas trees in the 16th century. Evergreens weren't connected with Christmas until the 1500s. Trees decked in biblical and nativity performances may have helped them become a Christmas emblem.

Q. How to decorate a Christmas tree?

Ans. Here are the tips:

  • Get a real or high-quality artificial tree.
  • Space out the limbs so they may spread out and cover more ground.
  • Use a central concept as the basis for your design.
  • Turn on the lights first.
  • Pick appropriate embellishments
  • Harmonize the room's decor
  • Organize your ornaments into clusters

Q. What is the history of Christmas trees?

Ans. The present Christmas tree may be traced back to Germany, where on December 24, the Christian feast day of Adam and Eve, families would set up a paradise tree in their houses. The origin of the Christmas tree is disputed between Latvia and Estonia.