History Of Christmas Traditions
Ever wondered the tradition behind signing carols and decorating trees on Christmas Eve? Read on to find out about numerous Christmas traditions that have been followed and passed on from one generation to the other for centuries now.
The idea for decorating trees on Christmas dates back to the 16th century. Martin Luther, the famous German religious leader was walking alone in a forest on Christmas Eve. He admired the beauty of numerous stars that were decorating the clear dark sky that night. He then brought a small tree from a forest and used candles to decorate it. The candles were made to look like stars from heaven.
The art of signing carols on Christmas Eve dates back to the 13th century. The world “carol” is actually derived from a French word “carolet” meaning, “to dance in a ring”. The importance of carols grew over time. Numerous carols were composed, written and sung as part of the charismas celebrations in the 19th century.
The idea of hanging a stocking near the fireplace has an interesting history too. According to a European legend, three poor sisters were in desperate need of money. St. Nicholas dropped 3 gold coins through the chimney to ease their financial crisis. The coins were collected in a stocking that was left to dry near the fireplace.
It was Henry Cole’s idea to send cards on Christmas Eve. He wanted to make use of postal system to send cards to family and friends in 1843. The concept of Boxing Day also has is roots in the 19th century. Boxes were placed outside churches. People would drop in money. The amount was collected the next day and distributed to the poor and needy.
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