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July 30, 2010

The origins of the Christmas tree and other holiday plants

THE ORIGINS OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE

WOULD YOU ADAM AND EVE IT

In the 11th century during advent short plays were performed called mysteries and these were very popular.

There was one in particular about paradise in which a tree was decorated with red apples to symbolize the tree of paradise this eventually led.to the 15th century practise of the faithful putting up small trees in their own houses on december 24, which was the feast day of Adam and Eve

THE ORIGINS OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE

BELIEVE IT OR NOT

Some people believe the origins of the Christmas tree lie in a kind of mystical symbolism. In fact a mixture of symbols showing us glimpses of what the creator has to offer.

Representing light and the movement of angels, the gifts of orchard and field, forest and sea, all capped off by the star that pointed to the end of the journey, the place of peace.

You may well think what a load of contrived tosh or you may not.

Or you may decide the truth of it is that the Christmas tree is as a result of the merging or fusion of Christian and pagan festivals namely Christmas and the winter solstice, saturnalia or mithras.

THE ORIGINS OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE

BY ROYAL APPOINTMENT

The first Christmas tree as we have come to know it, minus the light and tinsel, appeared in Alsace in arround 1521 and by the 18th century the custom was well established in Germany and Austria

It was then spread far and wide due to the Royal families and the aristocrats.

It was introduced into France by the princess Hlne de Mecklenburg who brought one to Paris in 1837 after her marriage to the duke of Orleans.

In 1841 it reached England when Prince Albert, a German, husband of Queen Victoria, set up a christmas tree at Windsor castle.

From then on the Christmas tree custom spread quickly through the middle class and then to working people.

Once the custom had firmly taken hold in England it quickly spread around the globe through the British Empire.

THE ORIGINS OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE

THE VICTORIAN WAY

For the Victorians, the ideal Christmas tree had to be six branches tall and it was placed on a table covered with a white damask tablecloth. The tree was then decorated with garlands, assorted candies and delicate paper flowers.

THE YULE LOG

The Yule log custom existed in most Europeans countries and dates back as far as the 12th century.

The custom happened on Christmas Eve when an enormous log of freshly cut wood predictably called the Yule log

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