Legend suggests that, in the late 16th century, Martin Luther (the founder of the Protestant religion) was the first to decorate an indoor tree with candles when he attempted to recreate the stars shining over a forest of evergreens.
The first mention of decorated trees being taken indoors came in 1605 in Germany - a country with a long Christmas tree history！ The trees were initially decorated with fruit and sweets together with hand made objects such as quilled snowflakes and stars. German Christmas Markets began to sell shaped gingerbreads and wax ornaments which people bought as souvenirs of the fair and took home to hang on their tree.
Tinsel was also invented in Germany in about 1610. Up until fairly recently real silver was used, which was pulled into wafer thin strips by special machines. This was durable but tarnished quickly and many experiments took place to try and find an alternative - including a mix of lead and tin, which was too heavy and kept breaking. It was only in the mid 20th century that a viable alternative was found.
Artificial trees were invented in the 1880s in a bid to try and stop some of the damage being caused to real trees due to people lopping the tip off large trees, thus preventing the trees from growing any further. It got so bad in Germany that laws had to be brought in to prevent people having more than one tree.
Christmas is one of the most beautiful holidays of all time. It is the day when Gods son was born on earth. Hence, this day is sacred for all Christians around the world. The Christmas season gives rise to a number of Christmas traditions that come along. Here are a few of them that are celebrated with zest and enthusiasm worldwide for centuries.
On this day, many go to church, where they take part in special religious services. During the Christmas season, they also exchange gifts and decorate their homes with holly, mistletoe, and Christmas trees.
Preparation of the Christmas cake
This was an English tradition which started centuries ago. On Christmas eve, plum porridge was served to the people. As years passed, various other things like dry fruits, honey and spices were used. Soon this porridge got replaced with the Christmas cake. Christmas cakes are made using eggs, butter, confections, fruits, etc. Today a Christmas cake is an integral part of a Christmas menu.
Decorating the Christmas tree
This refers to the tradition of decorating a pine tree using lights, tinsels, garlands, ornaments, candy canes, etc. Today, a Christmas tree is an indispensable part of Christmas celebration.
Lighting up the Christmas candle
This refers to the tradition of placing a lighted candle outside houses during the Christmas season. A candle signifies hope as it brings light even to the darkest room. In the earlier times, when Christians were persecuted, they were not allowed to practice prayers. Hence, a single candle used to be placed outside the house as a sign that Christian prayers were being conducted inside.
Sending gifts to loved ones
This tradition comes from the story of the three wise men who got gifts for baby Jesus on Christmas. Every Christmas, gifts are exchanged among loved ones, especially children. The story of Santa Claus also comes from this tradition.
Singing Christmas carols
It refers to the age-old custom of enchanting a number of traditional Christmas songs during the Christmas season. It adds to the joy and fun to the atmosphere. Different Christmas hymns or carols like The First Noel, Jingle Bells, Joy to the world, etc are sung every Christmas as a part of the Christmas celebration.
Distributing Christmas candies
This is one of the most wonderful traditions of all. Christmas candies are distributed to neighbors during the Yuletide season. On the day of Christmas, all misunderstandings and grudges are forgotten and the community comes together to celebrate the birth of Christ.