People in many ancient cultures believed that the Sun God became pale and frail during winter and that is why we had the winter solstice. Evergreen trees reminded them of the plants that would grow once more, when the sun god recovered.
Who got the idea of lighting up a Christmas Tree?
Lights are important in the history of the Christmas tree. Martin Luther, a Protestant was once walking through a forest of evergreen trees in Germany, when he saw sparkling stars lighting up the trees. Martin recreated this beautiful scene at home by lighting candles on his Christmas tree.
In 1895, Ralph Morris of the USA, got the idea of using electric lights on Christmas trees, changing Christmas celebrations forever. He helped make Christmas lights safer, as the danger of fire reduced.Earlier, a Chicago hospital had burnt down thanks to Christmas candles. Insurance companies wanted a ban on Christmas candles because they caused many fires.
Can you guess the maximum number of lights anyone has put on a Christmas tree? 194,672. This was done in Belgium in 2010.
Early Christmas Trees
Some early Christmas trees were hung upside down, from the ceiling! Chandeliers were used sometimes to do this.
What did artificial Christmas trees of that time look like? If people couldn’t afford a real tree, they would decorate pyramids of wood. They used Christmas tree decorations like candles, paper and apples.Some carried these around to show neighbors, instead of keeping the trees in their houses.
Famous Christmas Trees
Every year, Norway sends the United Kingdom a giant Christmas tree, as a thank you for help during World War II. It stands in Trafalgar Square, London.
Which is the world’s tallest Christmas tree? It is supposed to be the 122 foot tall, 91 years old Douglas fir in Washington, USA.
What Christmas ornaments do you like? Do you get your tree from a Christmas tree top or do you make one?