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The Origins of Christmas in Germany

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OSWEGO, Ill. - eTradeWire -- Frohe Weihnachten! Which means "Merry Christmas!" in German. You might not be aware of how huge the German influence is (even for us as Americans) on how we celebrate the holiday of Christmas. Grab a cup of coco and your favorite Ugly Christmas sweater. And join us on a wonderful journey through The Origins of Christmas in Germany!

The First Christmas

Many people credit Germany with starting the celebration that we now call "Christmas". But that is not true. The first Christmas dates all the way back to Rome in 334 AD. Unlike Christmas, as we know it today, these people were celebrating the Winter Solstice as well as the birth of Jesus Christ. There are many correlations between Jesus and the sun. St. Augustine explains why the Winter Solstice was fitting to celebrate Christ's nativity: "Hence it is that He was born on the day which is the shortest in our earthly reckoning and from which subsequent days begin to increase in length. He, therefore, who bent low and lifted us up chose the shortest day, yet the one whence light begins to increase."

Early Celebrations of Christmas in Germany

As early as 1494 Sebastian Brant recorded of people placing branches of fir trees in their homes. Even though the precise date and origin of the tradition of the Christmas tree is unknown. It is said that the first fir trees were decorated with apples in Strasbourg, Germany back in 1605. Therefore, we do credit Germany with the first official Christmas Tree! Also, that the first use of candles on a fir tree were by a Silesian duchess in 1611.

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