Is there a mathematical formula for the perfect Christmas tree?


In 2012, a team of students from the University of Sheffield (UK) developed a system that allowed us to know the perfect way to decorate a Christmas tree. The team developed a calculator that, based on four mathematical formulas, predicted the perfect number of balls, ornaments and lights needed to decorate the tree according to height. So to decorate a 180cm tree, you would need: 37 balls, 565cm of Christmas lights and 919cm of decorations. As for the size that should be the crowning star, it is calculated by dividing the height of the tree by centimeters by 10.

"We hope that our formulas will make Christmas easier for everyone," said the creators of this original mathematical application, which they dubbed "Treegonometry" (a play on words between "trigonometry" and "tree"). ). In addition to home use, the app will also be a great help to public administrations and private companies who want to give a touch of Christmas and place one of the great trees that are normally seen in city squares around the world. For example, the spruce that is usually placed in Trafalgar Square (London) has an average height of 21 meters in height, so it would be necessary for 433 balls to be perfectly decorated.

This custom of decorating trees comes, like almost all ancient traditions, from the Celtic peoples of northern and central Europe. Many of their gods used to be represented and worshiped through trees, and in the winter a festival was celebrated in honor of the birth of the sun and god of fertility, Frey. In it, a tree was adorned representing Yggdrasil, the world of trees of Norse mythology where the kingdoms of men, gods and other creatures are.

It was also common to keep the spruce inside the houses, since as their leaves never fall or lose the green color, they were considered a symbol of life and rebirth. The most widespread belief is that it was St. Boniface, the evangelizer of Germany, who took advantage of this pagan tradition to give it new meaning and to adapt it to Christian beliefs. He replaced the worship of Odin through a tree by a pine tree that represented God and which was also decorated with apples (symbol of original sin) and candles (symbol of the light of Jesus).

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