The Origin of Christmas Tree Tradition

Everyone who is aware of the celebrations during Christmas season must have noticed that the Christmas tree is an integral part of the festivities. Though most of us spend the majority of our holiday break decorating the Christmas tree, we are not sure about its origin. The tradition of such a decoration started very early.

History of natural flora used for festivities:

The Egyptians have a reputation for being very closely associated with nature and natural resources. They treasured evergreens and filled their homes with palm leaves as a symbol of life’s triumph over death. Romans honoured their god of agriculture by celebrating a festival in his honour. They also celebrated this occasion by exchanging gifts and using lights for decoration. To them these evergreens were a sign of peace and harmony. In Great Britain, holly and mistletoe were symbolic of a perennial life.

The legends of Christmas tree origin:

Scandinavians used to place conifers and other trees indoors in the Middle Ages. These connoted hope and would also be placed outside the house in the time of spring. Saint Boniface, who played a major role in spreading Christianity in the western part of Europe, is said to have come across a bunch of pagans offering prayers to an oak tree. The saint, out of his fury, uprooted the tree only to discover a fir tree that sprung up from the oak tree’s roots. This is also believed to be one of the major adjuvant in the spread of Christianity in that region. The tradition of the Christmas tree came to the U.S. with the invasion of Hessian troopers or with German immigrants to the States.

The use of evergreens to embellish the interior is also linked with pagan ideologies. As evergreens can endure the chilly winter months, they represented eternal life, and transformed into objects of worship. The ancient Celts held that mistletoe had extraordinary magical powers and thus considered it godly. Another legend claims that Jesus Christ’s crown was actually made of holly leaves. This explains the importance of holly to the Christians, the subsequent tradition of Christmas wreaths and the evolution of Christmas tree customs.

The Christmas season is not only about the celebrations. A bit of history matters too. So this time when you beautify the Christmas tree, ensure that you do a check on the various legends that are the reason behind the celebrations. This will make the festivities even better.