Every year, people all across the globe celebrate the Christmas season with all sorts of lights and decorations. But no holiday decoration is more iconic than the Christmas tree. But have you ever wondered, Why do we decorate trees to celebrate Christmas? Let's find out on today's episode of Colossal Questions.
Most historians agree that the very first Christmas tree was decorated over 1,300 years ago in modern-day Germany. As the old story goes, an English missionary named Saint Boniface traveled to Germany in the 700s. While in Germany, he came across a group of Norse pagans, who were preparing to make a sacrifice to the sacred oak tree. Boniface stopped the sacrifice by cutting down the oak tree with one swing of an ax. And according to the legend, a fir tree sprang up in the spot where the oak tree had been standing. Now, that story is just an old legend. Saint Boniface never really cut down a tree, and a fir tree never really sprung up instantly in its place. But what is true is that the Christmas tree is a melding of pagan and Christian traditions.
Okay, so, that's where the Christmas tree comes from, but how did it go from a story about a fir tree to lights and ornaments in our living room? Well, it started to take shape during the Middle Ages when churches began decorating living fir trees with apples on Christmas Eve. They didn't call them Christmas trees yet, though. Back then, they were known as "Paradise Trees."
By the mid-1500s, people started adding lit candles to the fir trees to go with the apples. Slowly but surely, the Christmas tree as we know it today was starting to take shape. It wasn't until 1841 that Christmas trees became widely known outside of Germany. That's because Queen Victoria of England married a German prince named Albert. That winter, he began the custom of decorating a large Christmas tree at the queen's castle. In those days, Queen Victoria wasn't just a queen. She was also a fashion icon. So everything she did became fashionable. So, after a print was published of the queen and her family in front of their decorated fir tree, Christmas trees became all the rage across the Western world.
到了 16 世紀中，人們開始在蘋果旁擺上蠟燭作為裝飾。從那時開始，這種傳統就緩慢而穩定地發展成我們今日熟知的聖誕樹。不過直到 1841 年，聖誕樹才在德國以外地區廣為人知。這是因為維多利亞女王嫁給德國的阿爾伯特親王。那年冬天，阿爾伯特親王在女王的城堡開啟裝飾大型聖誕樹的傳統。在當時，維多利亞女王不只是女王。更是時尚指標。因此她的一舉一動都會成為流行。當維多利亞女王一家站在裝飾的冷杉樹前的照片刊登出來，聖誕樹開始蔚為風潮，席捲了西方世界。
In the United States, Christmas trees were mostly just decorated by German immigrants who came to the U.S. and lived in places like Pennsylvania. It wasn't until the invention of the electric light that Christmas trees really took off in America. People across the country loved it. And just like that, the modern Christmas tree was born.
And now you know why we put up trees at Christmastime. Comment below if you have a question you'd like to know the answer to. And don't forget to subscribe for more episodes of Colossal Questions! Only on DreamWorksTV.
而現在，你已經知道我們為什麼會在聖誕時節立聖誕樹。如果有問題想問，歡迎在下方留言。另外也別忘了訂閱我們的頻道，觀看更多《大哉問》!只在 DreamWorksTV 頻道。
- 「突然出現、迅速增長」- Spring Up
And according to the legend, a fir tree sprang up in the spot where the oak tree had been standing.
- 「緩慢且穩定地」- Slowly But Surely
Slowly but surely, the Christmas tree as we know it today was starting to take shape.
- 「風靡一時、蔚為風潮」- All The Rage
So, after a print was published of the queen and her family in front of their decorated fir tree, Christmas trees became all the rage across the Western world.
- 「突然盛行、突然走紅」- Take Off
It wasn't until the invention of the electric light that Christmas trees really took off in America.
- 「立起」- Put Up
And now you know why we put up trees at Christmastime.