- What should the main New Year tree of the country look like?
- What is one of the legends of the Christmas tree?
- What are the advantages of artificial Christmas trees?
- What rules did people follow in the past when decorating the Christmas tree?
- Who changed the date of New Year’s Day in his country?
- How did the technological progress change Christmas decorations?
- How didthe tradition of decorating the tree with coloured glass balls start?
A. Why do people decorate Christmas trees at home? There are several stories about the start of the tradition. One of them is about Martin Luther, the founder of the protestant faith. While he was walking through a forest on a Christmas Eve, he looked up and was impressed by the beauty of the stars that were shining through the tree branches. He cut down a small tree and took it home. There, he decorated the tree with candles as a present for his family.
B. The tradition of decorating a Christmas tree comes from Germany. Until the 17th century, people decorated their Christmas tree in a certain order. Firstly, a star was fixed on the top. Then people hung apples on lower branches of the tree. Finally, they placed biscuits, gingerbread and sweets underneath. The Christmas tree in the fairy tale Nutcracker was decorated in exactly this way.
C. The Christmas tree tradition came to Russia with Peter the Great in the 18th century. He enjoyed the celebration tradition in Germany and issued a law according to which all families had to decorate their houses with pine tree branches. It also announced that people should have fun on that day. Peter the Great also decided to move New Year’s celebration from 1st September to 1st January.
D. The most popular Christmas decoration was invented by a German glass-blower. He made a ball and decorated it with angel figures and snowflakes. The man gave it as a gift to his daughter. The girl decided to put the ball on the Christmas tree. It was so beautiful that the glass-blower made many more decorated balls and sold them. Now people all over the world choose to decorate their Christmas trees in this way.
E. In the 18th century, people started decorating Christmas trees with candles. Later, with the discovery of electricity, electric lights were put on Christmas trees. It was Edward Johnson, an assistant of Thomas Edison, who first used electric lights for Christmas tree decoration. People liked his idea. However, it took several years before the electric lights became available to the general public.
F. Nowadays, Christmas trees are found everywhere – in houses, on the streets and squares. Most of them are artificial trees. However, in the centre of Moscow, in the Kremlin, you can always see a natural Christmas tree. The most important tree of the country is carefully chosen in the forest – it should be tall and beautiful. Professional designers decorate it to create an unforgettable fairytale tree for thousands of children and their parents.