Why do we use glass balls to decorate Christmas trees?

Why do we use glass balls to decorate Christmas trees?

Different households have different customs and ways of decorating the Christmas tree, but apparently, glass baubles are a must. So, why put a glass ball on the festive tree?

WORLD DECEMBER 26. 2023 09:38

One specific type of Christmas decoration that’s become widespread all over the world has its origins in France. The French originally hang apples on Christmas trees, but in the mid-19th century, a severe drought struck the Vosges Mountains and decimated the apple crops, leaving nothing to decorate Christmas trees with.

However, a glassblower came up with the idea of making red glass balls reminiscent of apples that could be placed on trees.

The new custom has swiftly spread all across France and beyond and, with people beginning to use glass baubles as Christmas tree decoration in more and more places.

In many places, parlor candies have become an essential addition to enhance the festive spirit of Christmas. Some end up adorning the tree, allowing crafty kids and adults alike to unwrap them and consume with joy. Many are unaware, but the idea of using parlor candies to decorate Christmas trees has its roots in Hungary, while the parlor candy itself has French origins.

The precursor to parlor candies, known as fondant candy – a soft, crystallised paste made by boiling an over-saturated sugar solution – originated in 14th century France. In the early 19th century, this delectable treat found its way to Hungary through German master confectioners who settled in the region. The production of small, fondant-based candies gained popularity in Hungary during the late 1800s.

In the parlors of bourgeois and aristocratic households, this confectionary was elegantly presented in small bowls to welcome guests, leading to the name „parlor candy,”

– writes the Hungarian Origo news portal.

The proliferation of parlor candy production is closely tied to the emergence and subsequent spread of the tradition of decorating Christmas trees. In Hungary, wealthier families were among the first to introduce Christmas trees, initially adorning them with gingerbread, dried fruit, and paper ornaments. Over time, the practice evolved to include placing the once-bowled candies – served in their saloons – on the Christmas tree itself, transforming parlor candies into both a beloved Christmas sweet and a dazzling decoration on Hungarian Christmas trees.

While the custom of erecting Christmas trees was imported to Hungary from Germany, the unique tradition of adorning them with parlor candies has its origins firmly rooted in Hungarian culture.

While not originally a Hungarian creation, the practice of using parlor candies as decorative ornaments on Christmas trees evolved and became a widespread tradition in Hungary around 140 years ago.




christmas, decor