Origins of the Christmas tree

Every year, while out Christmas shopping, Christian families are ensured to purchase a fine looking pine, in order to be displayed in the living hall. The price is usually depending on the quality of the leaves and size but one might wonder about the origins of the Christmas tree, and its notable significance for the event.

Certain sources claim that the festival is actually a pagan worship ritual, dating back to pre-Christian era in England. These pagans would cut down pines and bring it back to their homes to garner them with sequins and ornaments.

The star or sometimes referred to the angel on the top symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem which is taken from the Nativity tale or as angels from heaven. In the U.S. early Christian criticized the placing of the Christmas tree in churches as it had paganism roots attached to the practice. From another source, it is believed that Saint Boniface had chopped down the Oak of Thor, and persuaded the newly-converted Christians that it is the representation of Christ. Christian began to place coniferous plants in their home during this time of the year in order to commemorate Christ’s birth.

Not only that, each family would work together and decorate it with apples, pretzels, nuts, artificial flowers and candy. There are also stories about how some families would acquire apples and cheese to be hung on the branches, so that occupants could consume them after the holiday ends.

In Britain, around 1832, Queen Victoria helped familiarize the custom of setting up a Christmas tree on the eve of the holiday and soon many followed suit.  However the Germans were the first Europeans to officially adopt this culture as they have done with the Germanic Yuletide. A German immigrant to Boston who worked as an accountant there initiated the custom and another German man from Ohio started the decoration of candy canes on the fir.

Related Posts