Like any other significant festivity, decorations are the soul of Christmas celebrations as well. However, what many of us are not aware of is the fact that there are a slew of myths, beliefs, and superstitions associated with Christmas decorations. Unearthing the importance of decorating Christmas trees is enjoyable indeed. The next time you get busy with the decorations—you would actually know what exactly the significance of holly leaves and ivy leaves is and why exactly keeping the doorways clean is considered to be an important part of this tradition. Do read on in order to unravel.
The “Tree”: How much do you know about it?
Have you ever wondered what the back story of the Christmas tree is? Actually, as per legend, the history of the Christmas Tree go way back to the7th century after St Boniface has traveled to Germany with the intention of converting the tribes of pagan community to Christianity. The legend also says that he employed a triangular shaped fir tree as an instruction tool to clarify the Holy Trinity of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Now, though this legend is fairly popular there is actually no source authenticating the same.
There was actually a time when it was believed that homes were decorated with Christmas trees to ward off dangers from the unpredictable forces. There are some families where the Christmas tree is strictly not brought inside the home before the 24th of December. It is an age-old belief as well. What you are going to read next about the superstitions related to Christmas decorations will actually leave you more intrigued than ever. Want to find out what we’re talking about? Keep on exploring!
There was a time when people used to adorn the Christmas trees in front of their homes – i.e the trees that didn’t really have leaves on. It was commonly believed that when trees had no leaves their spirits also left them. As such, they became busy covering these trees with adornments – with the belief that with these embellishments the spirit of the trees would be restored. The trees with all these adornments would look more beautiful as a result of which these people felt that they would be successful in bringing back the spirit of the tree.
There is another very significant belief associated with the decoration of the Christmas tree. It was supposed that the Christmas Trees were decorated in a bid to draw people to the fairs of Christmas where the merchants sold different products including food, gifts, and other things to spread the joys resulting up to the big day of Christmas! It was meant to bring people together on such an auspicious occasion! At least, that’s what was believed! Even today, we have seen children and adults of a particular community coming together to decorate neighborhood Christmas trees.
Myriad Beliefs and Superstitions
There is another belief attached to the sweeping of doorways during Christmas. They say most of the property owners do it to invite good fortunes for the next year. Other common beliefs are as follows:
• Do you know that there are some countries where people believe that the Christmas decorations should be removed on the twelfth day of the Christmas Eve? There are some countries – however – where the decorations are not really removed till the second of February, which is also the Feast of Grand Candle Mass.
• There are other countries that are very strict about removing the Christmas decorations on 6th January itself – not before and after. It is considered bad luck to remove the adornments on any other day except 6th January
• Another major superstition followed in this regard is that the tree is only decorated after the children go to bed
• During the 19th century, it was believed that one should have the Christmas cake on the Christmas Eve itself. It was considered bad luck to cut the Christmas cake before the sun rises on that day.
• Holly, ivy, and mistletoe that are such important parts of Christmas decorations are traditionally associated with good luck
What the Adornments Represent
There are some adornments that are believed to symbolize several virtues as well. The star on the top – for example—takes us back to the star of Bethlehem, leading the three magi to the stable where Jesus actually lay.
And, what exactly can we say about the wreath? The moment you come to acquaint yourself with its significance, you will start treating it with more respect than what you are already doing. It represents the unconditional love of the Father. It shows that God has only His love and mercy to shower on you every day and that his love has no beginning or end!
The Tinsel of the Christmas Tree represents the fire which Joseph had made to keep Mother Mary and Jesus warm when they were lying in the stable.
The colorful candy canes have significant meaning attached to it as well! Their shape actually reminds us of the shepherd’s staff which was meant to guide the sheep. The shepherd, of course, holds a special place in our hearts because he was believed to have witnessed the birth of Jesus Christ. So, the next time you are buying those canes – you actually know why they were popularly used.
The beauty of decorating trees and houses during Christmas is that our urge to adorn our surroundings has its basis on the festive spirit itself. It is our willingness to become a part of the all-pervading spirit. By doing so we at times unconsciously end up becoming a part of age-old traditions, beliefs, superstitions and myths that even we are not aware of! The idea of being a part of such a vast world of customs feels as beautiful as the festival itself.
Make sure that you are learning more about the beliefs attached to the Christmas decorations and look forward to a more meaningful Christmas celebration this year! Hopefully, this post has been of ample help for you!
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