The Origin of Inverted Christmas Tree


Hanging a Christmas tree upside down looks like a very creative design, with a rotating tree body hanging upside down from the ceiling or a chassis installed at the top of the tree, standing upside down on the ground. This creativity has been highly sought after by people. In 2016, a Christmas tree was hung upside down at the Tate British Gallery in London, and German designer Carl Lagerfield created an upside down Christmas tree for the Claridge Hotel in London. An upside down tree can create a magnificent and unforgettable display, but who knows how it came about?

Creative idea of hanging a Christmas tree upside down

Some people believe that hanging a Christmas tree upside down is an ancient practice that existed in the early Middle Ages during Christmas. In the 12th century, a tradition in Eastern Europe was to place the Christmas tree upside down to create the image of the Trinity and imitate the shape of a cross. But in fact, there are not so many literature records on ancient Christmas trees and inverted Christmas trees.

On the internet, there is a popular story that dates back to the origin of the Santa Boniface Christmas tree in the 8th century. Legend has it that Boniface saw pagans offering sacrifices to an oak tree. In order to prevent these supernatural powers, he cut down the tree in a pinch, but a fir tree grew. Then Boniface inverted the tree and placed it on the ground, using its triangular shape to represent the Trinity to deter supernatural events.

Another theory of inverted Christmas trees can be traced back to the traditions of Central and Eastern Europe in the 12th century. According to the Polish Art Center, before the popularity of the Christmas tree in Poland in the early 20th century, it was not a complete tree, but the top part of a certain fir tree, or the part of a fir tree hanging on the beam and usually facing the dining table.

The Story of Europe's Inverted Christmas Tree

There are also some historical precedents to follow when hanging a whole tree from the ceiling. In Bernd Brenner's book "Inventing the Christmas Tree," the book included an illustration of a Christmas tree hanging in the 19th century. Brenner explained that in the small rooms of the lower class at that time, there was simply not enough space on the ground to accommodate a small tree. With the utilization of space, hanging trees may emerge as the times require. Brenner also mentioned that trees are occasionally hung upside down to protect families, but this practice does not seem to be widespread.

The purpose of merchants selling inverted Christmas trees now is consistent with the European goal of saving space in the 19th century. This creativity is still spreading, and some businesses are creating giant Christmas trees to hang upside down in the atrium of shopping malls.


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