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    How Did the Tradition of Christmas Trees Start?

    And how are toilet bowl brushes involved in the custom?

    How Did the Tradition of Christmas Trees Start?

    By Amy Tikkanen Last Updated: Dec 2, 2022

    © Liliboas—iStock.com/Getty Images

    Christmas has numerous traditions, of which perhaps none is more popular than a decorated tree. Whether real or artificial, Christmas trees are synonymous with the holiday. But how did trees become part of Christmas?

    Trees have been used in rituals and as decorations since ancient times, thus making the source of the modern Christmas tree open to debate. However, many believe that it originated in Germany. It is claimed that in Germany about 723 the English missionary St. Boniface encountered pagans preparing a sacrifice at an oak tree dedicated to the god Thor (Donar). Boniface took an ax to the tree, and, when not struck down by their god, he proclaimed to the awed pagans that a nearby evergreen was their “holy tree.” Other sources report that a fir grew on the site of the fallen oak.

    Whether that tale is true or not, evergreen trees became part of Christian rites in Germany, and in the Middle Ages “paradise trees” began to appear there. Meant to represent the Garden of Eden, these evergreen trees were hung with apples and displayed in homes on December 24, the religious feast day of Adam and Eve. Other decorations were added—Martin Luther reportedly first hung lighted candles on a tree in the 16th century—and paradise trees evolved into Christmas trees. By the 19th century, Christmas trees were a firmly established tradition in Germany.

    As Germans migrated, they took Christmas trees to other countries, notably England. There, in the 1790s, Charlotte, the German-born wife of King George III, had trees decorated for the holiday. However, it was a German-born prince, Albert, and his wife, Britain’s Queen Victoria, who popularized the tradition among the British. The couple made Christmas trees a prominent part of the holiday’s festivities, and in 1848 an illustration of the royal family around a decorated tree appeared in a London newspaper. Christmas trees soon became common in English homes.

    German settlers also introduced Christmas trees in the United States, though the custom was not initially embraced. Many Puritans opposed the holiday because of its pagan roots, and officials of the Massachusetts Bay Colony actually outlawed celebrating Christmas. Their dislike of the holiday was such that they even closed their churches on December 25. It wasn’t until the 1820s that Christmas began gaining popularity in America, and the country’s first Christmas tree reportedly was displayed in the 1830s. The Christmas tree’s popularity spread with the help of the influential magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book, which in 1850 published the 1848 illustration of the British royals, though the depiction of the family was altered to appear American. This and other efforts helped make Christmas trees popular in the United States by the 1870s.

    Christmas trees spread around the world, but the tradition began to have a detrimental impact on forests, especially in Germany. As a result, Germans began making artificial goose-feather trees in the 1880s. These trees found their way to different countries, and over time the goose feathers were replaced by other materials. A notable development occurred in the 1930s, when a manufacturer of toilet bowl brushes allegedly used surplus product to create an artificial tree. These bristle trees gained in popularity but were later supplanted by aluminum and then plastic versions. In the United States, 84 percent of Christmas trees displayed by households in 2021 were artificial, according to data from the American Christmas Tree Association, while 16 percent were live.

    स्रोत : www.britannica.com

    which country started the tradition of putting up a christmas tree

    which country started the tradition of putting up a christmas tree Christmas

    which country started the tradition of putting up a christmas tree

    Author December 20, 2022

    which country started the tradition of putting up a christmas tree ?First assumption

    The tradition of putting up a Christmas tree dates back to the 16th century in Germany. According to legend, the Protestant reformer Martin Luther is credited with starting the tradition of decorating Christmas trees. It is said that one winter evening, while walking home through the woods, he was awestruck by the beauty of the stars shining through the branches of the trees. To capture the beauty of the moment, he set up a small tree in his home and decorated it with candles to mimic the twinkling stars.

    The tradition of putting up a Christmas tree quickly spread throughout Germany and other parts of Europe, and it eventually made its way to the United States. Today, the Christmas tree is a popular holiday decoration in many countries around the world.

    Second assumption

    Prince Albert of Germany married Queen Victoria of England in 1841 and brought the Christmas tree tradition with him to England.

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    स्रोत : www.sarkarilibrary.in

    History of Christmas Trees

    The history of Christmas trees goes back to the symbolic use of evergreens in ancient Egypt and Rome and continues with the German tradition of candlelit Christmas trees first brought to America in the 1800s.

    History of Christmas Trees

    HISTORY.COM EDITORSUPDATED:DEC 8, 2021ORIGINAL:OCT 27, 2009

    Ricardo Reitmeyer/Getty Images

    CONTENTS

    How Did Christmas Trees Start?

    Christmas Trees From Germany

    Who Brought Christmas Trees to America?

    Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

    Christmas Trees Around the World

    Christmas Tree Trivia and Facts

    The history of Christmas trees goes back to the symbolic use of evergreens in ancient Egypt and Rome and continues with the German tradition of candlelit Christmas trees first brought to America in the 1800s. Discover the history of the Christmas tree, from the earliest winter solstice celebrations to Queen Victoria’s decorating habits and the annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center tree in New York City.

    Watch Christmas documentaries on HISTORY Vault

    How Did Christmas Trees Start?

    Long before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year had a special meaning for people in the winter. Just as people today decorate their homes during the festive season with pine, spruce, and fir trees, ancient peoples hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows. In many countries it was believed that evergreens would keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness.

    Did you know? Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states including Hawaii and Alaska.

    In the Northern hemisphere, the shortest day and longest night of the year falls on December 21 or December 22 and is called the winter solstice. Many ancient people believed that the sun was a god and that winter came every year because the sun god had become sick and weak. They celebrated the solstice because it meant that at last the sun god would begin to get well. Evergreen boughs reminded them of all the green plants that would grow again when the sun god was strong and summer would return.

    The ancient Egyptians worshipped a god called Ra, who had the head of a hawk and wore the sun as a blazing disk in his crown. At the solstice, when Ra began to recover from his illness, the Egyptians filled their homes with green palm rushes, which symbolized for them the triumph of life over death.

    Early Romans marked the solstice with a feast called Saturnalia in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture. The Romans knew that the solstice meant that soon, farms and orchards would be green and fruitful. To mark the occasion, they decorated their homes and temples with evergreen boughs.

    In Northern Europe the mysterious Druids, the priests of the ancient Celts, also decorated their temples with evergreen boughs as a symbol of everlasting life. The fierce Vikings in Scandinavia thought that evergreens were the special plant of the sun god, Balder.

    Christmas Trees From Germany

    Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as we now know it in the 16th century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. Some built Christmas pyramids of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles if wood was scarce. It is a widely held belief that Martin Luther, the 16th-century Protestant reformer, first added lighted candles to a tree. Walking toward his home one winter evening, composing a sermon, he was awed by the brilliance of stars twinkling amidst evergreens. To recapture the scene for his family, he erected a tree in the main room and wired its branches with lighted candles.

    Who Brought Christmas Trees to America?

    Most 19th-century Americans found Christmas trees an oddity. The first record of one being on display was in the 1830s by the German settlers of Pennsylvania, although trees had been a tradition in many German homes much earlier. The Pennsylvania German settlements had community trees as early as 1747. But, as late as the 1840s Christmas trees were seen as pagan symbols and not accepted by most Americans.

    It is not surprising that, like many other festive Christmas customs, the tree was adopted so late in America. To the New England Puritans, Christmas was sacred. The pilgrims’s second governor, William Bradford, wrote that he tried hard to stamp out “pagan mockery” of the observance, penalizing any frivolity. The influential Oliver Cromwell preached against “the heathen traditions” of Christmas carols, decorated trees, and any joyful expression that desecrated “that sacred event.” In 1659, the General Court of Massachusetts enacted a law making any observance of December 25 (other than a church service) a penal offense; people were fined for hanging decorations. That stern solemnity continued until the 19th century, when the influx of German and Irish immigrants undermined the Puritan legacy.

    An illustration from a December 1848 edition of the Illustrated London News shows Queen Victoria and her family surrounding a Christmas tree.

    Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

    In 1846, the popular royals, Queen Victoria and her German Prince, Albert, were sketched in the Illustrated London News standing with their children around a Christmas tree. Unlike the previous royal family, Victoria was very popular with her subjects, and what was done at court immediately became fashionable—not only in Britain, but with fashion-conscious East Coast American Society. The Christmas tree had arrived.

    स्रोत : www.history.com

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