know for certain who lays claim to the first Christmas tree
but few dispute that it was in the area which is now Northern
When searching for the historical beginning of the first Christmas tree, one must go very deep into the past. Just like Santa Claus one finds that the first Christmas tree was combination of many different facts, legends and customs. The first documented use of a tree in a winter Christmas celebration was
in several locations in Northern Europe including Estonia, and
Latvia, in the year 1510 according to documents from the Blackheads Fraternity
chronicles and from various sources in Germany. more
- historical background
many cities and towns in Northern Europe, Christmas is more a
"way of life" a traditional winter celebration of the celebration
of life and asking for a prosperous New Year to be bestowed upon
all folks. In Northern Europe, the activities start on the first
advent (usually last weekend in November) and run through the
New Year Holiday - places with a Russian influence have an added
benefit to extend the winter holiday through the Russian Orthodox
Christmas usually the 6 or 7th of January.
activities in Northern Europe and more community based and the
citizens experience the "spirit" each day as they go
about their daily activities. Open air Markets spring up in the
town squares and wonderful hand crafted items are for sale. Hot
wine, roasted almond nuts and other goodies are sold by street
the 21st of December each year, now for centuries, a "cast
of characters" gathers in some medieval squares of cities
and towns throughout Northern Europe. A strange ritual takes
place where pieces of trees (logs) tied to the end of a heavy
rope are pulled through the streets of the city, After the logs
are returned to the square a large fire is waiting where the
logs are placed and the evil spirits are encouraged to
"jump out" of the logs and be burnt up by the flames.
Folk groups perform historic music and chant to the rhythm.
On Christmas Day it is traditional for families to gather around the Christmas tree and to open their
Christmas presents together, collecting each in turn from the foot of the tree.
the video below and experience one such Winter Solstice event.
| Come and
Experience the Medieval Christmas Experience (TM)
Market in Tallinn is exceptional and so is the fun and excitement
for the whole family. Tallinn is the perfect location and
setting to experience the 500th anniversary of this
may also consider visiting the Home
of Santa Claus in Lapland Finland or Track Santa's journey on
the NORAD site.