Ah, the magic of yuletide. Perhaps no holiday has inspired as many songs and traditions as this winter holiday. Christmas started as a religious celebration, but over the years, people of many faiths began reveling in the spirit of the season. Many people today consider it a secular holiday.
If you’ve read the Biblical story or watched many television specials, you might think you know all there is about this holiday. However, there’s more to Christmas than a manger and Santa Claus. Read on to discover some unique facts about this seasonal celebration!
1. Germany Popularized the Christmas Tree
Many legends surround the tradition of decorating a Christmas tree. Most historians agree the ritual stems from pagan roots. Many nature-based religions find mystical significance in trees that stay green all winter long. People would bring these trees into their homes as symbols that the earth would once more bear fruit in the spring.
German Christians began borrowing from this tradition in the 16th century. Historians believe Martin Luther, founder of the Protestant church, popularized decorating trees with candles. When Germans immigrated to Pennsylvania, they brought the tradition stateside with them.