Origin of the Christmas tree

By Joan Hunt - ReminderNews Managing Editor
- posted Wed., Nov. 16, 2011
- Contributed Photo

The practice of decorating an evergreen tree for the holidays began in Germany in the 16th century. The practice is attributed to Protestant reformer Martin Luther, who is said to be the first to light an evergreen tree with candles during the holiday season. The story goes that he was walking home on a dark winter’s night near Christmas time, when he was struck with the beauty of starlight shining through the branches of a small fir tree outside his home.

Even before this, the Germanic people used to decorate fir trees with roses, apples and colored paper for use both inside and outside of their homes.

The custom of decorating a Christmas tree was brought to this country by Germans who settled in Pennsylvania.

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