Solidarteit Wêreld
2017 – Uitgawe 6
Christmas lights there to remind you
Deur Michelle | 16 November 2017

Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without all the Christmas lights and sparkles, synonymous with this festive time of year. But do you ever stop to wonder where the tradition of lighting up your tree or house with colourful lights comes from? Cilleste van Dyk delves deeper.

The custom of lighting a Christmas tree dates back to an early German tradition, where German Christians decorated Christmas trees with candles to symbolize Christ as being the light of the world and were displayed publicly.

Illuminating Christmas trees with electric lights became popular in the early 20th century and by the mid-20th century it became customary to display strings of electric lights along streets and on buildings. By the late 20th century, the custom had also been adopted in Non-Western countries/regions, notably in Japan and Hong Kong. Throughout Christendom, Christmas lights continue to retain its symbolism of Jesus as the light of the world.

“Light of the World” is a phrase Jesus used to describe himself and his disciples in the New Testament. The phrase is recorded in the Gospel of John and again in the Gospel of Matthew.

In John 8:12 Jesus applies the title to himself while debating with the Jews and states: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Jesus also used the term to refer to his disciples in Matthew 5:14: “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

So, when you decorate your Christmas tree or house with Christmas lights this December remember its symbolism and try to be the light that shines before man like a true disciple of Christ.

Fun facts:

  • Christmas lights were originally candles on a tree.
  • Thomas Edison was responsible for the first Christmas light display.
  • Lights weren’t safe for outdoor use until the 1920s.
  • Blinking lights were first introduced in the 1920s.
  • The world record for the most lights on a residential property belongs to a family in New York (601 736 lights).
  • A man in Canberra, Australia, holds the record for the most lights on an artificial tree (518 838 lights).
  • More than 9 tons of Christmas lights are recycled in China.
  • Christmas lights are also known as fairy, twinkle, holiday, mini or Italian lights.
  • It was a common but incorrect belief in the early days of electric Christmas lighting that Christmas light bulbs would burn longer in an upright position.

Source: Mental Floss



Met die Covid-19-inperking steeds volstoom aan die gang, bring ons vir jou nóg ’n inperkingsuitgawe op jou rekenaarskerm, hierdie keer met gemak saamgestel asof dit al jare lank so gedoen word. Almal het die nuwe manier van doen se ritme nou reeds bemeester, met sommige wat intussen terug is by die werk terwyl ander nog […]

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