The Christmas Season is upon, and with it comes the holiday decorations.  Each December, the outside of homes and windows are decorated in bright and sometimes colorful lights. It has become tradition to load up our friends and family in the car to ride around and look at the lighting displays. Have you ever wondered where this tradition originated?

Outdoor Christmas light displays on houses evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. The tradition of lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe. The small candles were attached to the tree branches with pins or melted wax. In addition, European Christians used to display a burning candle in the windows of their house that was visible from the street.

Although beautiful, decorating with so many candles had a serious downside- numerous fires. People usually kept the candles lit for no longer than 30 minutes at a time, kept an eye on the tree the whole time, and always had a bucket of sand or water at the ready in case of fire.

This brought on the need for change.  So, in 1882, Edward H. Johnson, inventor and vice president of Thomas Edison’s booming electric company, strung 80 red, white and blue light bulbs on his Christmas tree- and a new method if tree decorating was born.

Christmas lights have come a long way since their inception in the 17th century. They are a Christmas tradition that has strongly withstood time; outdoor Christmas light displays on houses stemmed from the trend of lighting up Christmas trees during the Christmas season.  Outdoor Christmas light displays bring both joy and a competitive spirit out of people across the world as Christmas approaches every year.

We took a ride around Manchester and picked out some festive lighting displays for your viewing pleasure.  But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Bundle up and head out to continue the hunt for the holiday spirit-it’s alive and well in Manchester.