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Traditions & History  


Where Does the Tradition of Glass Ornaments Originate?
By Cynthia Kirkeby
Dec 15, 2010, 19:25 PST



Where Does the Tradition of Glass Ornaments Originate?

Glass Oranament by Cynthia Kirkeby © 2010

According to the French Tourism Office, the region of Alsace in France was known for their reenactments of the story of Adam and Eve during the Christmas season.

In the middle ages, on December 24, a fir tree was placed in the church, as the tree of life for the reenactment of the story of Adam and Eve, with apples used as the forbidden fruit. They also attached wafers, the symbol of the Eucharist. The parishioners placed trees, decorated in the same manner, in their homes in the beginning of the 16th century. The first trees were hung from the ceiling.

In 1858, there was a drought in Alsace so there was no fruit to decorate the trees. A glass blower from Goetzenbruck was thus inspired to create the first glass Christmas ornaments. He started a tradition that has traveled to many cultures throughout the world. The Meisenthal International Center of Glass Art will exhibit glass Christmas ornaments, that have been created since this time. Workshops, demonstrations and visits are available through the Tourist Offices in northern Alsace.

Source: French Government Tourist Office



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