A Tradition Born in Germany
It all began in Germany in the 17th century, when Christmas trees placed inside homes were decorated with tiny candles, fixed to the branches with pins or melted wax.
It symbolized Christ as the Light of the World.
The first candleholders were used in 1890, though by 1902 they were improved upon and came in the shape of glass balls or lanterns.
Electric lights were first seen in the 1880’s as electricity was introduced, though it was expensive for most people. Electric lights as Christmas decorations became more widely used than candles in the 1930’s
It is said that Edward Johnson, an associate of inventor Thomas Edison was the first to introduce electric lights to decorate the tree. It was hand-wired with 80 red, white and blue bulbs.
With time, the decorations moved outside, with public buildings and venues being lit up for Christmas. In the 1960’s the tradition of stringing lights to frame homes became popular. Many neighbourhoods join in, decorating their homes and yards with various designs, and during the Christmas season it is common to see people walking or driving past, to view the sights.
Here, we present the many creative Christmas lights that dot the city of Colombo this festive season.