Christmas season is finally here and we just can’t stay calm! Our favorite time of the year brings with it our dear Santa with loads of presents, lots of gingerbread cookies, those tasty candies and chocolates. Most of all, Christmas is all about festivity and the celebration of joy together. It brings in new hopes for the coming year and leaves us waiting for jollification to start again. Did I forget to mention something? Oh yes, the Christmas Tree! It is almost impossible to imagine Christmas holiday without the Tree, isn’t it? Well, let us now take a look at the history of the Christmas Tree.
We all know that evergreen trees (Pine, Spruce, Fir, etc.) are those trees that do not shed their leaves and remain green throughout the year. These trees were considered sacred in the ancient time as they symbolized life round the year. Their branches were considered to be sacred and it was believed that they put evil forces at bay. Ancient Romans used evergreen boughs to decorate their doors and windows during days near the winter solstice (22nd December). As Christianity spread across the continent of Europe, this tradition got assimilated into the religion.
Germany is known to be the first country to start the culture of setting up Christmas trees in the seventeenth century when people took home evergreen trees and decorated them with ornaments, candles, and eatables. Earlier, the trees were adorned with apples, representing the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eve, and nuts and other sugar treats followed.
In England, the tradition of Christmas trees started with Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert, a citizen of Saxony, in the present day Germany. People started to imitate the ritual due to the influence the Queen had on them. While immigrants from Germany brought this into Britain as early as in the early 1800s, it was seen as a foreign tradition for a long time. It only became popular in 1841, when Victoria encouraged Albert to set up a tree like he did in his childhood. They decorated the tree with sweets, candles, and ornaments.
After the invention of electricity, candles were replaced with light bulbs. Thomas Edison’s assistant, Edward Johnson, came up with the idea of electric lights for Christmas trees in 1882.
In 2004, Pope John Paul called the Christmas tree a symbol of Christ. The number of harvested Christmas trees sold in the United States each year is a whopping 34,500,000.
The Christmas Tree continues to be synonymous with the festival till date and keeps shining bright to inspire us. Let us fill ourselves with merriment and joy and celebrate our favorite time of the year in high spirits. Merry Christmas!