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Christmas Tree History UK And Worldwide
The history of the Fir Christmas Tree and why we have them in our houses at Xmas time:
Why Do We Put Christmas Trees In Our Houses
To understand why we put decorated Christmas trees, whether fir or artificial, in our homes we have to read about the history of trees in houses during winter months:
Christmas Trees - Ancient Egypt
Trees have been placed indoors during the winter months for Centuries. In ancient Egypt they worshipped evergreen tree. They would bring green date leaves into their homes when the winter solstice arrived. The Egyptians believed that it would symbolise the triumph of life over death.
Christmas Trees - Ancient Rome
In ancient Rome they would celebrate and worship Saturnus, the god of agriculture, with a feast that they called Saturnalia, during the winter solstice. The Romans would decorate their houses with tree greens and ignite lights and put pieces of metal onto the trees. Gifts of coins for prosperity, lamps to light one's journey through life and pastries for happiness would be exchanged.
Christmas Trees - British Druids
In ancient Britain Druids used evergreens such as holly and mistletoe during their mysterious winter solstice rituals. Druids saw them as symbols of eternal life and would place evergreen branches over doors to ward off the evil spirits.
Christmas Trees - Germany And Scandinavia
Centuries later in Germany and Scandinavia people would put evergreen trees inside their homes or place them just outside during the Middle Ages. They did this to show their hope for the forthcoming spring.
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Saint Boniface in Germany found a group of Pagans worshipping an oak tree where a child was tied to the trunk and was about to be sacrificed to their gods. This angered his Christian faith so he told the group about Jesus, God and Heaven. The people were converted to Christianity and untied the child and agreed to have the tree chopped down. By its roots was a fir tree which St Boniface saw as an affirmation of his Christian faith and a symbol of the people's new faith. This started an association between the fir tree Christmas.
One Christmas Eve in the 16th Century Martin Luther decorated a small tree with candles to demonstrate to his children how the stars twinkled in a dark night when he was in a small forest covered with snow. The evergreen trees were lightly covered with snow and shimmered in the moonlight. Martin Luther dedicated the tree to the honour of Jesus Christ's birth.
Prince Albert And Christmas Trees
In the UK the husband of Queen Victoria was Prince Albert who was descended from Germany. In 1834 he took a large fir tree into Windsor Castle for the Royal Family Christmas festivities.
It is thought that Queen Victoria's grandmother, Queen Charlotte, may have decorated Windsor Castle with a fir tree during Christmas 1800.
Whichever member of the Royal Family did introduce the first Christmas tree to the UK it became more popular after Prince Albert first took one to the Royal Residence. Homes around the UK soon started to bring in a fir tree each Christmas and would decorate it. Over the years commercial decorations, like tinsel were made and soon artificial trees, lights and ornaments were being manufactured and sold.
More Christmas trivia questions.
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Upside Down Christmas Tree John Lewis
Over the years there have been many fashions in Christmas trees such as artificial Christmas trees that have decorations already attached, golden Christmas trees, silver Christmas trees, Christmas trees with artificial snow, a fibre optic Christmas tree and even a black Christmas tree sold by John Lewis.
For Christmas 2007 John Lewis now have an upside down Christmas tree to buy. This artificial upside down Christmas tree is designed to provide more space underneath for Christmas presents - great news for children! Another advantage of the John Lewis upside down Christmas tree is that Christmas tree decorations can be placed at the top of the tree out of harms way of babies, toddlers, cats and dogs.
To view a photo of the upside down Christmas tree or to buy one visit www.johnlewis.com
The upside down Christmas tree from John Lewis is six feet in height and the price includes pre lit traditional Christmas colours of red and gold. The tradition of hanging a Christmas tree upside down dates back to the 12th century.
The upside down Christmas tree costs £75 and is one of the top features in the John Lewis Christmas catalogue for 2007. The topsy turvy Christmas tree should be available to purchase from the 25 September. The upside down Christmas tree from John Lewis was the most talked about item at the Christmas previews. Traditionalists need not worry too much, John Lewis will still be selling traditional Christmas trees and not just the upside down Christmas tree.
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