Why Do We Have a Christmas Tree?
Let's face it, Christmas is about tradition. But why should we have a Christmas tree and decorate it with baubles and other decorations?
We love that we do some small things every year to help us get into the Christmas spirit, such as showing up to the local Christmas tree farm to pick up our tree (although you can rent the Christmas tree if you want, or visit our favorite Christmas market— —But do you know where all your favorite traditions come from?
Whether it's a Christmas tree, tinsel or turkey, here is how we celebrate Christmas. Some of them will surprise you!
Every year we hang a Christmas tree. This is because evergreen firs have been used to celebrate winter festivals for thousands of years. They were originally used by pagans who used branches to decorate their homes in winter to celebrate the arrival of spring.
The traditional Christmas tree as we know it became popular because of a man named Martin Luther. According to this story, a 16th-century missionary was walking in the forest and saw the stars twinkling among the branches. He was inspired and took a tree home.
This tradition was particularly popular during the Victorian period in England, when Prince Albert brought Christmas trees into his home to decorate them every year. However, the royal tradition originated in Germany, where the prince was born, and was first introduced to the United Kingdom during the reign of King George III.
George III has a German wife named Charlotte. She is said to have decorated a Christmas tree for her family in the 1790s. This tradition was continued by the royal family and became popular with Prince Albert and Queen Victoria.
Since then, the fir tree has become an iconic symbol of Christmas. During the holiday season, people can see it in public places, town centers and homes.
Why should we hang tinsel on the Christmas tree?
Martin Luther also started the tradition of decorating the Christmas tree. He put the candle on the tree he took away to make it look like the stars are twinkling. In 1895, Ralph Morris invented the electric light as a simpler (and safer!) alternative.
Christmas decorations first originated in Germany. On Christmas Eve, in order to celebrate the miracle drama staged outside the church, people decorated the "paradise tree" with red apples. These quickly became the gadgets we know and use today.
Christmas tree decoration became a fashion in Britain during the reign of Queen Victoria in 1848, when a photo of royal family members posing next to a large tree decorated with beautiful ornaments was published.
As for tinsel, it was invented in Germany in the early 17th century and was originally made of silver bars and other metals. Before being associated with the Christmas tree, it was used to decorate sculptures, so it is always used to add a little sparkle to our holiday decorations.
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