Saturday, December 4, 2010

Der Tannenbaum (Christmas Tree)

It's custom that the tree is put up and decorated on Christmas Eve, but some may put it up during Advent season.  Decorations may include tinsel, glass balls or straw ornaments and sweets. A star or an angel tops the Tannenbaum, often accompanied with a nativity scene close to the tree.

There are some mixed history information all over the net... Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom has a version if you are interested in Pagan Holiday History...another source had this to say:

Some families perhaps collect the presents under the tree... but we didn't receive presents nor saw presents until Christmas Eve that I will explain in a later post. Some families still use real candles though we used fake ones growing up.

The first known Christmas tree was set up in 1419 in Freiburg by the town bakers, who decorated the tree with fruits, nuts, and baked goods, which the children were allowed to remove and eat on New Year's Day. The town guilds and associations first brought evergreens inside their guild houses and decorated them with apples and sweets. Candles were eventually added to the decorations. Already since the Middle Ages, ordinary Germans had been bringing yew, juniper, mistletoe, holly, evergreen boughs - any plant that maintained its green color through the lifeless and dreary winter months - into their homes.

The Tannenbaum is taken down on New Year's Day or on January 6th, Three King's Day, at which time the children can ransack the tree for the sweets and treats that decorated it. Still today I am ready to take that tree down once its all over.. ^_^ and yes by New Years its gone...

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