It is possible that you don’t realize it, that the origins of Christmas trees didn’t start with America, England or even Germany. Actually, America was among the continents that was last to catch in the practice of decorating Christmas trees. The story of Christmas tree decorations goes back centuries before the advent of Christ as well as before Egyptian civilisations.
A lot of anthropologists and historians are of the opinion that the origins of Christmas trees began in the post-primeval period, when agriculture was advancing across the world. Christmas was not a thing. It was just, within one religion or the other it was a pagan holiday that celebrated the solstice of winter. Winter solstice is one of the longest days of the year, which typically falls on the 22nd or 23rd day of December. Evergreen tree branches were brought in to guard people from bad spirits which could lead to hunger and sickness.
The ancient people also scattered evergreen trees on the floors, on doors and even around windows. Actually, the custom of hanging a garland made of evergreen originates from the custom of putting evergreens in the mantelpiece in order to prevent ghosts, spirits and witches from descending across the chimney, and eventually into the dwelling.
The evergreens also served for preventing diseases. Aromas like balsam, pine and juniper remain popular with aromatherapists today to combat illnesses and depression in winter.
The old Egyptians believed to have played part in the story of Christmas trees. Naturally, there weren’t evergreen forests in early Egypt however during the winter solstice period they would decorate their homes with palm bushes to shield themselves from the evil and to celebrate the coming of the sun god Ra.
European and Mediterranean culture also share a few moments in the lengthy tale that makes up the long history of christmas trees. At the time of the solstice, also called Saturnalia the Romans were able to decorate their houses with evergreen branches. The purpose was to honor the God Saturn who’s domain was agriculture. Further to the north, Celtic Druids grew evergreens in the darkest time of the year in order to represent immortality. The trees weren’t decorated like we do today. They weren’t much as attractive than the famed Charlie brown Christmas tree. The reason for this is that the purpose of these evergreen trees were more defensive than festive.
In the 12th century, the indoor trees began to be brought in. It is not clear why, but the first Christmas trees were hanged on the ceilings upside down during Christmas time. It was an extremely popular tradition throughout Central Europe. The tree with the upside was often regarded to symbolize Christianity and also a pagan symbol. The time was when Christianity wasn’t widely spread and the tree might be a reference to pagan as well as Christian practices.
The majority of people believe that the origins of the christmas tree is now known started in Germany around the 16th century. Many people are unaware that the tree wasn’t transported inside, and in reality, the very first christmas tree was actually a structure made from wood. The German inside pyramids were decorated with candles and boughs. The majority of the time, jars of pickles were hung upon the stairs. The pyramid-shaped shape is not directly derived from an ancient Egypt however the triangular form was believed to be a symbol of the three facets in the Holy Trinity which is Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.
The man who is credited with bringing lit candles to an actual trees is Martin Luther – a German Reformer of the Protestant faith who lived during the early 1600s. Legend has it that Luther got the idea due to the view of stars of the night sky glinting through the branches of an evergreen as walking.
The next major advancement during the development of eco friendly christmas tree was tinsel. It was first invented in Germany in 1610 or so. In the 1610s, tinsel was made of pure silver. It was prone to tarnish because of the smoke of the Christmas tree’s candles. The use of silver for tinsel from the beginning of the 20th century until around mid-20th century, when it was replaced with aluminum.
Christmas trees’ history wasn’t widely known in America up to the mid-1840s. The trees were often presented as interesting objects in travelling sideshows. Christmas tree decoration was considered to be sacrilegious during the majority in the 17th and 18th century. The practice was viewed as an insult to the sober celebration of Christ’s birth Christ. Actually, in 1659 individuals were punished for hanging ornaments. The law remained in force until the nineteenth century, when the custom began to be accepted as a regular practice thanks to German and Irish migrants to in the United States. This practice also became more accepted by the time the Queen Victoria chose to create the right-side-up the floor-to-ceiling christmas tree a part of her décor in 1846.
A major difference between European practices as well as American customs was the fact that Europeans preferred to decorate their tree by putting food items, cookies and candy (and some even pickedles!) While Americans were more a fan of extravagant decorations. Additionally, European tree decorations tend to be smaller (three or four feet high) and Americans preferred taller trees. Americans prefer their Christmas trees to be atop the sky. Both traditions however loved decorating their Christmas trees by adorning them with popcorns as well as electric light bulbs.
The 1950s in America witnessed the emergence of first synthetic Christmas trees. The event was celebrated with Charles M. Schulz famous tale of his Charlie christmas tree in brown. In the fable Charlie Brown is told by Linus, Lucy and Shroeder to search for the largest and most glamorous aluminum tree for the centerpiece to stage a Christmas show. However, Brown is in deep love with the ugliest tree and discovers the real meaning behind Christmas. It is possible to purchase a copy that is similar to this kind of tree that is known as”the “pathetic charlie brown christmas tree” on the internet. As in the original animated cartoon, the tree features only one Christmas ball red ornament that is hung on one bare branch.
Arguments over which is more superior the fake Christmas tree or an actual christmas tree continues to rage on in the present. One of the most significant developments within the past of the Christmas tree is that of the reemergence to the upside down Christmas tree. It is disapproved by the Catholic church in the same way it was during the 16th century. If this pattern continues to repeat itself, the next pattern we’ll be seeing with xmas trees will be the old wood pyramids which were used for artificial trees back in the time of pagan.