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Tree History

The decorated Christmas tree can be traced back to the ancient Romans who during their winter festival decorated trees with small pieces of metal during Saturnalia, a winter festival in honour of Sauternes, the god of agriculture. An evergreen, the Paradise tree, was decorated with apples as a symbol of the feast of Adam and Eve held on December 24th during the middle ages.

Sixteenth century folklore credited Martin Luther as being the first to decorate an indoor tree.  After a walk through a forest of evergreens with shining stars overhead, Luther tried to describe the experience to his family and showed them by bringing a tree into their home and decorating it with candles.

In Austria & Germany during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the tops of evergreens were cut and hung upside down in a living room corner.  They were decorated with apples, nuts and strips of red paper.

Prince Albert, consort to Queen Victoria, was credited with making the Christmas tree popular in Britain when he introduced the first Christmas tree to Windsor Castle in the early 19th Century.



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