While walking around in the Franklin Park
Conservatory for their “Merry & Bright”
Holiday displays we came upon a decorated
Christmas tree that was hanging up side down.
I had seen pictures of them before where people
had hung them from the ceiling just for fun
but I was surprised to know that it had been an
old German custom at one time.
As a way to express hope in the forth coming
season, 16th century Germans hung evergreen
trees top side down from the ceiling and decorated
them with so many edible ornaments they were
often called “Sugar Trees”.
Upon further research about the custom
I found several references to the up side
The triangular design of the Fir has also been
used to describe the Holy Trinity of God the
Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Eventually, converts
began to revere the Fir as God's Tree...as they had
once revered the Oak. By the Twelfth Century it
was being hung, upside-down, from ceilings at Christmastime in Central Europe, as a
symbol of Christianity.
The tradition of a Christmas tree spread across
America during the 1800s with the arrival of
German immigrants. One of the first public
displays of a Christmas tree was set up by German
settlers in Pennsylvania at a time when many
people still considered the tree to be a symbol of
pagans. The Germans would bake fancy ornaments
for their trees and then consume the decorations
when the trees were taken down. After Christmas,
these frugal people would strip the needles and then
wrap the branches in cotton to extend the life of the
tree for several Christmases to come. Fruits, nuts,
flowers and lighted candles also adorned the first
American Christmas trees, but only the strongest
could support such a weight without drooping.
Thus, German glassblowers began producing
lightweight glass balls to replace heavier, natural decorations. These lights and decorations were representations of the joy and light of Christmas,
with the star atop the tree symbolic of the
"Star in the East."
Everyone Enjoy Your Week,