The Christmas tree is iconic throughout the world during the celebration of Christmas, but where does this tradition come from? When did people adopt this custom and how did it become so popular in almost every corner of the world? It seems that the habit of using evergreen trees and branches comes from ancient times, as they were used in various rituals. Tree worship was not uncommon among the pagan civilizations of Europe, which lived millennia ago. It seems that Scandinavians used to place trees for Christmas to invite birds to sing near their houses in this period and they used the branches of evergreen trees to decorate their houses and barns in the New Year as it was believed that chased away. bad spirits.
The Romans, Chinese, Egyptians, and Hebrews also had rituals with evergreen branches, which they believed symbolized eternal life. Modern Christmas trees are thought by many to stem from the Viking and Saxon habits of worshiping trees, during the winter rites before the rise of Christianity. The Germans also had such practices around the 8th century, as illustrated in the popular story of Saint Boniface, who cut down the Donar oak and planted an evergreen in the same spot later.
It is quite possible that the first modern Christmas tree appeared in early modern Germany, during the Renaissance period. Martin Luther is also believed to have added lighted candles to an evergreen tree in the 16th century, representing the first such tree decoration in history. Some think that the habit of using Christmas trees during Christmas may come from medieval plays, when Christmas Eve was considered to be the feast day of Adam and Eve, and the tree of paradise was represented by a tree. evergreen decorated with fruits. But because these works began to be banned in the 16th century, many people began to recreate the “trees of paradise” in their homes. They were decorated with round wafers, representative of the Eucharist, which later became cookie decorations, very common in Germany when decorating the Christmas tree.
Often near the Christmas tree, people used to install wooden pyramids where they placed candles, in some places one candle for each member of the family. Over time, the candles from these pyramids moved to the trees, so the first lighting ornaments may have appeared in this way. It took a while to associate Christmas trees with Christmas gifts. It is said that, in the Christian faith, the Magi brought gifts to the newborn Jesus, as a sign of gratitude. The first customers of the gift exchange existed since the time of the Romans, who used to do it during the winter solstice. But, because it was considered an Epiphany in the early days of Christianity, it was forbidden. The practice reappeared within families in Luther’s time, although the exchange of gifts was done in secret. But, when they began to associate with Saint Nicholas, exchanging gifts and placing gifts under the Christmas tree, the practice became increasingly popular.
While the Christmas tree does not come from a clearly defined point, it can be said that the tradition has existed for thousands of years. Beginning as a pagan ritual and later adopted by Christianity, Christmas trees have a long history from their natural origins from a simple branch to the highly ornate trees we know today.