Welcome to Craft For The World! Origin of the Christmas Tree – The tradition of using trees to decorate homes goes back to ancient times. Egyptians, Celts, Romans, and even the Vikings used to bring these plants indoors. The trees were used as decoration at the winter solstice and symbolized that at the end of this season the sun would reappear and the plants would grow again. But although they had been used for centuries, it was around the 1500s that Christmas trees became a Christian custom. Historians attribute this tradition to Martin Luther. The Germanic people at that time were in the habit of decorating their houses with wooden pyramids and tree leaves. According to the legend, while walking through the forest, Luther was enchanted by the sight of a pine tree covered in snow and the stars shining in the sky. When he got home, he tried to reproduce for his family the beautiful image he had seen, using branches from a pine tree, absorbent cotton (to symbolize the snow), and some candles imitating the stars. The Christmas tree tradition did not spread quickly throughout Europe. It was only in 1846, after the publication of an illustration of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert with their children wrapped around a Christmas tree full of presents, that people in other countries began to use it.
Currently in Western culture, the Christmas tree is linked to the gifts that are placed around it, having some relation to the birth of Christ on December 25. Today almost all Christmas trees are synthetic, made of plastic. They remain disassembled and stored in the back of the closet for the whole year. They are only remembered in December, when families teach their children that it is time to put up the tree, so that Santa Claus can bring them presents.
AND WHAT IS THE ORIGINAL MEANING OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE? But the original meaning of the Christmas tree to ancient cultures was much deeper, not at all like the consumerist Christmas of today. The Christmas tree was the tree of life. The ancient pagan cultures worshiped the sacred trees as true patriarchs, as entities of great wisdom, for the trees lived for many years. The tree also has meanings of stability, strength, unity, and food.
CHRISTMAS TREE AS A COMMUNICATION WITH THE ENTITIES OF NATURE – A Christmas tree Long before the time of Christ, the tree was already an important symbol. In Scandinavia they believed in the Tree of Life, Yggdrasil, which was the connection to the entities of nature. Other tribes, such as the Olmecs, Mayans, and Aztecs, also believed that trees were bridges to other worlds, and the best way to communicate with Mother Earth. The Christmas tree as we see it today emerged from pagan rituals celebrating Yule, the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. They were decorated and adorned to pay homage to Mother Earth. Gifts were also an important part of this festival, but they were offerings to the gods Attis and Dionysus. At the time of Christ, the Romans took, by force and much death, the pagan practices and modified them to become the main rite of Christianity, which lasts until today. Don’t be fooled by the bloody, consumerist relationship celebrated by a plastic Christmas tree that has been imposed on us at this end-of-year time of the Gregorian Catholic calendar!
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