The Solstice Evergreen: History, Folklore, And Origins Of The Christmas Tree
Publish Date: 1990-09-01
Author: Sheryl Karas
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Bringing home and decorating an evergreen tree at Christmas time is one of the most beloved holiday customs. Yet although more than forty million people in the Unite States alone decorate a tree each year, few of us know the origins and spiritual significance of the ritual we perform. The evergreen has been a potent cultural symbol of rebirth from the dawn of history. Modern Christmas Trees are a vestige of the pagan practice of bringing evergreens into the home to symbolise life in the dead of winter. Trees have special significance to almost every culture, from prehistoric Japan to Central Africa, from Native Americans to Medieval Germans, and the pages of The Solstice Evergreen contain more than 30 charming and authentic folk tales as well as dozens of period illustrations. This rich collection of mythology includes stories from Palestine, France, Scandinavia, Mexico, the Maoris, the Orient, Native American Tribes, the Soviet Union, and many other regions. Gathered together in this book for the first time, they represent a unique perspective spanning many cultures and centuries. The Solstice Evergreen is the first book to vividly explore the entire historical story behind the Christmas Tree, and how it reflects back to us a set of values that are central to every nationality and religion.