A vintage Christmas illustration of Father Christmas with a bag of gifts circa 1890
06-16-2016

Origins of the Christmas Tree

When it comes to talking about the history of Christmas it would not be complete without mentioning the history of the Christmas tree. This is one of the most well-known symbols of Christmas time. People who celebrate Christmas will put up a real or fake fir tree in their home during the Christmas period and cover it in decorations and bright lights.

Even before Christmas was first celebrated in countries around the world trees and plants that remained green throughout the various seasons of the year were held in high regard. Many people would hang branches of fir trees over their doors for good luck as they were a symbol of strength and the returning of the spring time.

All over the world various nations including the Egyptians and early Romans would use evergreen trees as decorations and as a sign of good fortune. This meant that trees such as the fir tree were already deeply rooted in the traditions and the subconscious of people in many areas of the world even before they became used in Christmas traditions.

The Tree As The Trinity

The first Christmas tree is mentioned back in the seventh century when St Boniface, a monk, travelled to Germany to spread the world of Christianity. He spent a lot of his time in Thuringia, which then went on to become the centre of the Christmas decorations industry. During his time in Germany, St Boniface used the fir tree to depict the Holy Trinity to the people he was trying to convert.

As the fir tree is triangular in shape he used the three points to describe the Father (God), the Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit. By using such a strong symbol to represent the Trinity, St Boniface was able to convert many people in the area to regard the fir tree as a holy tree. From then on fir trees were traditionally hung upside down from the ceilings of homes at Christmas time to represent Christianity. Starting in the 16th century they were adorned by decorations.

History of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

The Rockefeller center Christmas tree is probably one of the most iconic Christmas trees in the world and it is situated at the Rockefeller center in New York City. The tree was first put up in the depression era in 1931 and it was placed there by construction workers. Two years after the first tree was erected another Christmas tree was placed in the same spot and people came forward to decorate the tree.

Today the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is a major attraction at Christmas time and will hold over 25,000 twinkling Christmas lights. People who flock to New York during the Christmas season love to take photographs of their families standing by this amazing symbol of Christmas.

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