In 2010, the Richardson Adventure Farm designed our small maze to commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the first known decorated Christmas tree.
The first written record of a decorated Christmas Tree comes from Riga, Latvia, recorded in the year 1510. Men of the local merchants’ guild decorated a tree with artificial roses, danced around it in the marketplace and then set fire to it. The rose was used for many years in celebrations and is considered to be a symbol for the Virgin Mary.
Later, in 1530, there is a record from Alsace, France (then German territory) that trees were sold in the marketplace and brought home and set up undecorated. Laws limited the size to “8 shoe lengths” (slightly over 4 feet).
By the 17th century, it was common in Germany to decorate Christmas Trees with apples.
This practice was a holdover from the 14th and 15th centuries when evergreen boughs hung with apples were the only prop used in the “miracle plays” that were performed at the churches on December 24. December 24 was Adam & Eve’s Day in the early Christian calendar, and the plays were used as ways of teaching the Bible to a largely illiterate population.