Saturday, 3 November 2012

The History of the Christmas Tree

This is a very hard thing to trace back not just against decades but centuries. We can go as far back as Pagans and at least to the 7th Century. The real documented or so believed story is that it was started by or indeed invented by St Boniface, who we don't know if he had the status of a saint at this time or like others became a saint once he had died.

It is said that St Boniface used a triangular shaped fir off a pine tree to symbolise the triangle of faith as in the father, son and holy ghost and that believers and non believers of faith started to worship the fir as they saw this as a religious symbol of faith. There is another story that a fir was symbolised as Jesus after St Boniface chopped down a Pagan tree and a Fir root was left at the base..

I prefer the less aggressive story of a fir being symbolised rather than an axed Saint chopping down a tree in anger..

There is also evidence that in 1510 in Latvia Christmas trees as we know today were decorated and then burnt at new year to celebrate the new year. This again is a great story however the most undramatic probability is that Pagans used to celebrate in mystery ceremonies
"Druid priests in Great Britain also used the evergreen plants and mistletoe in pagan ceremonies and the mistletoe plant was the symbol of the Birth of God. Celtic druids and Norseman of Scandinavia also used the mistletoe in mysterious ceremonies just after the winter solstice!"
      So here we can see how evergreens plants were used around the solstice and the end of December  This is really the more likely reason how we moves to the evergreen tree and as we all know we still use mistletoe today at Christmas...

The modern Christmas tree as records show was really making its mark in the mid to late 1500's in Germany and cathedrals across Germany as the trend started to spread. Cathedral records show how the tree was decorated usually with fruits and nuts and this was given to the children on the 25th December Christmas day.

Nothing really happened in Europe with regards the tree until German immigrants stated to migrate across the world. In the mid 1700's the trees were appearing all over Europe and the world even in the USA. The biggest suggestion came in the early 1800's when the Roman Catholic church recognised the symbolisation and faith suggestions and this was now in Europe becoming the norm.

It then became more related to the Christmas story and i get the feeling at this time someone looked back in History and did their research and found how the tree fitted into society and brought the story to their modern times. Predominately keeping the original pagan beliefs.

So to summaries on the story of the Christmas tree it is basically pagan funder mental beliefs that have watered down through centuries been adapted to a more modern belief and used by the largest church in Europe to tell the story. The modern way of thinking really became from pagan beliefs and German design. It is a really interesting concept of how we have used century old beliefs in modern times.

CLICK HERE -  to see how it came to the UK 

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