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Christmas plant symbols
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 )
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.
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.
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