History of the Christmas Tree

Did you know that the use of evergreen trees was to celebrate the winter season before the birth of Christ? If so you might ask yourself, why do we decorate trees on Christmas? Well, Christmas trees were originally decorated with candles which symbolized Christ being the light of the world. Candles were also used during Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of light which is also celebrated during winter. Then Christmas trees were displayed publicly illuminated with electric lights in the early 20th century.


 The evergreen fir tree has traditionally been used to celebrate winter festivals (pagan and Christian) for thousands of years. The first domesticated “Christmas trees” came to Britain sometime in the 1830s. They became very popular in 1841. Pagans used branches of it to decorate their homes during the winter solstice, as it made them think of the spring to come. Also, some built Christmas pyramids of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles if wood was scarce. In 2004, Pope John Paul called the Christmas tree a symbol of Christ. This is where the tradition became a norm.