Plastic or real, green, white or silver, we’ll all have a tree (or two) this year. They are a wonderful symbol of Christmas, but did you know…?
- The evergreen fir tree has traditionally been used to celebrate pagan and Christian winter festivals for thousands of years. The Romans used fir to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia
- Many early Christmas trees were hung upside down from the ceiling. Across much of northern Europe cherry or hawthorn plants were put into pots and brought inside so they would flower at Christmas
- If you couldn’t afford a real plant, people made pyramids of wood and decorated them to look like a tree with paper, apples and candles, and often carried them around from house to house
- The first person to bring a Christmas tree into a house as we know it today is said to have been Martin Luther. One night before Christmas he was walking through the forest and looked up to see the stars shining through branches. He told his children it reminded him of Jesus, who left the stars of heaven to come to earth at Christmas
- The first Christmas trees came to Britain in the 1830s and became popular when Prince Albert had a tree in Windsor Castle. They were decorated with candles to represent stars
- Tinsel was also created in Germany, made from strips of beaten silver. It grew from a story of a family who couldn’t afford to decorate their tree, so when they went to sleep on Christmas Eve a spider covered the tree in cobwebs which magically turned into silver and gold strands. It is good luck to find a spider on your tree!
- In New Zealand the Pohutakawa tree with red flowers is sometimes used, and in India the tree of choice is Banana or Mango
- For those of you who love a REAL tree click HERE to discover what to buy, where to buy and how to make it last the course!