Christmas Tree – Origin and Pictures
Thought I’ll write on the Christmas tree decorations as a follow up to yesterday’s post. It is not commonly seen in Indian homes, but is extremely popular in countries with a more temperate climate. I am guessing mostly US, Canada and Europe although I have been told it is popular in Taiwan as well.
The tree is set up within the house a few days before 25th and is kept inside until first week of January. It is decorated with lights and trinkets to give a very colourful feeling to the scene. Usually, the presents received at the time are placed beneath the tree to give it an extra touch. We used to place the greeting cards we used to get on it. Even that gave off a good show effect. A star is placed right on top as can be seen in the picture above.
The custom itself does not have an indisputably clear origin, unlike for that of Christmas cribs. There appear to be some evidence in favour of a person called Boniface to have started the custom. But at that time it was not connected in a specific way with Christmas season. Martin Luther also appear to have influenced the way in which the tree was set up in homes.
Mass adoption of the tree as an interior decoration at Christmas time appear to have gained popularity around the 16th century. There are clear accounts of some trees being set up in cathedrals of the time. It seems to have become popular in Germany to start with and spread slowly outward. For instance, Britain did not adopt it until the 19th century.
I must say that this sort of decoration has parallels with other festivals I have seen celebrated in India. In that festival also, people celebrate by using a tree (not the evergreen fir tree though) which is adorned with decoration and baubles. Will write about that some time in January.
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