History of the Christmas Tree

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White House Christmas Tree

Middle Ages

A legend began to circulate in the early Middle Ages that when Jesus was born in the dead of winter, all the trees throughout the world shook off their ice and snow to produced new shoots of green. The medieval Church would decorate outdoor fir trees, known as “paradise trees,” with apples on Christmas Eve. They called it “Adam and Eve Day” and celebrated with a play.

Renaissance

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Riga

Germany

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Luther Christmas Tree

England

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Windsor Christmas Tree

Popularization

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V&A Christmas Tree

America

Many communities vie for the honor of having decorated the first Christmas tree in America. One story tells of Hessian (German) soldiers who fought for King George III in the Revolutionary War. As they were keeping Christmas in Trenton, New Jersey around a decorated tree, they left their posts unguarded. George Washington and his troops were hungry and freezing at Valley Forge, but they planned their attack with the knowledge that the Hessians would be celebrating and thus would not be as able to defend themselves.

Silicon Valley Tech Exec: Cloud, Data Storage, Automation. Author of fascinating articles about history, tech trends, andpop culture. Blog: http://billpetro.com

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