why do people put up christmas trees
Today, Christmas trees are treated as a secular element of the holiday, but they actually started with pagan ceremonies that were changed by Christians to celebrate the birth of. Б
Because the evergreen flourishes all year round, it came to symbolize through Christ s, and. However, the custom of bringing tree branches indoors in the winter began with the ancient Romans, who decorated with greenery in the winter or put up laurel branches to honor the emperor. The changeover came with Christian missionaries who were ministering to Germanic tribes about 700 A. D. Legend holds that Boniface, a missionary, cut down a massive oak tree at Geismar in ancient Germany that had been dedicated to the Norse thunder-god, then built a chapel out of the wood. Boniface supposedly pointed to an evergreen as an example of Christ s eternal life. In the Middle Ages, open-air plays about were popular, and one celebrated the feast day of and, which took place on Christmas Eve. To advertise the play to illiterate townspeople, participants paraded through the village carrying a small tree, which symbolized the. These trees eventually became Paradise trees in people s homes and were decorated with fruit and cookies. By the 1500s, Christmas trees were common in Latvia and Strasbourg. Another legend credits German reformer with putting candles on an evergreen to imitate the stars shining at Christ s birth. Over the years, German glassmakers began producing ornaments, and families constructed homemade stars and hung sweets on their trees. Not all clergy liked the idea. Some still associated it with pagan ceremonies and said it detracted from the. Even so, churches began putting Christmas trees in their sanctuaries, accompanied by pyramids of wooden blocks with candles on them.
Just as trees started with the ancient Romans, so did theб exchanging of gifts. The practice was popular around the winter solstice. After was declared the Roman empire s official religion by emperor (272 - 337 A. D. ), gift-giving took place around and Christmas. That tradition faded out, to be revived again to celebrate the feasts of, bishop of Myra (December 6), who gave gifts to poor children, and tenth-century Duke Wenceslas of Bohemia, who inspired the 1853 carol Good King Wenceslas. As spread throughout Germany and Scandinavia, the custom of giving Christmas gifts to family and friends went along with it. German immigrants to Canada and America brought their traditions of Christmas trees and gifts with them in the early 1800s. The biggest boost to Christmas trees came from the immensely popular British and her husband Albert of Saxony, a German prince. In 1841 they set up an elaborate Christmas tree for their children at Windsor Castle. A drawing of the event in the Illustrated London News circulated in the United States, where people enthusiastically imitated all things, Victorian. The popularity of Christmas trees took another leap forward after U. S. set up a wired Christmas tree in the White House in 1895. In 1903, the American Eveready Company produced the first screw-in Christmas tree lights that could run from a wall socket. Fifteen-year-old Albert Sadacca convinced his parents to start manufacturing Christmas lights in 1918, using bulbs from their business, which sold lighted wicker bird cages with artificial birds in them. When Sadacca painted the bulbs red and green the next year, business really took off, leading to the founding of the multi-million dollar NOMA Electric Company. for signing up. With the introduction of plastic after World War II, artificial Christmas trees came into fashion, effectively replacing real trees.
Although the trees are seen everywhere today, from stores to schools to government buildings, their religious significance has largely been lost. Some Christians still firmly oppose the practice of putting up Christmas trees, basing their belief on Jeremiah 10:1-16 and Isaiah 44:14-17, which warn believers not to make idols out of wood and bow down to them. However, these passages are misapplied in this case. Evangelist and author John MacArthur set the record straight: There is no connection between the worship of idols and the use of Christmas trees. We should not be anxious about baseless arguments against Christmas decorations. Rather, we should be focused on the Christ of Christmas and giving all diligence to remembering the real reason for the season. (Sources: ; ; ;. ) No household can really seem entirely festive at Christmastime without a beautifully decorated tree - and whichever type you choose, for many putting up a Christmas tree marks the true start of the festive season. But in case you have ever wondered where the tradition came from, when it took off in this country and why we even have Christmas trees at all, here's everything you need to know about the festive favourite. Which trees are used as Christmas trees, and why? Christmas trees are almost always evergreen conifers, notably fir, pine or spruce. Evergreen tree branches and boughs have been used to celebrate winter festivals for thousands of years - the fir in particular was used as its green tendrils would remind people of the return of growth in the fields at springtime. For the same reason, Romans used fir tree branches to decorate their homes and temples at the festival of Saturnalia.
It was also believed that evergreen boughs hung over windows and doorways would ward off evil spirits and illness. What's Britain's most popular variety of Christmas tree? Traditionally in Britain the Norway spruce was the most popular variety of tree, but its short, pointed needles are prone to dropping quickly, leaving the tree bare by the big day if not correctly cared for. As as result the flat-needled Nordmann fir and the the silver-hued Blue spruce have overtaken the Norway spruce in terms of UK sales, while the fragrant Fraser fir - which bears a similarity to the Norway spruce but holds its needles longer - is also increasing in popularity. When were Christmas trees first used? It's difficult to be certain when trees were first brought into homes specifically to celebrate Christmas, but the cities of Tallinn in Estonia and Riga in Latvia both claim the 'first' Christmas tree was planted in their town squares, danced around by locals and then set on fire; Tallinn says this first happened in 1441, Riga in 1510. A German picture from 1521 shows a tree being paraded through the streets with a man, possibly dressed as St Nicholas, riding a horse behind it. One story cites 16th century preacher Martin Luther as the first person to bring a tree into his home; the religious reformer apparently saw stars shining through the branches of a fir while he was out walking, which he said brought to mind Jesus leaving the stars of heaven to come to Earth at Christmas. When did Christmas trees start to be decorated? Decoration of trees around the winter festival also goes back to pagan times, but early Christmas trees would often have been decorated with edible treats. A letter from Germany in 1605 states: "At Christmas they set up fir trees in the parlours of Strasbourg and hang thereon roses cut out of many-colored paper, apples, wafers, gold foil, sweets, etc. ".
As time went on the apples were replaced with glass baubles and candles were added, though naturally these were mainly used in the most affluent homes. When did the Christmas tree tradition start in Britain? The Christmas tree tradition was adopted by central European nobility in the late 18th and early 19th centuries; in 1800, George III's German wife Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz introduced a Christmas tree at a party she gave for children. Queen Victoria, the King's neice, would thus have been familiar with the tradition, but it was her husband Prince Albert who popularised it in this country, reintroducing it into the royal home in 1841. Seven years later a drawing of 'the Queen's Christmas tree at Windsor Castle' was published in the Illustrated London News. The picture was instrumental in Christmas trees becoming popular in Britain and also in the United States when it was published there in 1850 - though they remained the preserve of the better-off in both countries. Widespread usage in hospitals and at public events made their popularity grow; by the 1920s they would be a common sight in the homes of all classes of Britons. Today, more than eight million trees a year are grown in this country for the Christmas market. Arguably Britain's most famous Christmas tree is the annual Norway spruce displayed in Trafalgar Square. The giant tree - typically more than 60 feet tall - is a gift from the Norwegian capital Oslo. It has been donated annually since 1947 to thank the people of Britain for their support during World War II. The tree is raised early each December and lit with 500 white lights on the first Thursday of the month.
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