Christmas trees, a tradition of yesteryear

Christmas trees, a tradition of yesteryear

Heritage & Traditions

By Petra Joaquina

According to Christian historiography, when the first faithful arrived in northern Europe, they discovered that its inhabitants were celebrating the birth of Frey, god of the Sun and fertility, by adorning an evergreen tree, on the date close to Christian Christmas today.

This tree symbolized the tree of the Universe, in whose deepest roots was Helheim (the realm of the dead). Later with the evangelization of these peoples, the practitioners of the religion took the idea of the tree to celebrate the birth of Christ, but completely changing the meaning.

The triangular shape of the pines (being generally a conifer, with particular incidence of the fir) represents the Holy Trinity. It is possible that the first Christmas tree, as it is known today, arose in Germany, where it was first implanted in 1605 to warm the chill of Christmas.

Very quickly this tradition spread to other regions of the old continent and also to other parts of the world. Today, the use of artificial trees, plastic and other synthetic materials is very popular. It is decorated with ornaments such as colored glass balls or other less fragile material, lights, stars, bells, bows, garlands or other decorations.

It is also usual that gifts are placed for children under the tree, sent by Saint Nicholas or also known as Santa Claus (and Father Christmas) or the Three Wise Men, depending on the customs of the area where they are.

Certainly, this tradition of yesteryear is beautiful and brings lights and colors to this era. In Cuba it is usual to see the trees in the houses decorated by the family and the little ones, but it is also possible to find them in shops, stores and hotel institutions as part of the Christmas atmosphere.