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Jakarta Post

How it all began...

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, December 19 2009   /  01:05 pm

We might ask, why do we decorate our home for Christmas? Well, perhaps because it's so inherent for us to do so, as the tradition has been around for hundreds of years. And to explore this deeper, we should first delve beyond the commercialization of Christmas, and think about the symbolism rooted in old beliefs. What beliefs? As the story goes, people in the past used to decorate their homes to attract the spirits of nature, which they believed had fled to avoid the cold and harsh winter. So, to attract those spirits back, they would decorate their homes with greenery and red berries, bringing a sense of "fresh spring". They would also take branches into their homes to give warmth to the spirits. In fact, when brought into homes, green trees and the clippings of evergreen shrubs are believed to foster a cheerful and hopeful mood. At the same time, green represents the co...