Latvia:

In which country did the first ever Christmas Tree originate?

Latvia in the Baltics

The first written record of a decorated Christmas Tree comes from Riga, Latvia from 1510.

Men of the local merchants’ guild decorated a tree with artificial roses, danced around it in the marketplace and then set fire to it. The rose was used for many year and is considered to be a symbol for the Virgin Mary. 

In some accounts, it all began more than 500 years ago. One of legends says that the first Christmas tree was put up by medieval Brotherhood of Blackheads, the guild uniting Riga’s merchants and craftsmen.

It was decorated with anything that came to hand – nuts, apples, dried berries, flowers, ribbons, toys handmade ornaments and then nicely displayed at the central market square (today Riga Town Hall Square) nearby the Blackheads’ House.

Meanwhile, another story reveals that the tree was decorated with paper flowers and set on fire by the Blackheads at the end of the holiday season; most probably, as it was believed to bring good luck. 

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