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Our tradition of decorating trees
Prepared by: Gülşah Görıcı
Nardugan, the Tree of Life and the trees we decorate
Nardugan, the Tree of Life and the trees we decorate The tradition of venerating the palm tree on the winter solstice also tells us about a celebration of the Romans as well as the festivities of decorating their homes with evergreen branches, or the ‘Saturnalia’, a festival dedicated to Saturn. Therefore, it should be reminded that the culture of decorating trees from the west to the east of the world tells much more than the Christmas tree tradition. The history of our adorning trees, especially evergreen plants, is very old. Evergreen plants during the solstice celebrations that take place during the winter season; They are among us as a symbol of life and rebirth in almost all ancient civilizations, including the Egyptians, Chinese, and Romans. Although it is thought that Turks learned to decorate pine trees from Western states, the world-famous sumerologist Muazzez İlmiye Çiğ tells us that this is an old Turkish custom. Decorating a pine tree is a Turkish tradition that comes from the New Year’s festival ‘Nardugan’. The ancestor of the character we know today as Santa Claus is ‘Ayaz Ata’, we are on the 22nd of December and ‘Nardugan’ is one of the days when light defeats darkness once again. According to ancient Turkish traditions and mythology, these are the times when we can decorate our tree and wish for good fortune and good fortune. This practice is not about the West, but about the Turks themselves. According to the beliefs of the Turks before their entry into monotheistic religions, the ‘white pine tree’ in the middle of the earth tells us about life, and in fact, it is the ‘tree of life’ that we see as a motif in carpets, rugs, ceramics and many cultural items and objects in Anatolia. Nisantasi/2010 Explaining that Turks have attached great importance to the pine tree in every era and decorated it on special occasions, Avalanche describes our relationship with the pine tree throughout history as follows: “It is a Turkish custom to decorate a pine tree. Our relationship with the new Turkic states teaches us new things. In the ancient Turks, a tree is envisioned from the belly of the earth to the sky. This is the tree of life. The Sumerians also have it. At one end stands the ‘Sky God’. In the Turks, the Sun is sacred, but it is not considered God. On December 22, the Sun will begin to illuminate the world again. The days will start to get longer. The ‘God of the Sky’ of the Turks regulates the day and night in the sky. Supposedly, day and night are in constant arguing. On December 22, day beats night. The Turks were celebrating this as the ‘Rebirth Festival’. There was a tree in Turkestan, white pine. And this white pine doesn’t grow anywhere else. They bring white pine and put it in the house, and they put gifts under the white pine because God gave them good things and a good life that year. And on their branches they put rags or ribbons for the things they pray to God for the following year, for the things they want as offerings. In those days, they were having big feasts and festivals. Families gather, adults are visited, special meals are eaten, beautiful dresses are worn. This custom passed to Europe through the Turks. It has nothing to do with Christmas.
Ceyda Işık Kumyalı

Author Ceyda Işık Kumyalı

2002 yılında Uludağ Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümünden mezun olduktan sonra birkaç farklı iş dalında çalışıp yapmak istediğim işe karar verme sürecinin ardından 2008 yılında biblioteka kültür merkezinde Sevgili Gazi Ünsal ile çalışmaya başladım. Burası hayatımda dönüm noktası oldu. 14 yıl burada dil eğitimi programlarının planlanıp, organize edilmesinden; çeşitli kişisel gelişim seminerlerinin programlanmasına kadar bir çok konuda biblioteka kültür merkezinde yönetici konumunda çalıştım. 2022 yılında biblioteka kültür merkezi kapanınca DORE Mentor olarak kendi şirketimi kurdum ve aynı ruhla çalışmaya devam ediyoruz....

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