Dvě století „Kristova strůmku“
TWO CENTURIES WITH 'CHRIST'S TREE'
The contribution speaks about the visual and aesthetical form of the Christmas tree from its beginnings until theearly modern ages - from the 19th century until now in the Czech environment. It pays attention to the Christmas tree function within the burgher society, where it played a social and representative role and to its importance for the army, where it became a symbol and reminder of family. The species selection was conditioned upon the geographical and climatic conditions - besides traditional coniferous trees (fir, spruce, pine) even other evergreen trees (box tree, holly) occurred. Until the mid-19th century, the trees were decorated with various kinds of foods, delicacies and fruits (biscuits, gingerbread, dates, figs, apples) and small toys, too. Since the mid-19th century, the production of glass, cardboard and metal sheet Christmas ornaments began to develop in the Saxon towns. Fifty years later in came to the Czech Lands as well. Chocolate figures, available in Christmas selection boxes soon, were a new phenomenon of the same time. Christmas lighting created an important part of the tree decoration - first were used oil lamps, wax, grease or paraffin candles; since the 1930s, electric lights were sold. Even if the ornaments underwent fashion changes within the entire 20th century, the Christmas tree decoration is understood as a very traditional matter, which is not subject of actual trends, as results from a three-generation survey by questionnaire done with 183 respondents from the families of students of Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, and from the families of teachers of Agronomical Faculty, Mendel University in Brno.
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