Christmas is never complete without a Christmas tree. Even in movies, Christmas trees are so special that decorating them involves all the members of the family. Over the years, the display and decorating of Christmas trees have been practiced around the globe. The trees used can be natural ones or synthetic. Whatever the material used, the sight of Christmas trees will bring the spirit of the holiday season as well as a nostalgic atmosphere.
A brief history of Christmas trees
In the past, evergreen fir trees have been used to celebrate winter festivals of both the pagans and the Christians. The branches of the tree have been used by the pagans to decorate their homes during the winter solstice. On the other hand, Christians used the tree as a sign of everlasting life with God. the Romans, likewise decorated their temples with evergreen trees during the festival of Saturnalia.
However, up to these days, the evolution of evergreen trees to Christmas trees is not yet that clear. It was assumed that it started a thousand years ago in Northern Europe wherein cherry or hawthorn plants were used. Some people, though, find it expensive to decorate their homes with trees. They then resolved in making pyramids of wood and decorate them with paper, apples, and candles.
The first known Christmas tree that was displayed in public was in 1510 in Riga, Latvia. This was erected by men with black hats, danced around it, and then set it on fire. From Germany, Christmas trees were brought and spread to the United Kingdom by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Prince Albert recalled that during his childhood, he celebrated Christmas with a tree. Eventually, he shared this tradition with his wife and in 1848, the London News published the couple with a decorated tree. This image became common and one of the favorites of the people in Great Britain.
Christmas trees around the globe
Though Christmas is celebrated differently from around the world, Christmas trees are probably one of the most common views seen.
- In Rio De Janeiro, a 279-foot Christmas tree is seen floating at the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon. The tree was likewise surrounded by fireworks during the launch in November 2004.
- One of the world’s most recognized Christmas trees has been displayed at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan since 1930. 45, 000 lights are turned on each year and are usually accompanied by live concerts.
- In the United Kingdom, Christmas is viewed as a time of gratitude. This led to a Christmas tree being displayed in London’s Trafalgar Square. This has been a traditional annual gift of the people of Norway since 1947 as gratitude to England during their help in World War 2.
- In France, the people prefer Christmas trees to be more traditional in appearance such as the one displayed in posh Galeries Lafayette Department Store.
- A Christmas tree made of Lego bricks can also be found in London, UK.
- A Christmas tree that stands at 82-feet can be seen outside the window of the Pope’s room in Vatican City. This tree is a gift from the German state of Bavaria.
- Since the term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, every American president has officiated the lighting ceremony of the National Christmas Tree in Washington DC.