Merry Christmas from Mount Laurel, NJ
Photographs of Christmas trees.
To all of you who celebrate the day, Carol and I wish you a very Merry Christmas! We hope you have a wonderful holiday, full of peace, joy, and the love of family and friends.
I made this photograph on a magical, misty, dark December night in the parking lot of TD Bank in south New Jersey.
The tradition of decorating and using Christmas trees has a rich history that dates back centuries. While the modern Christmas tree is often associated with Christian celebrations, its origins are rooted in various cultural and religious practices. Here is an overview of the history of Christmas trees:
- Ancient Roots:
- Evergreen trees have been symbols of life and fertility in various ancient cultures. During winter festivals, people would decorate their homes with greenery to celebrate the coming of spring.
- Paradise Plays and Medieval Germany:
- In medieval Germany, there was a popular theatrical play known as the “Paradise play” that was performed on December 24th, the feast day of Adam and Eve. A tree, often a fir, was used to represent the Garden of Eden. This tree was adorned with apples, representing the forbidden fruit.
- Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation:
- Legend has it that Martin Luther, the 16th-century Protestant reformer, was inspired by the beauty of the stars shining through the evergreen trees. He is said to have brought an evergreen tree into his home and decorated it with candles to replicate the stars.
- 17th Century:
- The use of Christmas trees became more widespread in the 17th century in parts of Germany. The trees were adorned with candles, fruits, and nuts.
- Royal Influence:
- The popularity of Christmas trees grew during the 18th century when it became fashionable among European nobility. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who had German heritage, popularized the Christmas tree in England after a depiction of their Christmas tree was published in the Illustrated London News in 1848.
- Introduction to America:
- German immigrants brought the Christmas tree tradition to North America in the 1700s. However, the Christmas tree did not become widely popular in the United States until the 19th century.
- 20th Century and Beyond:
- Electric lights replaced candles for safety reasons, and various ornaments, tinsel, and other decorations became common. The Christmas tree tradition spread globally and took on different cultural and regional variations.
Today, the Christmas tree is a central element of the holiday celebration in many parts of the world. Families often decorate their trees with lights, ornaments, and other festive decorations as a symbol of joy and togetherness during the holiday season.