Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Christmas tree

2014-01-31 13.59.181. Christmas tree, c. 75cm tall, Venice, Italy, January 2014.

2. I’d regard it as massive bad luck to take the tree down before 12th Night … It’s a fairly widespread superstition. Of course, any decorations that get overlooked or are left up, have to be left in place until the following Christmas [Rainbow Hill, Worcester, December 2012].

3. My mother was a Cornish bard and greatly concerned with keeping Cornish traditions alive, and we always had a holly [Ilex aquifolium] bush instead of a pine tree for our Xmas tree; probably fir trees only started after the 1914-18 war [Alicante, Spain, December 1991].

0694. [Hamburg, West Germany] You should use four silver garlands, hanging from the top of the tree, to symbolise the four rivers of Eden, use only 33 candles for the 33 years of Christ’s life on earth, and nothing else on the tree.
In my godfather’s house the tree was decorated with yellow candles and red apples only, but I was never told what the symbolism of that was [Oxford, October 1988].

Images: artificial tree, Gatwick Airport, West Sussex, 24 November 2014; lower inset, municipal tree, Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire, 27 November 2015.