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Christmas Tree History: The Origins of Your Spruce

In the Christmas Tree history, the evergreen fig tree was the first ever Christmas tree. This is opposed to those plastic ones we now set up inside our homes. Christmas trees were used during the winter solstice by pagans, Christians, Romans, and Egyptians to welcome the spring that is coming.

There are many different kinds of Christmas trees used during those days. Some hang trees upside down from their ceilings to make it look like chandeliers. In northern Europe, people put cherry or hawthorn plants in pots, so they can flower just in time for Christmas.

Modern-day Christmas Tree history

The Christmas tree we know today began in the 16th century when devout Christians start bringing trees into their homes. They decorate the trees, or the pieces of wood put together to look like a tree or a pyramid. This is arguably the first known Christmas Tree history of the modern-day tree we see in Rockefeller Center or in malls like Macy’s and Neiman Marcus.

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Christmas Tree History

Screen cap from the Twitter page of Festive Bianchman

But in terms of a huge public Christmas tree, the contention was that either Tallinn in Estonia or Riga in Latvia first put it up. Tallinn was said to have put one up in 1441 while Riga was in 1510. The trees were supposedly owned by the Brotherhood of Blackheads, an association made up of unmarried merchants, foreigners, and ship owners in Livonia (now Estonia and Latvia).

There was a little story about the Brotherhood’s Christmas tree, only that it was set on fire as a custom. That reminds us of the Yule Log.

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Christmas trees in the 19th century

Many believe that it was Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, who first added candles on a tree. Stories suggest that while walking towards home, he noticed how the stars shine brighter amid the evergreens. To recreate the picture for his family, he erected a tree in the middle of the room and put lighted candles on its branches.

In America, the Christmas Tree history was still very young. In fact, it wasn’t until the beloved Queen Victoria’s photo with a tree in 1846 that the Christmas tree arrived in the United States. The only difference is that Europeans want their trees to be around four feet in height while Americans want trees that stand from the floor to the ceiling.

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