Why we put the Christmas tree or decorate with holly
Why do we decorate the house with holly? Where does the tradition of putting the Christmas tree come from? The traditions that we respect year after year have, for the most part, a long history, and others, much less than we imagine.
At Christmas there are many customs and rituals that are passed from parents to children for generations, but often we do not ask why we do it or where they come from. We tell you
Christmas traditions of decorating the house
Like the mistletoe, it is a perennial plant, which remains green when most have lost their leaves, which is why in antiquity it had a sacred character. Tradition advised hanging holly branches on the doorstep of houses to ward off evil spirits. Currently it is a protected species.
Although the ornaments that decorate the Christmas tree, as we know them today, were created in the 18th century by the glassblowers of Bohemia, they are an evolution of the elements with which the primitive peoples adorned their sacred trees, of which inherited its symbology. The lights, substitutes of the candles, represent the purification, the light of the world (Christ); the horseshoe is credited with the power to protect; the bells signify joy and also have a purifying and protective function; the stars attract domestic happiness; the balls and apples are propitiatory signs of abundance, and the pineapples, symbol of immortality.
For many peoples of antiquity, the Christmas tree especially, the oak ?? It represented the spirits of Nature and was an object of worship as a symbol of fecundity and immortality. The Germanic tribes celebrated 2000 years ago the winter solstice around a fir tree, which they illuminated in an ancestral rite that represented the end of the short days and the long nights. Currently gifts are placed for children at the foot of the tree.
In the middle of the VIII century of our era, the rite was Christianized. There is evidence that in the sixteenth century the tradition of Christmas fir was rooted in Alsace. The tradition came to England in the eighteenth century and became popular during the reign of Queen Victoria. Later it spread to other countries, such as France or the United States. In Spain it began to popularize in the 60s of the twentieth century.
It is a parasitic plant of pines and oaks, with healing properties and closely linked to Celtic mythology. In the Anglo-Saxon countries, the mistletoe is placed on the doors of the houses to give good luck. Another tradition states that hugging under a branch of mistletoe on New Year’s Eve brings happiness and fertility.