Christmas plant symbols Presentation Made by the students of Grade 8 A, Rovnoe Secondary school A.Vershinin, M. Mysyagina, A. Verdian, A. Martirosian Цель работы: Выяснить, какие растения и почему являются символами христианского Рождества. Сравнить рождественские растения Великобритании с растениями, украшающими российские дома во время новогодних и рождественских праздников. Christmas trees The tradition to decorate a New Year tree didn’t appear in Russia. It started when people believed in the magic of trees and plants. According to the legends people went to the forest and decorated there the biggest fir-tree asking spirits to be kind to them. The decoration of the European fir-tree has the same origin. When people decorated trees with apples they thought that the next year would bring them a rich harvest. In Russia the tradition to decorate homes with firtree branches was introduced by Peter I, then in 1830s people put at their homes whole fir-trees. The first Christmas tree was put in the square in 1852. In1918 Christmas trees were banned because of their religious origin. During 17 years our country didn’t have holiday trees and only in 1949 January I became a holiday having substituted Christmas. The Christmas tree originated in Germany in the 16th century. It was Martin Luther, the founder of a new religion, who first introduced a new custom. He brought home an evergreen tree and decorated it with candles which he lit on Christmas Eve. They represented the stars in the sky shining at Christ‘s birth night. Christmas trees in Britain The Christmas tree gained popularity in England under Queen Victoria, because of the influence of her husband, Prince Albert, who was German. Holly, Mistletoe and Other Evergreens Evergreens have been a part of mid-winter festivals long before Christmas. They played a symbolic part because they stayed green and alive when other plants appeared dead and bare. They symbolized everlasting life and hope for the return of spring . In Britain the most popular Christmas evergreens are holly, mistletoe and poinsettia. Poinsettia (Пуансеттия ) Пуансеттия Poinsettia is a very nice Mexican plant, which is often used for Christmas decorations. Thanks to the form of its leaves poinsettia has become the symbol of the Bethlehem star and is associated with Christmas. Holly (Остролист) Holly is another popular Christmas symbol. According to some versions, Jesus Christ’s crown was made of the holly, and its berries which were primarily white became red because of the Savior’s blood. This plant remains green and nice even in winter when the nature loses its bright colours. Mistletoe (Омела ) Now mistletoe is one of the main Christmas symbols, though at first the church prohibited to use it for decorating homes on account of the pagan legends connected with this plant. In the 19th century before the Christmas tree in England there was a so called “branch of kisses”. It was made in the form of a double ring decorated with green garlands, ivy, apples, pears, lit candles and mistletoe. If a girl happened to stand under it she was allowed to be kissed. Ivy (плющ) It has to cling to something to support itself as it grows. This reminds us that we need to cling to God for support in our lives. Conclusion The British plant symbols are connected with Catholic traditions of celebrating Christmas. We think that the use of these plants is also determined by the geographical position of the country and its climate. The Russian climate is more severe and that’s why we haven’t got such a variety of plants in winter. But nevertheless nowadays we are the witnesses of the process of globalization, when in Russia they use Christmas wreaths and other decorations with holly, ivy and poinsettia. It’s great while admiring them to know their meaning as well.