The origin of the Florentine Christmas Log dates back to the Middle Ages. It was a custom mainly among farmers. Initially they were simple tree trunks collected from the woods. The best one was then put on the fire to burn on Christmas Eve. If it was still burning on the morning of the 25th, it was considered a sign of prosperity for the coming year.
In time, tradition changed and it became common to construct the pyramidal framework which we know today. It was made up of three poles, four pine cones and triangular shaped shelves. These were then decorated with ribbons and dried fruit. More elaborate ones were embellished with toys, dates, pieces of panforte and the Nativity Crib was displayed on the lowest shelf.
Half way through the 19th century it disappeared, but thanks to the English community resident in Florence, it reappeared briefly in the 20th century.
The Florentine Christmas Log is a symbol of unity, family, strength and positivity.
Photo: Custom hand-crafted Florentine Christmas Log by Maestro Omero Soffici.
Special thanks to Jane Harman.
ATELIER GIANNINI & KUWATA