Christmas pyramids originated in the Erzgebirge more than 200 years ago as a symbol of light, reflecting the miners' wish for a safe return home from the darkness and danger of the mines. As mining died off, some miners began woodcarving, originally a hobby after a hard day's work in the mines, as a full-time occupation. These wonderful creations were a genuine folk tradition.
Christmas pyramids are the precursors of the modern Christmas tree. As the popularity of Christmas trees increased during the 19th century, craftsmen of the Erzgebirge created these man-made wooden trees in the shape of a pyramid.
They were originally stands made from four wooden rods and three shelves to hold Christmas figurines. Eventually, someone attached the shelves to a central rod topped by a pinwheel. When burning candles were placed at the base, the rising warmed air turned the pinwheel's blades and the shelves would rotate.
The pyramid has changed tremendously from the original simple rod construction first produced in the Erzgebirge. Light, the pyramid's most important and beautiful feature is still the same. Light sets the pyramid in motion and light has the same meaning for all of us as well as the people of the Erzgebirge: for more than two hundred years it has been and remains the symbol of life.
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