Featured Offbeat — 09 December 2015

Why Do People Light Up Christmas Trees

It has been a tradition for more than a thousand years to use an evergreen tree for celebrating Christmas and other winter festivals. People decorate their houses with Christmas trees and light them up with candles or artificial lights. However, have you ever thought why they put candles and lights on their Christmas trees? Let us tell you the actual reason why people do so during the festive season.

Basically, it has been a tradition since the mid of the 17th century. In those times, people used to attach candles at the end of tree branches. They used to use wax or pins to attach these candles, as these would not stay on otherwise. The candles were used as a representation of bright and shining stars. While this tradition began in Germany, it soon spread to many parts of Europe.

Still, many people used to decorate their Christmas trees with candles only for a short duration. This was done to avoid any risk of trees catching fire. Many fire hazards used to take place during the practice of hanging candles to the trees. Later in around 1882, strings of colored bulbs were designed by Edward Johnson. He used light bulb strings to decorate his Christmas tree. Afterwards, President Cleveland did the same at White House in 1895.

This tradition also carried on and many people started decorating their Christmas trees with colored bulb strings. Still, these bulb strings were expensive and went off when there used to be no power at home. With time, the quality of these lights kept on improving and evolving. During the late 1960s, people caught hold of new mini bulb sets that had up to 50 light bulbs in each of them.

Soon, they started getting more options in such bulb sets. While people have still been decorating their Christmas trees with a variety of multicolored bulb sets, LED lights have started coming in as the latest option. Thus, people have more efficient lighting options to continue their long-held tradition of lighting up Christmas trees and to brighten their lives on this special occasion.

Written by Ruchika Pahwa

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Ruchika Pahwa

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