Christmas Trees around the World

In almost every home across the globe, a Christmas tree serves as the centrepiece for the season; it’s a world-famous Christmas tradition that’s been practiced over the centuries.

Although Christmas trees around the world generally look alike, the materials, ornaments, and rituals set one apart from the other. In Germany, Christmas trees, or Tannenbaum, highlight the Christmas celebration. Parents usually hide the Christmas tree from the kids. Moms decorate it with angels, apples, nuts, cookies, and other tinsels. Presents and embellished plates for each family member are placed near the tree. At midnight, the “magic” begins—a signal bell is rung, and the Tannenbaum is unveiled to the children. The entire family sing Christmas carols and open the gifts.

Natale (Christmas) in Italy is spiced up with its own version of the Christmas tree, the ceppo, also known as the Tree of Light. It is a pyramid-shaped, tiered wooden frame, with the nativity scene usually featured at the bottom. Coloured paper, golden pinecones, and small candles adorn the ceppo, and a little doll or star accentuates its apex.

Christmas in Japan is especially devoted to kids, and Japanese Christmas trees clearly show it. Unlike the usual Christmas trees, those in Japan are embellished with small toys, dolls, and swan origami. In other Asian countries such as China and the Philippines, artificial or plastic pine trees are used. Chinese decorate the trees with paper chains, flowers, and lanterns, while Filipinos garnish theirs with bright and colourful trinkets, dancing lights, and a star or angel on top.

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