History of The Christmas Traditions in New York

By | November 27, 2020

The park administration has been involved in many of the city’s festivals that accompany the Christmas season, from tree planting, sponsoring festive programs, and working with local groups to celebrate the season. Park Annual Reports describes the first Christmas celebrations in Madison Square Park in 1911, when officials organized a Christmas party, provided and decorated Christmas trees, drawing on the New York City Parks Department’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony. In 1912, Madison Square Park hosted a city Christmas tree lighting ceremony. It all began with an annual tree lighting ceremony in the park initiated by the acting mayor Adolph Kline on December 1, 1912. Here is more on the history of Christmas traditions in New York!

The Star of Hope monument

The Star of Hope monument in Madison Square marked the approximate location of the first tree lighting, and the tree framed by the majestic Washington Arch bears one of the city’s iconic images. The arch was once lit with lights, but the Washington Square Association began lighting the trees as an annual event, which included singing carols and singing carols. 

Prospect Park

In Brooklyn, a 40-foot Christmas tree was erected and decorated in Prospect Park in 1920, and a 50-foot tree surpassed the 1920 tree by adding 600 more colored electric lights. 

An annual report funded by a local civic organization found that the park had a magnificent appearance and could be seen from many streets and avenues that approached it. She also mentioned that Christmas trees were placed in different places that cast strange shadows on the trees when they are lit during the Christmas season, which was greatly admired by the people who visited the parks to see the exhibition. The Herald of Angels sang, which was crowned the finale of “America the Beautiful.” 

Chelsea Park

Chelsea Park was named in honor of Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863), a man known for his famous poem “Christmas,” which was reciprocated with joy by parents and children alike. Moore, who once lived in the countryside that now surrounds the park, is best known for writing the poem for their children, which he published anonymously with his family and friends as the “Trojan Guard” in 1823. It became a classic, popularly known as the Night of Christmas, thanks to its reprinting in newspapers, magazines, and magazines. Children sang carols during the Christmas period, and the Christmas celebrations continued until the 1930s as a leisure facility and regular park. 

During Robert Moses “tenure as park commissioner, the first major city festival began in 1934, establishing itself as one of New York’s most popular holiday events. 

The Green Space Authority

The Green Space Authority erected 14 50-foot tall spruces in parks across the city, and the celebration was broadcast by the city’s radio stations and WNYC. In 1935, the program was expanded to 25 locations in cities, including New York City’s Central Park, Park Slope, Prospect Park, and East Village. The Park Authority band opened it to the public in 1936, followed by a series of events in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and Westchester County in 1937. On Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, the celebrations were broadcast live on radio and television. 

The agency sponsored a Christmas carol party held at the Mall in Central Park that ran through the 1950s and 1960s. The Parks Greenhouse in Prospect Park hosted an annual Christmas exhibition that showcased the greenhouses in the park and other parks in New York City. 

The history of the Christmas traditions in New York is a very rich one. It is flavored by all the cultures that are mixed in the US.

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