Brooklyn vs. Alsace

A visual match inspired by the now-famous blog Paris versus New York — a Tally of Two Cities.

Le sapin suspendu

Le sapin suspendu: cool installation or tradition de Noël?

©France 3 Alsace.

Comme le faisaient les anciens, dans l’église Saint-Georges, les sapins sont suspendus.

Castles and vineyards, crowned pastry chefs, and all things charcuterie…? These are attributes of many French regions, but add an old enemy to the east, puffy consonants and a fabulous Riesling, and you are in Alsace. Wait until winter, and you’ll also see Christmas trees hanging upside-down in homes and churches. The tradition spread in the 16th century and is said to have originated in the Middle Ages, when fir tree branches were hung in the stub (the main and only heated room) to freshen and scent the air in the cold months.

Philippe Rauel, alias professeur Sapinus, offers a different explanation, but what really matters — and on this we agree — is where the oldest written mention of l’arbre de Noël, dating back from 1521, was found: in the Alsatian town of Sélestat, since nicknamed la capitale du sapin.


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