Pagan Origins of the Christmas Tree The Christmas Tree is one of the most enduring and beautiful symbols that we associate with this special time of the year. This article details facts and information about the Origins of the Christmas Tree. Everyone loves the custom and tradition of decorating trees but where did this all start? What are the origins of the Christmas Tree? Read some unusual facts and interesting information about the Origins of the Christmas Tree.
Origins of the Christmas Tree - Pagan Traditions and Origins The Origins of the Christmas tree is often explained as a Christianization of pagan custom, tradition and ritual surrounding the time of the Winter Solstice. We need to go back to the Pagan traditions and customs of the Egyptians, Romans and Celts to provide an insight into Christmas Tree Origins. The exact Origins of the Christmas Tree are unclear, they are misted in time, as are the pagan rituals which surrounded it. From the earliest Pagan times, trees have been the focus of religious life for many people from all around the world. The tree has been a major source of stimulation to the mythic imagination as it is the largest growing and the longest lasting thing on earth. The Christmas Tree is an evergreen and this has been taken into account in our Origins of the Christmas Tree and its possible Pagan roots. Following this ancient Pagan period in Origins with it's beliefs and customs the Christians adapted the old pagan ceremonies and brought some of these rituals into the Christian religion.
Pagan Origins of the Christmas Tree - Egyptian Origins The Origins of the Christmas Tree start with the Egyptians who were known to use plants in their religious rituals. Evergreen plants were seen by the Egyptians as manifestations of the abiding life and the spirit of growth and fertility. In Egypt, the evergreen date palm was a sacred tree, and a palm branch was the symbol of the god Heh who personified eternity. In many early Pagan beliefs the tree was considered magical as it’s roots extended beneath the earth was a great mystery. The Ancient Egyptians, believed in the Underworld and therefore the roots of the tree were significant.
Pagan Origins of the Christmas Tree - Early Pagan Origins Many Pagans believed that the Gods transformed themselves into trees and this is reflected in the myths, legends, origins and beliefs of the ancient Greeks. Ancient Pagans were known to cut down trees, carve or decorate them in the form of a god or goddess then overlay them with precious metals and bring them into a house or temple.
Pagan Origins of the Christmas Tree - Celtic Origins & the Winter Solstice The Bronze and Iron Age saw the emergence of the Celts who were established across Europe by 400BC. The pagan Celts and their priests, who were called Druids, placed great significance on the Winter Solstice and religious ceremonies were held in honour of the return of the sun and its power following the winter. The Winter Solstice occurs December 22/23, a similar time to our modern day Christmas celebrations. The Celts believed that the first humans were descended from trees. The history of the Celts tells us that trees, such as the oak, were highly revered. It was the Celts who were responsible for the origins and tradition of burning the Yule Log. The Celts believed trees to be sources of sacred wisdom and this was associated with wisdom by the Druids, another link to the origins of the Christmas tree.
Pagan Origins of the Christmas Tree - Greek Origins The Greeks also played a part in the Origins of the Christmas Tree. According to ancient traditions the first Greek temples were originally trees, and later made from trees. The Greek stone temples, which were built in later years, continued to be associated with the 'holy tree' and this was reflected in their use of columns in Greek architecture reflecting great tree trunks. In several Greek myths and legends women and men are frequently transformed into trees
Origins of the Christmas Tree - The Old Testament of the Bible The Origins of the Christmas Tree continues with the Old Testament of the Bible. The Book of Genesis in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible makes mention of two trees - the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil that grow at the centre of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9). The Prophet Jeremiah condemned as Pagan the ancient practice of cutting down trees, bringing them into the home and decorating them.
Pagan Origins of the Christmas Tree - Roman Origins The history of the Romans also impacts our quest to find the origins Christmas tree. The Roman Empire and the tradition of the Roman pagan holiday of Saturnalia was observed at the winter solstice. It is a common-held belief that the origins of Christmas day on the 25th December was chosen in order to substitute the joy of a Christian festival for the license of the Roman festival of Saturnalia. The Romans also worshipped the sacred fig-tree of Romulus.
Origins of the Christmas Tree - The Origins of the Christian Religion The Christian religion began with the birth of Jesus Christ who lived in he Roman Empire. This small religious cult spread its word and even the Ancient Romans were converted to Christianity when Constantine became the first Christian Roman Emperor. In 313 the Emperor Constantine announced toleration of Christianity in the Edict of Milan. Christianity became the religion of Rome and all her territories in Europe and in the East. The fall of the Roman Empire led to the period referred to as the Dark Ages when many people returned to their old Pagan origins with their religions and practises.
Pagan Origins of the Christmas Tree - Viking Origins and Saxon Origins The origins of the Christmas tree then moved on to the Age of the Saxons and the Vikings. The German Saxons and the Vikings, worshipped their god Thor and the name Yule derives from the Norse words "Yul" or "Jul". Their rituals were included in the origins of the ceremonies of other pagan religions. Pagan ceremonies and customs included the use of evergreen boughs, an adaptation of pagan tree worship.
Origins of the Christmas Tree - St. Boniface and the Origins of Thor's Oak At this point in we see the importance of the pagan religions on the origins of the Christmas tree. The origin of the Christmas tree is possibly related to Thor's Oak. Thor's Oak was a massive tree and one of the most important sacred sites of the Germanic people. Saint Boniface was an English monk who went to Germany to convert pagans to Christianity. According to legend, myth and tradition Thor's Oak was cut down by Boniface. As the oak fell a young fir tree appeared symbolizing the tree of life representing Jesus Christ. When this happened Boniface declared the the fir tree growing in its roots to be a new symbol of Christianity and this story is therefore closely associated with the origins of the Christmas tree.
Origins of the Christmas Tree - The Origins of the Paradise Tree of the Middle Ages The Paradise Tree plays an important role in the story of the origins of the Christmas Tree. During the Middle Ages 'Mystery Plays' featuring the 'Paradise Tree' were staged. The main prop of a popular medieval play about Adam and Eve was called a “paradise tree,” which was a fir tree hung with apples, that represented the Garden of Eden. The Paradise Tree play that was held every December 24, which was Adam and Eve's Day. This was the real origin of the modern day Christmas Tree...
Origins of the Christmas Tree
Origins of the Christmas Tree - Pagan Origins
Origins and Origins of the Tree - Roman and Greek Origins
Origins of the Christmas Tree - Vikings and Saxons
Origins of the Christmas Tree - St. Boniface and Thor's Oak
Origins of the Christmas Tree - The Paradise Tree of the Middle Ages
Origins of the Christmas Tree - Commercialism
Origins of the Christmas Tree
"Merry Christmas, have a happy and prosperous New Year!"