Christmas Flower/Fauna The Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

The illuminated Christmas tree is one of the most cherished symbols of the Christmas festivities. Scotch pine, Douglas fir, Noble fir, Fraser fir, Virginia pine, Balsam fir and white pine are the common varieties that are used today. In the past, cherry and hawthorns trees were used.

The tradition of decorating the Christmas tree can be traced to the 7 th century AD. A monk went to Thuringia, Germany to preach the gospel and used the triangular shape of the fir Tree to describe the Holy Trinity of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The people who had embraced the new faith began to respect the Fir Tree as God's Tree. It is said that by 12th century the tree was being hung upside down as a symbol Christianity.

The city Riga in Latvia, in 1510 is credited with decorating the first Christmas tree. There is also 16 th century record of the visitor in Germany who noted that a tree decorated with wafers and golden sugar-twists (Barleysugar) and paper flowers of all colors. There was also use of tinsel in the decorations of the tree.

In England, the tradition of decorating the Christmas tree came from Germany. The concept became popular during the time of Queen Victoria. Initially, the decoration was done with small bead decorations, snowflakes, star, sewing little pouches, candles, and silver tinsel however gradually over decoration' became the usual norm. Anything that could possibly go into the tree as ornamentation was placed with much fervor and gaiety.

• The period also saw the popularization of the concept of the themed trees like a color theme ribbons or balls, the Oriental Tree and the Egyptian Tree.

• The German Hessian Soldiers introduced the tree to America. Here, the decoration of the tree here was influenced by the customs of England.
In Catholic Countries, the origin of the Christmas tree is usually traced from the mystery plays', which were popular in the middle ages. One of the plays was the Paradise Play'. The play revolved around the story of Adam and Eve, their sin and eventual banishment from the heaven. The Paradise Tree' laden with apples was the only prop used in the play. At the appropriate time, the Eve used to bite the fruit and give to Adam. Later the mystery plays were forbidden due to certain immoral practices, which had crept the system.

However, the people who had got used to the Paradise Tree started placing the tree in their homes on Dec. 24. According to the Eastern Church Tradition December 24 was the feast day of Adam and Eve. The Paradise tree represented both a tree of sin and a tree of life. The people decorated the tree with apples representing the fruit of sin and homemade wafers that represented the fruit of life. Later, candy and sweets were also used for decorating the tree.

The evergreen Christmas tree has always represented a celebration of the renewal of life at a time of death, darkness and cold at the winter.

Here in New England it's almost a standard memory for people going out to pick out their Christmas tree's with their family.

The cold air, the BEST tree, the ride home, the hot cocoa mom would make.....and dad under the Christmas tree quietly......swearing ;)
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