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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 candlelit Christmas trees first brought to America in the 1800s.

According to History's website, Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition in the 16th century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. An alternative was to build Christmas pyramids of wood and decorate them with evergreens and candles if wood was scarce.

However, long before the arrival of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year had a special meaning for people in the winter.

Similar to how people today decorate their homes during the Christmas season with pine, spruce, and fir trees, ancient peoples hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows!

It was also believed in many countries that evergreens would keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness.

Fun Fact: Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states including Hawaii and Alaska!

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 would celebrate 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.


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