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"Oh Christmas Tree”: The History of the Holiday Tree"
How Did The Christmas Tree Tradition Start?
In ancient times, trees that stayed green all year had a special meaning for people in the winter. Just as people today decorate their homes during the Holidays with pine, spruce, and fir trees, ancient people hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows. In many countries, people believed that evergreens would ward off witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness.
Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as we now know it. Beginning in the 16th century, devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. It is a widely held belief that Martin Luther, the 16th-century Protestant reformer, first added lighted candles to a tree. Walking toward his home one winter evening, composing a sermon, he was awed by the brilliance of stars twinkling amidst evergreens. To recapture the scene for his family, he erected a tree in the main room and wired its branches with lighted candles.
Who Brought Christmas Trees to America?
The first record of a Christmas Tree being on display was in the 1830s by the German settlers of Pennsylvania, although trees had been a tradition in many German homes much earlier. The Pennsylvania German settlements had community trees as early as ... more
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