What Is An Upside Down Christmas Tree?

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Upside Down Christmas Tree
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The Upside Down Christmas Tree is an intriguing variation of the conventional upright Christmas tree that has piqued interest and curiosity over recent years. This unusual practice of hanging a Christmas tree upside-down dates back centuries and has strong roots in history and tradition, as well as practical and symbolic significance.

As we were recently browsing through Pinterest we came across an unusual trend for an upside down Christmas tree. We were absolutely fascinated by this phenomenon that we had to research more into this new-to-us decorative choice.

We thought the upside-down Christmas tree was a new trend but it is, in fact, a much older tradition. Here are a few facts about the meaning of an upside down Christmas tree, a little bit of history, and some ideas to inspire you to decorate your home with an upside down xmas tree.

History of Upside Down Christmas Tree

Legend has it that the monk named Boniface began the tradition of the upside-down Christmas tree back in the 7th century Poland. It is said that the fir tree was hung from the ceiling to demonstrate the holy trinity, or perhaps mimic the crucifixion.

By the 12th century, it was commonplace in Central Europe to decorate upside down fir trees in the winter. As this practice became more widespread it was linked to religious symbolism, with the inverted tree representing Christ being both human and divine. The tree’s triangular shape also symbolised the Holy Trinity – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

In the 19th century, Christmas trees were either hung upside down or simply from the rafters in the homes of poor people who were limited on floor space.

The Upside Down Christmas Tree in the Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, it was customary to display the Christmas tree upside-down during plays performed on Christmas Eve. This was often done to represent the Paradise Tree, which was used in popular Paradise Plays to signify the Garden of Eden. The tree was often decorated with apples, symbolising the forbidden fruit.

Evolution of the Tradition

As the years progressed, the tradition of the Upside Down Christmas Tree became less popular, replaced by the more familiar upright tree. However, in some parts of Europe, it remained a way to conserve space. In small apartments or homes, the upside-down tree could be hung from the ceiling, taking up less floor space and keeping decorations out of reach of pets and children.

Modern upside down Christmas tree traditions

It seems that today, upside-down Christmas trees are either an unusual interpretation and decorative feature in festive displays. Or they are a useful, innovative way of displaying large decorated trees in shop displays where retail space needs the floor for products and people. 

Is hanging a tree upside down offensive?

Despite its historical and symbolic significance, the Upside Down Christmas Tree has stirred some controversy. Some Christian groups view it as disrespectful or even blasphemous, seeing the inversion of the tree as a mockery of the Christmas tradition. However, others view it simply as a contemporary twist on an ancient tradition, maintaining the symbolic representation of Christianity in a unique way.

Stylish Upside Down Christmas Tree
Photo by ThroughTheGardenGate

How to hang an inverted Christmas tree?

You can hang your upside-down Christmas tree either attached the ceiling using a bracket or stood on the ground using a stand. We’ve also seen some attached upside-down using wall mounts.

What are the benefits of an upside-down Christmas tree? 

You will save valuable floor space, which means more room for presents!

It also keeps young children and pets from playing with the tree and ornaments when they shouldn’t be.

How to decorate an upside-down Christmas tree?

Think of it like a chandelier, use the height and drape ribbons and lights in a cascade effect from the branches. As it is such an unusual display you can play with the inverted nature of the tree.

Where to buy an upside down Xmas tree

As the trend for upside down Xmas trees grows there are now more places to buy from online. As a great space saver, this is sure to become more popular, especially for those who want something a little quirky with their Christmas decor this year. 

If you can’t suspend your Christmas tree from the ceiling try an upside-down Christmas tree on a stand.

We like this purple tree as you could use it from Halloween through to Christmas.

Or for a small space saving version you could get this small white upside down Christmas tree which comes with a hook at the ready.

A Unique Tradition with Deep Roots

The tradition of the Upside Down Christmas Tree, despite its controversy and mystery, is an example of how traditions evolve over time and adapt to new contexts. Whether it is hung for space-saving purposes, religious symbolism, or simply to make a statement, the Upside Down Christmas Tree undoubtedly captures attention and sparks conversation.

Read more about Christmas traditions and customs.

Colourful Upside Down Christmas Tree
Photo by chinoiseriechic

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Upside Down Christmas Tree