Traditions are meant to be held on to, but unfortunately, during the holidays it is all too easy to forget where they came from or why they are even celebrated in the first place.
Every year people all over the globe put up a Christmas tree to celebrate the joy of the holiday season. The Christmas tree custom began in Germany tracing back to the 15th century. Devout Christians would bring decorated beautiful evergreen trees inside to share with their families. The St. George’s Church in Selestats began the tradition in 1521. The Christmas tree didn’t become popular elsewhere until the middle of the 19th century.
Early Christmas tree decorations were quite different than they are today. Christmas trees were decorated with apples, oranges and assorted nuts making them taste as good as they looked.
The Encyclopedia Britannica writes, “”The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands to symbolize eternal life was a custom of the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews. Tree worship was common among the pagan Europeans and survived their conversion to Christianity in the Scandinavian customs of decorating the house and barn with evergreens at the New Year to scare away the devil and of setting up a tree for the birds during Christmastime.”
In Great Britain, the Druids used evergreens to perform sacred winter solstice rituals. These wood priests also used mistletoe and holly. These were symbols of eternal life. Evergreen branches were placed over the doorways to ward off evil spirits.
During the Middle Ages, the Scandinavians and the Germans would place evergreens just outside the door or inside to show hope of a fruitful spring. Today’s modern Christmas trees and other decor come from these earlier traditions.
According to legend, Martin Luther started the tree decorating tradition on Christmas Eve around 1500. As he walked through the woods that were covered in snow, he was awestruck at the beauty of a small group of evergreens. The branches lightly shimmering under the light of the moon made him so excited that when he returned to his home he set up his own fir tree in order to share his story with his family. He decorated his, “Christmas tree,” with candles, which he lit in honor of Christ’s birth.
This Christmas celebrate the older traditions or create some new ones with the help of SOUTHWEST SUNSHINE.