The Christmas Tree Tradition
|The specific origin of the Christmas tree
is lost in the dim and distant past. It may have started when pre-Christian
rituals involving evergreen boughs were merged with Christian celebrations
It seems to be generally recognised that the people who lived in
what is now Germany were the first to develop the tradition of the
One tradition is that about 1000 years ago, in Germany, St Boniface
came across a group of pagans worshipping under an oak tree. He
was so annoyed that he cut down the tree. To his suprise he found
that a fir tree grew in its place and the fir was thereafter associated
with the primacy of the Christian faith.
Martin Luther is credited with first placing
candles on the Christmas tree. After being banished from
the Catholic church he spent a great deal of time walking through
the forests of evergreen conifers thinking through his beliefs.
The candles are said to have represented the stars which he saw
through the trees.
The custom of a decorated Christmas tree appears
to have started in Britain in the early middle nineteenth century.
Albert, the Prince Consort to Queen Victoria, brought the tradition
from his homeland of Saxe Coburg which is now part of Germany. The
example set by royalty became a general fashion. For in-depth information
on Christmas visit the
Christmas Archives website.