RETURN OF GREEN BEAUTY
After the October Revolution of 1917, the Gregorian calendar was finally adopted. As a result of the reform adopted in 1918, Christmas from December 25th moved to January 7th. In 1929, the ban on many Christmas trees loved by many, which were considered bourgeois and royal remnants, was officially introduced, although in 1935, thanks to the article by P. P. Postyshev, the tree again became an integral part of the New Year holiday.
Where did the tradition of decorating the tree, which is more than 2000 years old?
Our ancestors paid great attention to natural cycles and performed magic rites to coax the forces of nature. Especially important was the winter solstice - the eve of the longest night of the year, when otherworldly forces and spirits are activated. Spruce is the same as other evergreens - pine, holly, holly - symbolized eternal life, so they figured in the rituals of the winter holidays. And the first who began to hang on certain trees all sorts of things with sacral purposes, were the priests of the ancient Celts - Druids.Did they attach tremendous importance to the trees and associate with them the human essence? In addition, the trees, according to the Druids, are magical creatures. Pine for the Druids personified peace and height of spirit. They believed that the pine aura is able to cleanse the soul of a person from evil influence. And in order to appease the gods and spirits, ritual sacrifices were offered to them and hung on the branches of trees. Most often it was something edible - bread, fruits, or even parts of sacrificial animals, but the Celts, as is well known, had human sacrifices at large, so that, you know, sometimes other “toys” could appear on the Christmas tree.
In Germanic peoples, evergreen fir was considered a sacred tree in which the good spirit of the forest dwells, and personified immortality, while fir cones were a symbol of the fire of life. Having chosen the largest spruce in the neighborhood of the settlement, the ancient Germans hung it with food, strictly adhering to the canon: apples symbolized fertility, eggs — the birth of a new life, nuts — the incomprehensibility of divine providence.
Later, in medieval Germany, the canon was adapted to the Christian concept: the tree was decorated with apples,waffles - as a reminder of the loaves used for the participle (later the waffles were replaced with gingerbread), and the top was crowned with a Bethlehem star.
Initially, Christmas trees were dressed up right in the forest. The tradition to dress up a fir-tree came from Germany. On Christmas of the year 1419, the bakery shop of the city of Freiburg made a wonderful gift for the poor: a Christmas tree was set up in a Catholic hospital for the poor, hung, as it should be, with apples, pears, nuts and gingerbread. And by the beginning of the 17th century, the custom of decorating a Christmas tree for Christmas had already become a good tradition.
But how are edible decorations replaced by inedible ones? According to legend, it all started with apples. Somehow a crop failure happened in one of the German provinces: small and frail apples, which they managed to find, they didn’t have a look, and they were hung up as a symbol of fertility on the Christmas tree as a sacrilege. Therefore, the people turned to glassblowers with a request to save the situation and blow out glass apples. From that moment on, the tradition began to decorate the fir tree with glass toys: fruits, cones, stars, balls, angels.
Gradually, a brilliant tinsel of fine wire appeared on the tree.By the way, there is a legend that the first fairy tale was created by a kind fairy: she turned a web into a sparkling decoration for a Christmas tree and presented it to children. The ancient custom of decorating spruce more and more merged in the minds of people with a wonderful fairy tale, and no one remembered about the Celtic idea to appease the fresh blood of spirits.
In our country after the October Revolution of 1917, the Soviet government banned the tradition of decorating the Christmas tree - this was considered a bourgeois relic. And since it became impossible to buy Christmas-tree toys, they were made by themselves. In the first post-revolutionary years there was a real boom of "self-made" production of Christmas-tree decorations. When finally in the USSR they gave the go-ahead to celebrate the New Year (it happened in 1935), the “old-fashioned” angels and the Bethlehem stars replaced the red Kremlin stars and glass pioneer figurines. During the Great Patriotic War, one of the most popular Christmas-tree decorations was paratroopers and dog-attendants.