German Christmas Tree Tradition – This tradition was started by the Germans long time ago. It actually has a beautiful and holy meaning behind this tradition. Continue reading for more information.
Since Christmas is just three days away, I thought I would do something different. There will be no new recipe this week and I will resume my normal routine next week. Let’s talk about some German culture today – Christmas in Germany! I specifically want to talk about Christmas tree (Christbaum) tradition in Germany.
Even though, many places have been modernized, Germany still has a strong Catholic history (as well as many other European countries), just look at those beautiful Churches and Cathedrals all over the country.
To my surprise, Germany actually started this whole Christmas tree trend. Some say that it has no Christian meaning behind this tradition, while others say that the Protestants started it. However, there is a Catholic meaning to this beautiful custom, which I will explain below.
In Germany, Christmas celebrations start on Christmas Eve (24th December). The Christbaum is definitely the highlight of every household’s living room and in the Churches. The beautiful decorated Christmas tree and the fresh smell of pine. Not to forget about the Nativity scene placed near or under the Christmas tree, which reminds us of the birth of Jesus. We are all invited to join the Shepherds on this special occasion.
This scene can also be spotted in your local Catholic Church. Nowadays, the Christmas tree and Nativity scene will usually stay in the Church until the Feast of Epiphany (6th January). Traditionally (in the past), the Christmas tree can be seen until Candlemas day (2nd February).
Christmas Tree Tradition in Germany
The Christmas tree represents the Christ Child, the Lord Himself, the Tree of Life which is planted by God the Father for children because He loves us so much. In the paradise, Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit from the tree, which resulted in the fall of mankind. We are going to celebrate their fest on Christmas Eve. Through the delight of the new, holy Tree of Life (Christ) and the Grace of our Saviour, we shall be redeemed again.
Pine trees, which remain green in Winter, represents the fact that Christ will remain the same in eternity for us. Lighted candles in the winter night mean that Christ is the light of the world. While, fruits and pastries shall remind us of the merits of Jesus Christ, which He has collected for us. They also remind us of the Holy Sacraments, which arise from Christ’s Grace. Lastly, presents and gifts relate to the good deeds Jesus Christ has done and will do for us.
(Translated from Goffine Christkatholische Handpostille,1929, page 47)
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Thoughts on German Christmas Tree Tradition
After reading this page, I felt really blessed and happy about this meaningful day. In my opinion, this feast has been secularized. Before my conversion to Catholicism many years ago, I used to celebrate Christmas for the sake of celebrating Christmas. It is about presents, the good mood and the gathering because I never understood the significance of this holy feast. I am thankful that my Lord and my Saviour was born because He loves me and all of us. Let us look at Christmas the Christian way.
Do you celebrate Christmas as well? How do you celebrate it? Share it with me in the comment section below!
I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year!
Greetings from the Black Forest, Pia
Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year
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