Here are a few more Christmas traditions that have their beginnings in history.
Enjoy your customs and your Christmas,
An evergreen fir tree was used to celebrate winter festivals (pagan and Christian) for thousands of years. Nobody is really sure when Fir trees were first used as Christmas trees. It probably started about began 1000 years ago in Northern Europe. Many early Christmas Trees seem to have been hung upside down from the ceiling using chains.
At first, a figure of the Baby Jesus was put on the top of the tree. Over time it changed to an angel/fairy that told the shepherds about Jesus, or a star like the Wisemen saw.
The first Christmas Trees came to Britain sometime in the 1830s and became popular in 1841 when Prince Albert (Queen Victoria’s German husband) set up a Christmas Tree in Windsor Castle. In Victorian times, the tree was decorated with candles to represent stars.
They were originally filled with meat, such as lamb, rather than dried fruit, and were in an oval shape to represent the manger that Jesus slept in as a baby, with the top representing his swaddling clothes. A middle age’s custom was that if you ate a mince pie every day from Christmas to Twelfth Night (6th January) you’d have happiness for the next 12 months.
It originated as a 14th century porridge called ‘frumenty’ , made of beef and mutton with raisins, currants, prunes, wines and spices. Often more like soup, it was eaten as a fasting meal in preparation for Christmas festivities.
By 1595, frumenty changed into a plum pudding thickened with eggs, breadcrumbs, dried fruit and flavoured with beer and spirits. It became the customary Christmas dessert around 1650, but in 1664 the Puritans banned it as a bad custom. In 1714, King George I re-established it as part of the Christmas meal, having tasted and enjoyed Plum Pudding.
By Victorian times, Christmas Puddings had changed into something like the ones we eat now.