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anno 1510
History of the First Christmas Tree ®  legend project

No one know for certain who lays claim to the first Christmas tree but few dispute that it was in the area which is now Northern Europe.

When searching for the historical beginning of the first Christmas tree, one must go very deep into the past. Just like Santa Claus one finds that the first Christmas tree was combination of many different facts, legends and customs. 

The first documented use of a tree in a winter Christmas celebration was in several locations in Northern Europe including Estonia, and Latvia, in the year 1510 according to documents from the Blackheads Fraternity chronicles and from various sources in Germany. 

We became aware of the First Christmas Tree legend when in 2001 a group of Expats in Riga Latvia, came together to form a traditional Christmas Market project. This Riga Christmas Market is now managed by local Latvians and the market opens on the first Advent Sunday.

In discussions between 2002 and 2005, the Riga House of Blackheads Director Mr. Ojārs Spārītis stated that historical information about the traditional "Christmas tree" is from the 1476th year, which was decorated for Christmas. The Blackhead's Brotherhood Fraternity archives called "šrāgas", provide information about the 1510th of the winter tradition and refers to an earlier such events, in the 1476th year. Likewise, they indicate that the tree was decorated; but for us, having regard to the medieval custom, have to conclude that it could only bouquets of ribbons, dried flowers, straw dolls, weave, and possibly fruit. Later, this "tree" that could not have a tree, but only from the wooden sticks built "wiring", with songs and dances were allowed to take outside the house celebration, which was common during medieval early Christmas period, and was nearly burned the town square about 6 January. The Blackheads Brotherhood Fraternity's šrāgas show a similar tradition took place in Tallinn Estonia (in that period was called revels) in the 1514th year. more information  and visit our PressRoom

There have others who have come forward to claim that the First Christmas Tree was in Northern Germany and perhaps in Tallinn on or about the same time as Riga's tree. 

According to an email we received from Countess Maria Hubert von Staufer from Christmas Archives International, references to the Martin Luther tree were NOT the Riga tree. The Countess goes on to say that The Martin Luther walk in the forest, is believed to actually occurred in Northern Germany and his lighted tree occurred several decades later than the Riga tree.

As we have stated above, no one know for certain who lays claim to the first Christmas tree but few dispute that it was in the area which is now Northern Europe.  more historical facts and information

Current and future project plans-

Therefore, our efforts are now to focus on preserving and expanding the legend to include Northern Europe with a particular focus in 2010 in the Baltic countries of Estonia.

In an attempt to control the boundaries of the legend, In 2006, Mr. Mike Johnson, General Manager of Riga based Patricia LTD (a private Riga Latvia Tourist Office) filed for and obtained two European Union Trademarks. One for the WORD MARK Home of the First Christmas Tree ® and the second for a figurative MARK of a Christmas Tree containing the words First Christmas Tree ® . In 2010 Patricia LTD was issued a USA Trademark for the second figurative MARK of the tree.

In late 2009, the Riga Vice Mayor and the new LiveRiga tourism organization finally paid attention to the First Christmas Tree ® legend and have made extensive plans to market the tourism aspects during at least the 2009 and 2010 holiday seasons.

I do not regret that others have stolen my ideas, rather that they do not have none of their own. 

Nikola Tesla, Page 10, ISBN 978 953 6568 33 8

As the project is now expanding outside of the Latvian area, Patricia LTD's Latvian management has turned over project management of the First Christmas Tree ® project to Mike Johnson's USA based company Michael Arthur Johnson Company.

Activities held in the country of Latvia will NO Longer continue to be the main focus of this project.

Efforts for the 2010 year will be to expand the project to worldwide regions and to offer for the first time advertising possibilities on the family of Internet sites under the www.FirstChristmasTree domain names registered for the project. This project is planned to continue world wide in future years by adding product endorsements and perhaps specific products carrying the First Christmas Tree Brand logo.

Contact information for the project may be found on www.FirstChristmasTree.tel





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Graphic concept design by  Olga Tjukova, Riga, Latvia


(TM)  Indicated marks are Trademarks of:  Patricia LTD, Riga Latvia
®   Registered EU Trademarks for application numbers:  004808242 and 004839304
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