CHRISTMAS IN GERMANY
The tradition of the Christmas tree began in Germany. During the Middle Ages, Miracle plays were put on to teach the
peasants the stories of the bible. A decorated evergreen tree representing the tree of life (Paradise Baum) was present
on the stage. The Christmas tree represents that tree of life. Tradition states that when St. Boniface was preaching among
the German tribes, he cut down an Oak tree that was sacred to the Germans. As the tree fell it crushed all the other trees
around it except a firtree. This fir, Boniface declared, was the tree of Christ and that is why it is associated with
The first Christmas trees were undecorated. According to tradition, on a cold, clear winter's night, Martin Luther was
walking in the woods when he noticed the twinkling stars among the evergreens. He was so taken by the beauty of what he
had seen that, when he returned home, he tied candles on the Christmas tree to show his family. Thus, the tradition of the
Christbaum or Christ's tree was born.
In some regions of Germany an unusual tradition is observed called the Christmas pickle. The last ornament that is put
on the tree is a glass pickle. This ornament is hidden in the tree. On Christmas morning, the first child who finds the
pickle ornament receives an extra present. Another unusual tradition is the carrot ornament, a glass ornament is given to
a new bride for her tree, it is assumed to be a symbol of fertility.
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