|Tudor Christmas decorations at Trerice.|
The familiar sights of lights, Christmas trees, and red bows in our own homes was a far cry from what the people of Tudor times used to decorate their homes.
Despite the fact that the Christmas tree did not become popular in England until the reign of Queen Victoria, Christmas trees did exist during the Renaissance.
According to legend, monks in Germany used the "Christmas" Fir tree as a symbol of the trinity. It became popular to have them displayed, especially around Holy Days such as Christmas. The first decorated Christmas tree on record was at Riga, Latvia in 1510.
Legend has it that Martin Luther added the first "Christmas lights" to his Christmas tree. While traveling home one night, he was struck by the beauty of the stars shining through the branches of the trees about him. He took a small tree home and placed candles on it to show his children how the stars would shine all night through the branches of the trees.
Another popular Christmas decoration was the Advent Wreath. The use of the Advent Wreath dates back to the Middle Ages. It served a double purpose; as decoration, and as a tool for spiritual preparation for the holy season.
Decorations were extremely important to the Tudors, just as they are to us today. Decorating marked the beginning and the end of the holiday season. It was considered bad luck to leave Christmas decorations up past Candlemas (Feb. 2).