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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.
In the back of the cart was a fir tree still quite green and with tinsel still hanging on its twigs. It had been the centerpiece of a Christmas display, but now it was thrown out into the street and the rubbish man had stuck it up behind on his pile; a sight to laugh at or weep at – yes, you might even go so far as that – it all depends on your turn of mind. And I thought about it (...)