Trees Included in Winter Solstice Celebrations
The winter Solstice is on or around December 21st each year and marks the official start of winter. A variety of trees have been used to celebrate this change of seasons.
Oak trees representing strength, protection and endurance were typically used for the solstice bonfires. The Saxons and Celts often used the entire trunk of an oak tree and kept it burning for 12 hours on the eve of the solstice. If the fire stayed lit during this period, they believed the household would be protected and have an abundant harvest and good health.
Small gifts for the gods of the sun, earth and harvest were hung in pine trees. Some believe this evolved into the tradition of decorating evergreen trees for Christmas.
A bit more information: Yews, symbolizing death and the last day of the solar year, as well as the silver fir, symbolizing winter solstice and rebirth, and the birch representing new beginnings were also part of the solstice celebrations of the past.