Christmas Tree


Christmas trees are an important part of Christmas celebrations. Families and friends gather around them to exchange gifts. Many cities around the world put trees up in squares, parks and government buildings; we can see them in shopping malls, work offices and in many homes.

The druids in ancient England and the Romans in Europe used evergreen branches to decorate their homes to celebrate the Winter Solstice. Over the years these traditions were adopted by Christians who incorporated the Christmas tree in their Christmas celebrations.

By legend Saint Boniface, a 7th century monk from England used the triangular shape of a fir tree as a symbol to teach Germans about the Holy Trinity.

Late in the Middle Ages, Germans and Scandinavians placed evergreen trees inside their homes or just outside their doors.

The first decorated tree was at Riga in Latvia (Germany) in 1510.

Legend has it that Martin Luther began the tradition of decorating trees with candles to celebrate Christmas.

In the mid 16th century Christmas markets were set up in German towns, to provide everything from gifts, food, gingerbreads, and wax ornaments for people to buy and enjoy at Christmas time.

The first Christmas tree came to England with the Georgian Kings who came from Germany. Christmas trees were decorated with tinsels, silver wire ornaments, candles and small beads that had been manufactured in Germany and East Europe since the 17th Century.

The first Christmas tree in Canada was set up in Sorel, Quebec in 1781 by Baron Frederick Von Riedesel who was born in Germany and brought the tradition of decorating the tree with white candles.

The next recorded Christmas tree was in Halifax in 1846 when a local merchant cut down an evergreen and decorated it with glass ornaments imported form Germany; his name was William Piyor.

Christmas trees in Canada became a growing business in the last century and now Canadians use between 4 to 6 million trees annually. The leading producers are found in Quebec, Nova Scotia and Ontario. British Columbia produces 900,000 trees annually most of them are cut form native pine stands.

Most British Columbian Christmas tree plantations are found in the Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and in the Okanagan regions.


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