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About that pear tree, and Christmas…

Why, you ask, are pears associated with Christmas?

December is National Pear Month. The pear tree was immortalized alongside a partridge in the 18th century Christmas carol The Twelve Days of Christmas. (Note: the tune that we are familiar with did not emerge until 1909.)

In some Christian contexts the pear symbolizes the Virgin and Child. In the Bible the pear tree frequently appears in connection with Jesus Christ and alludes to His love for mankind. Also, the pear harvest the world over begins in fall, making pears an available holiday fruit.

Of the 300 varieties of pears there is one special variety, the Comice, known as the Christmas pear.

Pears are among the world’s oldest cultivated fruits. In 5,000 B.C. a China diplomat began grafting pears along with other fruit trees as a commercial venture. The Romans were great cultivators of the pear and took it with them to England. Due to variety and long shelf life, pears were a valuable and popular commodity along the anci...

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