Christmas Tree
A beautifully decorated Christmas tree reminds us about the wonderful enjoyment that we all had as a child during Christmas season. Christmas trees set a nice and colorful theme for the celebration. Outdoors, the display of lights on a tree, especially with snow reflecting on it makes the Christmas celebration even more joyful. And the festive season doesn’t even seem complete without a nicely decorated Christmas tree be it indoors or outdoors. Christmas tree is the most glorious and the best symbol of the Christmas season.

Origin and History of Christmas Tree:

The Christmas tree is supposed to originate from early medieval religious plays, "the Paradise Plays," performed in churches and town squares of Europe. These plays narrated the story of the human kind from the creation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Paradise till the Birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem.  A great tree hung with apples used to be shown to symbolize the Garden of Paradise. This trend of putting the decorated tree caught on with the masses soon and people began the custom of putting a paradise tree with presents and candles in their houses in the Christmas.

The modern day Christmas tree tradition dates back to mid 16th century in the Western Germany. These trees were named “Paradeisbaum" (paradise trees) and were put up in houses to celebrate the annual Feast of Adam and Eve on 24th December.

Researchers say that they were first brought to America by German immigrants in 17th century. By mid 18th century they became extremely popular in U.S.

Some people believe that the evergreen fir tree has been used to celebrate winter festivals (pagan and Christian) for thousands of years. Pagans used branches of it to decorate their homes during the winter solstice, as it reminded them of the spring season to come. The Nordic pagans and the Celtic Druids revered the evergreen tree as a sign of everlasting life and hope for the return of spring. They believed that, the evergreen trees remained alive continually even when other plants and trees died; which is why, they were revered as manifestation of deity.

The conical shape of Christmas tree represents the number three, symbolizing the three attributes of God – will, love and intelligence.

There is one more interesting belief:  St. Boniface in a German town cut down the oak tree of Thor to disprove the legitimacy of the Norse gods. In the roots of the stump, St. Boniface saw a fir sapling. Taking this as a symbol of faith he started the tradition of using the fir as a symbol for Christianity.

Researchers believe the Christmas tree tradition was introduced long before the Germans, St. Boniface and Martin Luther. There are many other theories about the origin and history and symbolism of the Christmas tree. Researchers have failed to pinpoint a single one.

Significance of Christmas Tree:

Today most Christians put up a Christmas tree in their home during the Christmas season. Decorating a Christmas tree varies from culture to culture. Many families spend a lot of time and money to make sure the Christmas tree decorations are as beautiful as possible .Some People prefer placing ornaments and gifts given to them by their ancestors on the Christmas tree. People all over the world follow their own special traditions for cutting and decorating the tree.

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