Learn about the many Christmas Customs with iMindsJNR learning series for younger minds.
Christmas trees and Christmas cards seem to be an essential part of the holiday season. So it may surprise you to know they are both relatively recent traditions in the USA and Britain!
The Christmas tree has its origins in Germany. The husband of Britain's Queen Victoria brought the tradition to England when he moved there in 1840. But where did the German tradition come from? Many stories claim to explain this. One tradition states the medieval St Boniface used the evergreen tree to symbolise Jesus as the 'tree of life'. Another legend claims sixteenth century church-reformer Martin Luther used the beauty of the evergreen tree to remind himself of the miracle of Jesus' birth. A third story is that the Christmas tree came from the trees used as props in religious plays in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. These numerous origin stories are all very different. And no one knows if any of them are true. What we do know is that early Christmas trees were lit up with candles to make them look pretty. But today, electric lights are far more popular, not to mention safer!
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