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Today, the Christmas tree seems to be the emblem that is the most representative of the holiday. It's often said that the history of the Christmas tree stems back to pagan times when evergreens were put in the homes and other places of worship in mid-winter.
Early pre-Christian religions in higher latitudes of Europe always applied great meaning to the comings and goings of the sun and the affect that it has on the world—the production of the seasons (spring, summer, fall and winter). Even though the winter solstice occurs in the cold heart of the winter it symbolizes the return of the sun thus it was a valued event and the cause for much celebration. It also appears to have been the root of modern-day Christmas.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|