SY5590 : Interior, St Mary's Church

taken 7 years ago, near to Litton Cheney, Dorset, Great Britain

Interior, St Mary's Church
Interior, St Mary's Church
Today we chop down or buy a tree, carry it home, set it up in a stand, decorate it and place our presents underneath it. It wouldn't seem like Christmas without a tree. How did trees become so important in our celebration of Christmas? Trees were originally given as New Year's gifts. And, like other New Year's gifts, trees had symbolic significance. Originally, almond, hawthorn, blackthorn and other trees with bright, small flowers were kept indoors and their blossoms forced, in hopes that they would appear by the New Year. If they did, its was regarded as a good omen for the crops in the coming year. But forcing blossoms was a chancy business, and rather than tempt fate, many turned to evergreen trees, especially those that bore fruit at the New Year.

A tree designated as a Christmas tree made its first appearance in the late sixteenth century. It was merely the latest in a long line of mystical or sacred trees that held special significance in popular folklore. In a fragment from a travel diary dated 1605, an unidentified visitor to Strasbourg, Germany describes tree decorations that include apples (from the Tree of Life?), paper roses (from solstice celebrations?), sweets, wafer-like biscuits (to wish for good times in the coming year?) and golden spangles (to wish for riches?).

When Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, the Christmas tree became quite central to the holiday in the British Isles. It was a time of Victorian commercialism, and of a growing middle class eager for ways to display their new wealth. The tree provided an opportunity to sell more goods to the public and was vigorously promoted.
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SY5590, 92 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Sunday, 1 January, 2012   (more nearby)
Saturday, 21 January, 2012
Geographical Context
Village, Rural settlement  Religious sites 
Place (from Tags)
Litton Cheney 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SY 5517 9072 [10m precision]
WGS84: 50:42.8623N 2:38.1803W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SY 5517 9072
View Direction
Northeast (about 45 degrees)
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Other Tags
Church Interior  Christmas Tree 

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