There are many legends about Christmas trees, but what we can say for sure about their history is that they appeared at first time in the capital of Latvia, in Riga at the early part of the sixteenth century. The vendors started to decorate trees there in order to attract people to Christmas fairs where they sold gifts, food and other delights in the days before Christmas.
Later the Christmas tree was largely a German tradition for several centuries until it was introduced in Canada during the American Revolution. During this time German soldiers fighting on behalf of the British were stationed in Canada to protect it from American invasion and they started decorating trees at Christmas time. Then the Christmas tree started to appear in England as King George III came from Germany and brought his traditions as well. However, Christmas trees become more popular in England during the reign of Queen Victoria. When the British Empire gets larger and the Christmas trees were already common in Britain it was easy to spread this tradition around the world.
In Hungary, Christmas Eve is very important and is called ‘Szent-este’ which means Holy Evening. People spend the evening with their family and decorate the Christmas Tree together. Sometimes only the adults decorate it without the children there, so when children come in and see the tree, it’s a great surprise and they are told that angels or little Jesus brought the tree for them.
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