Thursday, 29 December 2011

Christmas at Chenonceau

As we wind down our Christmas celebrations and begin to put away our decorations, I'd like to share with you a couple of the Christmas trees that are on display at Chenonceau.

During the time Diane owned the chateau, Christmas was a strictly religious observance. The celebrations were reserved for a week later, the feast day of Saint Sylvester on New Year's Eve. Although some greenery may have been added to floral displays, the Christmas tree was no where to be seen.

It has been said that the practice of Christmas trees in 16th century Europe began with Martin Luther, who was in strict opposition to Diane. According to the legend, he was walking through snow-covered woods and was struck by the beauty of the evergreens. He cut down a small tree and took it home, where he decorated it with candles to share the story of the birth of Christ with his young children.

Today, Chenonceau is beautifully decorated to welcome tourists at this time of year.

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