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6 Sleeps Til Christmas: Today’s Topic is Christmas Trees

Sorry for the error in the last post. It was 7 SLEEPS til Christmas, not 7 DAYS. But anyway, here is today’s topic: Christmas trees!

The first record of decorating a Christmas tree was in the 15th century in ‘Livonia’, which is Estonia and Latvia nowadays. On the night before Christmas, the tree was taken into the town square and people danced around it! People also decorated trees in Germany in the 16th century.

In the 18th century, decorating a tree was considered a Protestant custom. In 1781, in Canada, the tradition was introduced and they decorated theirs with candles and fruits. After this, many countries began decorating trees, but it wasn’t until Queen Victoria was around England was introduced to this. There is a very famous wood cut of her family around the tree, made in 1848, which was adapted by an American to turn it into a more… American scene. This happened in 1860, and 10 years later America joined the decorating revolution! In 1935, Russian people were banned from having Christmas trees. This made the Christmas tree a symbol of their New Year holiday on January 7th, which is considered by Russians as more important than Christmas.

I have a black fibre-optic artificial tree this year, and artificial trees have been around since the 19th century, but they were made of goose feathers dyed green!

I learned this fact from History club: in the Victorian times, they usually had presents on a table and sometimes hung their Christmas trees from the ceiling… Weird.

Another random fact that has nothing to do with Christmas trees: The Roman festival of Saturnalia may have influenced the traditions of Christmas. They celebrated it on December 17th and eventually lengthened it to December 23rd. The Romans continued to celebrate Saturnalia (which was named after the Roman god Saturn, the ‘agricultural deity’, and was a festival of light, symbolising knowledge and truth. They showed this by having a lot of candles everywhere) during the 3rd and 4th centuries AD, when the Christians took over.

Sorry, I didn’t do a drawing. But again, thanks to Wikipedia (and my own knowledge) and history for the information.

Your Christmassy blogger, Jaz

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