Martin Luther was the first to add lit candles to the Christmas Tree. Walking home late one night, he stopped dead in his tracks looking at the brilliance of the stars shining through the evergreen trees. He wanted to recreate the look for his family, and so he added candles nestled between the branches.
Jamie Christoph I
Long before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that were green all year had a special meaning for people in winter. It was believed that evergreens could keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness. And, so they were chosen to represent Christmas.
The bird has always been a symbol of luck and fortune. There was a belief that a bird’s nest was also a source of that luck. So finding a bird’s nest or a bird in a tree that had been selected for Christmas decoration was a sign that the family would have good luck and health throughout the year.
Did you know that more than 100,000,000 acres are planted with Christmas trees? Or, Thomas Edison's assistants came up with the idea for electric tree lights? And, that there are approximately 36 million trees sold each year?
The start at the top of a tree became a fully secular icon of the New Year holiday. For example, the crowning star was regarded not as a symbol of Bethlehem Star in Russia, but as the Red Star.
(On this last one, we just wanted to see if you were paying attention.) But because snowmen are situation specific, they can be considered a good example of installation art.
Happy Holidays Everyone.
Pat & Piper