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Feast, Christmas tree

Description of this motif: The church has celebrated Christmas since the 4th century, at the same as and replacing the former roman solstice ceremony. This history of Christmas plays no significant role in the context of Hans Christian Andersen, where modern customs are described, as for example in "The Fir Tree" and "The Little Match Girl", and where the Christian story about the birth of Jesus (Luke 2) is the feast's religious core.

Example :

And Knud was made apprentice to a shoemaker, for such a big boy was too old to run around wild any longer; and, furthermore, he was confirmed.

Oh, how he would have liked to see little Johanne in Copenhagen on that day of celebration! But he didn't go; and he had never been there, although Kjge is only five Danish miles away. On a clear day Knud could see the distant towers of the city across the bay, and on the day of his confirmation he could even see the golden cross on the tower of the Church of Our Lady glitter in the sun.

Ah, how often his thoughts turned toward Johanne! And did she remember him? Yes! At Christmastime a letter came from her father to Knud's parents, saying that they were doing very well in Copenhagen, and Johanne could look forward to a brilliant career on the strength of her lovely voice. She already had a position in the opera house and was already earning a little money, out of which she sent her dear neighbors of Kjge a dollar for a merry Christmas Eve. Johanne herself added a postscript, asking them to drink to her health, and in the same postscript was also written, "Friendly greetings to Knud!"

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