why do we hang lights for christmas
Why do we put lights on Christmas trees? The Christmas tree: Itвs long been a symbol of the holiday
season. Each year, people around the world cut down an evergreen tree and
decorate it with lights and ornaments, but have you ever thought about how this
tradition started? People started putting lights в candles to be more specific
в on Christmas trees in the middle of the 17th century. These were
attached to the end of tree branches with wax or pins and were adhered to the
tree to represent shining stars. This tradition started in Germany and spread
to Eastern Europe over the next two centuries. Because this was a serious fire
hazard, most people didnвt put their trees up until December 24, ensuring that
they would only be up for a brief period of time while the tree was still fresh
в and much less flammable.
The custom of putting strings of lights on trees began in
1882 when Edward Johnson в an associate of Thomas Edison в wired red, white and
blue bulbs together and placed them on an evergreen tree. In 1895, President
Grover Cleveland followed suit and decorated a Christmas tree in the White
House with stringed lights. The public took notice, and the tradition started
to catch on. However, it was extremely expensive to have a lit Christmas
tree. General Electric sold bulbs for this purpose, but they needed to be wired
together by a professional electrician.
Additionally, if a homeowner wanted a
lit Christmas tree, but didnвt have electricity yet, theyвd have to purchase a
generator to keep the lights on. In 1903, the American Eveready Company developed an easier
to use light set involving screw-in bulbs and a plug-in for the wall socket. Even with this easier to use equipment, electric tree lights werenвt catching
on rapidly. People were still using unsafe candles as a way to light their
trees, until Albert Sadacca came up with the idea to make the lights
multi-colored in 1917. He and his two brothers Henri and Leon started NOMA Electric
Company, which became the largest Christmas lighting company in the world.
Since that time, lights have continued to evolve. Miniature bulb sets came about in the late 1960s and came in
strands of 25 or 50 lights. These were very similar to the standard miniature
lights available today. However, there are more options available for size and
color today than there were in the past. The latest advancement in holiday lights is the use of LED
(light-emitting diode) technology. These lights are far more efficient than
incandescent lights and have a much longer life-span.
It just isn t Christmas until you see twinkling lights hanging from rooftops and wrapped around trees.
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