Ever Wondered About the Christmas Tree Tradition?

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Composite image by Anderson Graphics

Dylan Fairooz, Staff Reporter

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and Christmas is on its way. The tinsel has been hung and now it’s time to put up the Christmas tree.  Some families wait until the night before to decorate the tree, some use artificial trees [which might be better for the environment, even if they are made largely from petroleum products – Ed.], and some people even plant and grow their own.

Have you ever wondered why those in Western European and American cultures put up a Christmas tree and where this worldwide tradition comes from?

The vikings from Scandinavia thought that the evergreen trees were a special plant from the sun god and later pagans looked at them as it being of sign of spring to come. But as time went on the Germans started the actual “Christmas tree” tradition  that we all know and and love.

The German preacher Martin Luther, the guy who started the Protestant Reformation, told the German people that he was walking in the woods on the night before Christmas and looked up and he saw the stars shining through the trees. This reminded him of Jesus.

Christians began harvesting the evergreen trees and bringing them into their houses decorating them with  apples covered in gold. They used apples because of the the Bible story of Adam and Eve.

The trees became extremely popular when Queen Victoria’s husband put one up in the Windsor Castle.  Early versions had actual candles or small lanterns as lights.

Entering into the 19th century, many Germans immigrated to different places of the world. As a result these wonderfully decorated trees that we are accustomed to were added into our culture.

As time progressed society began adding on the lights, the glass ornaments and everyone’s favorite part, the famous star topper, or in some places, a Christmas angel.