The History And Meaning Behind Upside-Down Christmas Trees

Would it surprise you to learn that the tradition of hanging an upside-down Christmas tree is nothing new?

Most people would probably balk at the thought of hanging a Christmas tree upside down. When you learn a little more about them, however, your viewpoint may change.

Traditional Christmas trees are found in many homes during the holiday season so why would anyone want to turn the tradition on its head? Would it surprise you to learn that the tradition of hanging an upside-down Christmas tree is nothing new? Read on to learn more.

Before we talk about the history of the upside-down Christmas tree, we should talk about what it is. The concept is rather simplistic: you put the widest part of the tree at the top and the narrowest part of the tree at the bottom. It almost appears as if these trees are floating in midair. Perhaps that is why people tend to love them when they make them part of their Christmas tradition. It isn’t something that you typically see but it is something that can lead to some interesting conversations.

Of course, not everybody is ready to flip their Christmas tree upside down. It even leads to some practical problems, such as where you put the tree topper or how you suspend it from the ceiling.

Regardless of which side of the coin you happen to be on, you will appreciate knowing some of the history behind the tradition.

You would have to go back to the seventh century to reach the beginning of this tradition. According to legend, Boniface, a Benedictine monk used the ‘v’ shape of the fur tree to explain the Trinity to German pagans.

According to The Spruce, the tradition continued into the 12th century in central and eastern Europe because people felt it was reminiscent of Jesus’ sacrifice.

Some people in the 19th century would hang Christmas trees upside down from the rafters. “In the small common rooms of the lower classes, there was simply no space,” CBC reports Bernd Brunner wrote in his book, Inventing the Christmas Tree.

A particular type of decoration known as podłaźnikiem were used on the tree. It was decorated with fruit, cookies and paper chains when suspended from the rafters in Slavic homes.

Unusual? Yes. Part of an old tradition? Yes again.