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Enjoy the Medieval Christmas Experience (TM) in Northern Europe 
first Christmas tree
anno 1510 
Original Oil painting Home of the First Christmas Tree (R) by Latvian Artist Ingmara Zalite www.LinenPaintings.eu

No one know for certain who lays claim to the first Christmas tree but few dispute that it was in the area which is now Northern Europe.

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

In 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.

Christmas 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 merchants.

On 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.

Play the video below and experience one such Winter Solstice event.
audio sound starts after 1:14
Come and Experience the Medieval Christmas Experience (TM)


The Christmas 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 historic tradition

Play the video below and experience a Christmas Market event in Riga.
click for more information on the Tallinn Christmas Market


You may also consider visiting the Home of Santa Claus in Lapland Finland or Track Santa's journey on the NORAD site.


for more information
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Tallinn Christmas Market
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Download Christmas Icons - Home of the First Christmas Tree (R)
Graphic concept design by  Olga Tjukova, Riga, Latvia



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