History of the Christmas Tree in Germany

      History of the Christmas Tree in Germany

      Many Christmas traditions still observed today originated in History of the Christmas Tree in Germany. It has long been believed that Martin Luther established the custom of bringing a fir tree into the home. Martin Luther noticed how beautifully the stars sparkled through the trees as he walked home through the woods one late evening. He wanted to show his wife the beauty, so he cut down a fir tree and brought it home. Once inside, he placed small, lit candles on the branches, claiming they would represent the magnificent Christmas sky. The Christmas tree was created. Another tradition claims that in the early 16th century, people in Germany blended two customs practiced in several countries worldwide. The Paradise tree, a fir tree covered with apples, stood in for the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. A small, pyramid-shaped frame called “The Christmas Light,” decorated with glass balls, tinsel, and a candle on top, symbolized Christ’s birth as the Light of the World.


      Featured image for History of the Christmas Tree in Germany
      Credit: Image by Annie Spratt | Unsplash


      Evergreens as a Christmas Symbol

      Austrians, Germans, and Swiss increasingly employ “electric candles” to decorate their trees, but many a Germanic Christbaum still glows with the warm light of actual wax candles. (Germans use unique candle holders that have learned how to do this safely; the candles are not left burning for long periods or without someone in the room.) The use of evergreens as a Christmas symbol of eternal life dates back much further than the 1550s but with a Germanic connection. In the eighth century, St. Boniface is supposed to have pioneered evergreens in his efforts to Christianize the Germanic nations. He consecrated the fir tree (Tannenbaum) to the Christ Child, which replaced Odin’s heathen oak tree.


      History and Tradition of Christmas in Germany

      The tradition of adorning the Christmas tree originated in Germany as well. Germans believed that light, like evergreens, kept evil spirits, so the two went hand in hand. However, Martin Luther popularized hanging lights on trees in ornamentation while strolling at night. If families could afford it, they would adorn the tree with paper or apples to add color. Germans have a pickle ornament folklore and tradition, though this has altered over time and has mainly been replaced by other activities. According to legend, German parents would bury a pickle ornament deep within the branches of their Christmas tree. Everyone knew the most observant child would receive an extra present from St. Nicholas in the morning. The finder of the pickle ornament was traditionally rewarded with good luck for the next year, similar to the King Cake during Lent in France.


      If you want to learn more about the History of the Christmas Tree in Germany, kindly visit our page immediately. https://mrgreentrees.com/2023/07/08/christmas-tree-history/.