The origin of the Christmas Tree
Many people believe the origin of the Christmas Tree originated in Europe perhaps in the 15th or 16th century. However, there is much evidence that points to the fact the tree originally had pagan roots,(no pun intended) and actually originated much earlier than that.
In the 16th century, the Catholic Church finally allowed the previous pagan symbol to be included into the birth of Jesus Christ. The tradition of a “Yule Tree” or “Solstice Tree” long pre-dated the time of Jesus and the Catholic Church.
It’s origin lies in a pagan remembrance of a time when there was a Cosmic Tree, a home of the “Gods”, the tree of Life, source of good and evil.
One symbol of sacred knowledge in antiquity was a Tree, ever guarded by a serpent, the serpent or dragon of wisdom.
Early legends state the existence of a land to the north of Europe called Hyperborea, a land free of ice and snow.The land was perfect with the sun shining 24 hours a day, neither disease , famine or old age was present, far from labor and battle they lived. It was in this land the ancients believed the “Tree of Life” existed, the star at the top came to represent Polaris, the North Star, around which the ancients believed all the universe revolved.
Ironically Santa Claus lives at the North Pole and thus Santa is woven into this legend.
Our ancient ancestors found it extremely difficult to deal with the harshness of winter and would long for a mild season. Thus they would often try to appease the forces of nature with various religious activities. Dressing up as Old Man Winter, the Pagan Vikings would then try to make him as welcome as possible. After appearing to have some success, the British adopted the custom and called him Old Father Christmas. He was welcomed into each house and given food and drink in hopes of putting him in a good mood, thus creating a mild winter and early spring.
This pagan figure thus became confused with Santa Claus, originally a Christian Monk who died in 345 CE and gained sainthood.
Becoming more popular than Christ, the French clergy burned him in effigy in the middle of the 19th century.
Today’s Santa is actually an invention of Coca Cola, who in 1931 hired an artist to redesign Santa Claus for their winter advertising campaign. Red and white, the colors of Coca Cola became the color of the Old Man’s uniform.
In earlier times, Old Man Winter, or Father Christmas would appear in green, purple, blue or even brown,(wonder if that is where UPS got the idea?) and sometimes even trimmed in furs. But no more, modern America has transformed him into a fat jolly man in a red suit with lots of goodies for everyone. Hence the jolly old man who brings goodies to everyone actually had his humble beginnings in pagan times and not Christianity as one would think.
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His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.
He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.
He has published several books about his adventures.
For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.
There is an extreme shortage of common sense in today’s world, When looking back in history, I soon discovered this has always been a problem, Benjamin Franklin once said, ”Of all the senses, common sense seems to be the one that is used the least.” As obvious as it may seem, many seem to be totally oblivious to it. Most, if not all of the problems the world faces today could be solved if people would just sit back and think about what would seem to be the most obvious and simple solution to any issue. Often times people tend to overcomplicate the issues. I often think back to what my parents and grandparents believed and said, at the time I thought they were totally out of their mind and ignored it. I now wish I would have listened and followed their advice. It is now evident they were a lot smarter than we gave them credit for. Many times, in today’s world, the schools and universities can no longer be counted on to teach truth and values that will guide someone through life.