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Where did the tradition of putting up a Christmas tree for Christmas and New Year come from: a history stretching back centuries

Julia PeschanskayaNews
Where did the tradition of putting up a Christmas tree for Christmas come from?

The main Christmas and New Year's tradition is to set up and decorate a Christmas tree. This is the main New Year's attribute that every home should have. But not everyone knows why the coniferous tree is considered a symbol of the New Year holidays.

The Snopes publication took a closer look at this issue. The history of Christmas tree decorating dates back to ancient times and has many different theories.

Pagan celebrations

Historians believe that the Christmas tree dates back to the period of paganism. It was during the winter solstice celebrations that mistletoe was used, although it is not a tree, but it shows the use of evergreens during religious ceremonies.

Boniface of Mainz

This religious figure, missionary, diplomat, who is also called the "apostle of all Germans". He preached Christianity in the Carolingian Empire, a European state that included the territories of modern France, Germany, Italy, and other European countries.

According to the study, Boniface encountered a group of pagans in Germany who worshiped a sacred tree called the Jupiter Oak. According to legend, after the saint cut down this tree, a small fir tree grew in its place.

Bonifatius explained that the tree with its evergreen branches symbolizes eternal love, and the triangular shape, reminiscent of the Holy Trinity, would be the best tree for worship.

The play "Paradise"

The third theory seems more plausible. In the mid-1800s, an Austrian linguist named Carl Julius Schroer recorded three plays in Slovakia. According to him, these plays were traditionally performed at Christmas. One of them, the play "Paradise," tells the story of Adam and Eve. It shows that when they were expelled from the Garden of Eden, they used a Christmas tree decorated with apples as a symbol of the forbidden fruit.

The Renaissance period

According to this theory, a guild of merchants traveling through Estonia and Latvia cut down a tree, decorated it, took it through the cities, and then set it on fire.

German Protestants

Historians have found evidence that it was during this period that Christmas trees were decorated with apples and cookies in one German-speaking region.

According to legend, Martin Luther himself introduced the Christmas tree decorations to symbolize the eternal goodness and love of God. But he introduced the tradition of decorating with candles to symbolize the star that led the three wise men to Jesus in Bethlehem.

It is likely that since then the Christmas tree has spread to other territories. Queen Charlotte, who was born in Germany and was the wife of King George III of England, brought the tree to Great Britain, where it was further popularized by Queen Victoria.

So, scientists have not found an exact answer to when the tradition of decorating the Christmas tree appeared. But they note that the tree most likely originated in Germany.

Earlier OBOZ.UA told where not to put a Christmas tree in the apartment.

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