Every year, the city of Mountain View is proud of its tree lighting ceremony and for good reason. This year’s Annual Community Tree Lighting Celebration will be held on Monday 9th of December, between 5.30-7.30pm. Held on the Plaza of the Civic Center, at 500 Castro Street, friends and family members of the whole community, as well as those in hotels in Mountain View CA, are invited to join in and celebrate the holiday season whilst enjoying the wide range of entertainment options provided. At this tree lighting ceremony there will be a range of live music plus a number of food and drinks vendors, and of course Santa will be arriving during the evening to set off all the lights and make everything sparkle. At this event, which is free of charge, children will be able to have their photograph taken with Santa Claus himself as long as their parent or guardian has brought a camera. Visitors are asked to bring canned goods as a donation to the Community Services Agency, which will be distributed to the needy during the holiday season.
It is widely thought that the tradition of lighting a Christmas tree started in Germany around 500 years ago. According to the story, the famous Protestant Martin Luther was so awed to see the starlight sparkling amongst the evergreen trees as he walked home that he set a tree with candles in his front room to honor this sight and to share it with his family. The first record of a Christmas tree in America, however, is much later. Although the German communities in Pennsylvania had community trees in their towns as early as the 1740s, in honor of their German heritage, right through to the mid 1800s most people thought of Christmas trees as a pagan symbol and not something they wanted in their homes.
Only at the turn of the century did people start to bring Christmas trees into their homes, decorating them with homemade treats and ornaments, until the Christmas tree has become a staple part of the celebration as it is today.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)