Christmas is unimaginable without Christmas trees. Every year on the eve of Christmas, the evergreen Fir Christmas tree is decorated by all those who celebrates Christmas. Even for those folks whose religious festival is not Christmas, celebrates it. There is history and significance related to the Tree which makes it a significant event to decorate a tree on Christmas Eve. Nobody is really sure when Fir trees were first used as Christmas trees. It probably began about 1000 years ago in Northern Europe. Pagans used branches of it to decorate their homes during the winter solstice, as it made them think of the spring to come. The Romans used Fir Trees to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia. Christians use it as a sign of everlasting life with God.
The first documented use of a tree at Christmas and New Year celebrations is argued between the cities of Tallinn in Estonia and Riga in Latvia! Both claim that they had the first trees; Tallinn in 1441 and Riga in 1510. Both trees were put up by the 'Brotherhood of Blackheads' which was an association of local unmarried merchants, ship owners, and foreigners in Livonia In the town square of Riga, the capital of Latvia, there is a plaque which is engraved with "The First New Year's Tree in Riga in 1510", in eight languages.
German Legend : Once on a cold Christmas Eve night, a forester and his family were in their cottage gathered round the fire to keep warm. On a sudden knock in the door, they found a poor little boy standing on the doorstep, lost and alone. The forester welcomed him into his house and the family fed and washed him and put him to bed in the youngest sons own bed. The next morning, Christmas Morning, the family were woken up by a choir of angels, and the poor little boy had turned into Jesus. The Christ Child went into the front garden of the cottage and broke a branch off a Fir tree and gave it to the family as a present to say thank you for looking after him. So ever since then, people have remembered that night by bringing a Christmas Tree into their homes!
Tinsel And The Legend Of Christmas Spider : This story goes that a poor family who couldn’t afford to decorate a Tree for Christmas. When the children went to sleep on Christmas Eve a spider covered the tree in cobwebs. Then on Christmas morning the cobwebs were magically turned into silver and gold strands which decorated the tree!
Christmas Tree Lights : Because of the danger of fire, in 1895 Ralph Morris, an American telephonist, invented the first electric Christmas lights, similar to the ones we use today. In 1885 a hospital in Chicago burned down because of candles on a Christmas Tree! And in 1908 insurance companies in the USA tried to get a law made that would ban candles from being used on Christmas Trees because of the many fires they had caused! Thus the beautiful lights came into being.
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