The Christmas tree and decorations



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The Christmas tree and decorations

The Christmas tree, another symbol of Christmas, is a fir or other evergreen conifer decorated with small colored objects especially balls of different colors, lights, festoons, sweets, small wrapped gifts and more. The origins are generally traced back to the German world in the sixteenth century, on the basis of pre-existing Christian and pagan traditions.

Towards the eleventh century, the custom of setting up sacred representations or mysteries that re-proposed episodes taken from the Bible spread in Northern Europe. In the period of Advent, a much sought-after representation was linked to the passage from Genesis on creation.

To symbolize the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden, a fir tree was used on which fruit was hung, given the region of Northern Europe and the season. From that ancient tradition we gradually came to the present day Christmas tree, of which we have a first certain documentation dating back to 1512 in Alsace.
The decoration of a Christmas tree with Christmas decorations and lights, the application of garlands, evergreen leaves, special hollies and mistletoe, are part of the tradition.

The use of holly was introduced by the early Church with the intention of replacing the pagan symbol of the evergreen tree: the holly leaves represent the crown of Christ, while the berries symbolize the drops of blood that come out of the head.

In North and South America, less so in Europe, it is traditional to decorate the house externally with lights, sledges, puppets and other Christmas figures. The Christmas flower par excellence is the poinsettia (or poinsettia).

But there are others that are very popular such as holly, red amaryllis and the Christmas cactus. The Christmas log or Christmas log is a Christmas cake in the shape of a log usually covered with chocolate or coffee cream and icing and usually filled with jam, widespread mainly in France and other French-speaking countries but also known elsewhere and reminiscent of the tradition of Christmas log.

The recipe was allegedly invented by a pastry chef around 1945. Several cities set up or sponsor street decorations with lights, signs and placing Christmas trees in the main squares. In the United States, decorations were once included in religious themes.