About Christmas trees
The history of Christmas trees...
The history of Christmas trees goes back to the symbolic use of evergreens in ancient Egypt and Rome and continues with the German tradition of candle lit Christmas trees first brought to America in the 1800s.
Long before Christanity, evergreen plants and trees had a special meaning for people in snowy winter climates.. Just as people today decorate their homes during the festive season with pine, spruce, and fir trees, early on in time, people hung branches over their entrances. In many countries it was believed that evergreen plants would keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness.
In the Northern hemisphere, the shortest day and longest night of the year falls on December 21 or December 22 and is called the winter solstice. Many ancient people believed that the sun was a God and that winter came every year because the sun god had become sick and weak. They celebrated the solstice because it meant that at last the sun god would begin to get well. Evergreen boughs reminded them of all the green plants that would grow again when the sun God was strong and summer would return.
Ra was an ancient Egyptian God that was worshiped, he had the head of a hawk and had sun that was a blazing disk around his head. At the solstice, when Ra began to recover from his illness, the Egyptians filled their homes with green palm rushes, which symbolized for them the triumph of life over death.
Early Romans marked the solstice with a feast called Saturnalia in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture. The Romans knew that the solstice meant that soon, farms and orchards would be green and fruitful. To mark the occasion, they decorated their homes and temples with evergreen boughs.
In Northern Europe the mysterious Druids, the priests of the ancient Celts, also decorated their temples with evergreen boughs as a symbol of everlasting life. The fierce Vikings in Scandinavia thought that evergreens were the special plant of the sun god, Balder.
Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as we know it today. History mentions Martin Luther, the 16th-century Protestant reformer, first adding lighted candles to a tree. Heading home one winter evening, he was fascinated by the brilliance of stars twinkling among the tree tops. When he got home, to capture the image he erected a tree in the main room and wired its branches with lighted candles.
The earliest record in America of a Christmas Tree being on display was in the 1830s by the German settlers of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania German residents had festive trees as early as 1747. But, as late as the 1840s Christmas trees were seen as pagan symbols and not accepted by most Americans.
Because of the origins of Pagan celebrations and its close affinity with tree branches and leaves signifying the household partaking in the celebration, many early American governors and Lawmakers outlawed the practice of hanging decorations Christmas cards and songs as pagan mockery and heathen and allowed only Church Sevices as a sacred celebration.
The influx of immigrants from Germany and Ireland in the 19th Century finally saw the puritans take a back seat to the more modern attitudes of the newcomers
The British helped make the Christmas Tree “fashionable” as well. Queen Victoria and her German born husband Prince Albert were popularised by a sketch of their family celebrating Christmas around a decorated tree in the London News in 1846.
The trees back then were decorated in the German tradition with fruits like apples, nuts and biscuits but hand made decorations and ornaments soon started to replace this tradition.
Helping all this was the introduction of electricity, homes started illuminating and soon communities and town squares followed with brightly lit Christmas Trees sparkling away
What is the history of Christmas trees in Australia?
The first Christmas was celebrated in 1788, after the first fleet landed. Captain Arthur phillip, our First Governor of Australia and his officers attended a Service by Reverend Johnson before having their First Christmas Dinner
Following in our British ancestry at the time, our traditions evolved from mid 19th Century, Queen Victoria, or rather her husband Prince Albert being responsible for introducing the Christmas tree to Britain.
Around the 1840s – essentially a German custom
“The first Christmas cards were introduced in that period too.
Australia today couldn’t be further from those early English traditions, we have put our own Aussie stamp on Christmas Day and the way we celebrate it and the beautiful decorated fresh Christmas Tree is central to the celebrations
Summer in Australia is usually very hot with the regular “Scorcher “ thrown in for good measure when days will get over 35 degrees in Southern States
So Christmas Day is all about fitting in with the weather, board shorts, thongs, being with friends and family near the beach, everybody getting involved with bringing food, drinks and presents to the celebration and having a very long build up to the final big Christmas Lunch. Its the one day of the year where you catch up with Aunt Molly and Uncle Bill who usually falls asleep in the corner.
The Christmas tree looks splendid, all decorated with tinsel, bright coloured balls and ornaments with presents all stacked underneath.
A new phenomenon with Christmas is entire streets decorate their houses and for a few weeks in December traffic jams occur in some suburbs much to the wrath of those poor souls who don’t celebrate Christmas. Council parking officers are often called out to direct traffic
Bushfires are also a part of Christmas in Australia and unfortunately bring a lot of grief to those the fire affects. Volunteers from all over Australia head off to wherever they are need and some also come from overseas.
Christmas time brings out the best in people as it is a time to reflect on how fortunate the majority of us are here and so it is traditionally a time of giving as well and to many the Christmas Tree signifies that time to give to others and to help those who are less fortunate.
The Myer Christmas Windows in Melbourne, Carols by Candlelight at the Sydney Myer Music Bowl are all traditions in Melbourne that locals and visitors enjoy at this time. Regional towns have their own versions of these Celebrations and its a great time for all families in the Communit
Melbourne Drive-In Real Christmas Trees
We have been in offer Christmas trees to the Melbourne public for the past 30 years. We are experienced in offering you advice and assistance relating to finding you the most suitable xmas tree, as well as information on stands, tree maintenance and care.