Re: Why not 13 months? (Was La Systeme Metrique)

Shez (
Sat, 26 Aug 95 16:12:33 GMT

In article <> (randy) writes:
> In article <41g22o$>,
> (Robert A. Uhl) wrote:
> > Chriastmas trees were invented by Martin Luther.
> christmas trees were not invented by luther, that is a lutheran myth
> they had been used for years previously, although i can't vouch for their
> pagan origins, it certainly evokes the pagan "world tree"

The practice of decorating trees goes back to pagan tree worship, when
people would go into the woods and decorate the larger trees to honour them.
In fact this practice is being revived in Britain - there was a TV news item
on it a couple of months ago.

As to Christmas trees *specifically*, the only reference I can find on my
bookshelf is Shirley Toulson's book The Winter Solstice (1981) which offers
the following wobbly heap of explanations:

* The Christmas tree (decorated fir) is a Victorian custom brought over [to
Britain] from Germany by Prince Albert.

* In the 8th century St. Boniface dedicated the evergreen fir tree to the
Holy Child as a counter to the sacred oak of Odin.

* The Christmas tree came from pre-Christian ancient Egypt where the palm
tree was used at the solstice.

* It comes from the German Paradise Tree, a fir decorated with apples and
candles which was the central object in medieval mystery plays.

* Martin Luther (also German) saw the stars shining through a fir's branches
and decorated one in like manner for his son.

* The pre-Christian Celts felled a ritual tree at the solstice and buried it

* The Romans honoured the death & revival of Adonis by paying homage to a
pine tree, whose cone was the symbol of immortality.

Take your pick folks!
Please copy any replies to or I won't see them.

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