The Druids thousands of years ago celebrated the Winter Solstice with holly, ivy and evergreens because those plants were thought to have mystical properties. The decorated Christmas tree has only been around for about 200 years, started in Germany and was brought to the US by immigrants and to the Uk by Prince Albert, the German husband of Queen Victoria, in the 1840s. All traditions have their roots in earlier ones. Christ wasn't born at Christmas - it was the early Holy Roman Emperors who decided that we would celebrate his birth then so they tacked it on to the previous Roman festival of Saturnalia. All the Christmas stories are crazy if you think about it - snow in the middle East etc. None of that really matters if you are a Christian and accept the basic tenets of Christianity. Here in Bosnia no one was allowed a tree during the years of ethnic hatred as it was thought to symbolise partition, but now many people, Christian and Moslem, have ' new year trees' and celebrate peace, harmony and family feeling. And I think that is wonderful.
post #31 of 47
12/9/05 at 8:55am