Christmas is not only the feast of Orthodoxy. Christmas – a holiday returned, resurgent. Traditions of this holiday, filled with genuine humanity and kindness, of high moral ideals, in our days open and assimilated again.
Do you know who drew the first Christmas card? And why in the Christmas bells were rung, and that candles symbolize?
Christmas wreath is of Lutheran origin.
This evergreen wreath with four candles. The first candle is lit on Sunday four weeks before Christmas as a symbol of the light that comes into the world with the birth of Christ. Every Sunday lit another candle.
On the last Sunday before Christmas, light all four candles to illuminate the place where the wreath (this may be the altar of the Church or dining table).
Bell ringing in the Yuletide has come to us from pagan winter celebrations. When the Earth was cold, it was believed that the sun died, and the evil spirit is very strong. To banish an evil spirit, it was much to quiet.
Up to now has survived the Christmas tradition of ringing the bells, sing and shout. At Christmas time in churches throughout the world hear the bell ringing. But not for casting out evil spirits. Thus people welcome the coming of Christ.
In Scandinavia the ringing of the bell signifies the end of work and beginning of the celebration, England – tolling at the funeral of the devil and the greeting of Christ.
Light was an important part of pagan winter celebrations. With the help of candles and bonfires cast out the forces of darkness and cold. Wax candles were distributed to the Romans on the feast of the Saturnalia.
In Christianity, the candle will be considered an additional symbol of the importance of Jesus as the Light of the world. In Victorian England merchants every year gave its loyal customers the candles.
In many countries, Christmas candles signify the victory of light over darkness. The candles on the Paradise tree gave rise to all our favorite Christmas tree.
Christmas tree for the birds
Christmas tree for the birds – the Scandinavian tradition. People try to share their joy in the Christmas holiday with other living beings.
Directly on Christmas day or the day before the birds carried seeds or bread crumbs. It is a sign that the new year will be successful. Feast on the street adds more fun to the holiday in the house.
In 1843, an Englishman of HORSLEY he created the first Christmas card. 1000 copies of the postcards were sold in that year in London.
Publisher Louis Prang popularized Christmas cards in 1875. He spent in America, national competition to design a Christmas card.
The improvement of the postal system and reduce the cost of mail allowed to send Christmas cards to many friends in all parts of the world.
This tradition has many roots. Saint Nicholas traditionally considered a giver of gifts.
In Rome was the tradition of giving gifts to children on the feast of the Saturnalia. As a gift giver may act as Jesus himself, Santa Claus, Befana (Italian Santa Claus female), Christmas gnomes, and various saints.
According to an old Finnish tradition, scatters gifts to the homes of the invisible man.
Before the advent of the Christmas tree in the middle of the nineteenth century in England was the so-called “branch kisses”. She had the form of a double ring, decorated with garlands, green branches, Holly, ivy, apples, pears, candles and mistletoe. If a girl accidentally come under this branch, it was allowed to kiss.
Assume that the first undecorated Christmas trees appeared in Germany in the eighth century.
The first mention of fir associated with the monk by Saint Boniface. Boniface was reading the druids sermon about Christmas. To convince the idolaters that the oak is the sacred tree he cut down one of the oaks. When a felled oak fell, it pushed its way all the trees, except for a young spruce. Boniface introduced spruce survival as a miracle and said, “this tree shall be a tree of Christ!”
In the future, Christmas in Germany was marked by the planting of young fir trees. In the German source, dated 1561 year, said that on Christmas day in the house can stand no more than a single tree.
In the XVII century the Christmas tree was already common attribute of Christmas in Germany and the Scandinavian countries. While the Christmas tree was decorated with figures and flowers, cut out of colored paper, apples, wafers, gold-plated gizmos, sugar. The tradition of decorating the Christmas tree is associated with the Paradise tree hung with apples.
The success of the Christmas tree in Protestant countries was even higher thanks to the legend that Martin Luther himself was the first to come to light candles on the Christmas tree. One night he was walking home, writing a sermon. The brilliance of stars twinkling in the firs, inspired him with awe.To demonstrate this gorgeous picture of the family, he put a Christmas tree in the main room, reinforced on its branches, candles and lit them.
Its popularity in England Christmas tree owes the German Prince albert, husband of Queen Victoria.
In the seventeenth century, German immigrants brought the Christmas tree tradition to America. The first outdoor Christmas tree with electric lights was introduced in Finland in 1906.
Earlier during the celebration of Christmas is one of the main dangers were Christmas candles. Therefore, in the living room kept buckets of water in case of fire.
The idea of using electric lights instead of candles English belongs to the human operator Ralph Morris. By that time, filament light bulbs have already been used in telephone switchboards, Morris only had the idea to hang them on the tree.
Decoration, Christmas decorations
The first Christmas trees were decorated with fresh flowers and fruit. Later were added sweets, nuts and other food. Then Christmas candles. Such a burden was certainly too heavy for the tree.
German glassworks began to produce hollow glass Christmas decorations to replace fruits and other heavy ornaments.
The first guest
The first guest is the first person that comes into the house and “sucks” Christmas (in some countries this tradition refers not to the Christmas and New year). Sometimes such a person even specially hired to everything was done properly, as there is a superstition associated with the first guest.
The first guest must hold a spruce twig. He enters the front door, passes through the house and out the back door. He was presented with bread and salt, or some small gift as a symbol of hospitality. The first guest must be dark-haired man. If the first guest was a woman – it’s bad luck.