TheChristmas approach ... Everyone is busy looking for new decorations for the Christmas tree, because Christmas would not be Christmas without its traditional Christmas tree, for the joy of young and old alike. But where does this ancient tradition come from?
The Christmas tree, a 4000-year-old origin
4,000 years ago, we were already talking about our traditional Christmas tree: the Celts associated a tree with each month of the year and the tree was that associated with the month of December. A little later, in the 11th century, men garnished it with red apples to symbolize paradise. It was in the 12th century that the fir appeared in Europe and particularly in Alsace.
In 1521, for the first time and in this region, a name was attributed to this tree: "the Christmas tree". To celebrate this feast, it was garnished with apples, confectionery and small cakes, taking care not to forget to place the star symbolizing Bethlehem on the top.
The Christmas tree lights up in the 18th century
In the 18th century, we began to illuminate it by filling eggshells with oil in which lighted wicks float. Marie Lecszinska, wife of Louis XV, had it installed for the first time in the Palace of Versailles, when it was already very common in Alsace and Lorraine.
In 1837, the Duchess of Orleans (of German origin) had a tree decorated at the Tuileries. After the war of 1870, laying the tree for Christmas time became a tradition "imported" by men from eastern France.
And nowadays, the municipalities and big cities compete by installing the biggest and the most beautiful Christmas tree, in the center of the biggest place like Strasbourg for example. The United States has also adopted this custom like New York. It's for those who try to keep their tree as long as possible. Usually, the lifespan of a cut tree is 40 days. But Canadian researchers are on track to make them last longer ... up to 75 days!