It is Holiday Time, Therefore It is Wreath Time!

It is Holiday Time, Therefore It is Wreath Time!

  Wreaths!  Its getting that time of year again, and we are hard at work creating "THINGS....." (or crafts if you like).  Dead giveaways are that retail is hiring like there's no tomorrow!  Whether it is Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanuka or just plain 'Happy Holidays', there seem to be a certain 'air' about the city that  "THAT" time of year is just round the corner. With the advent of A-I and Robotics, do you think we'll be celebrating 'Robotica' in the near future as well? Wouldn't surprise me at all!  [Another holiday!! Yay!!!] Whilst slogging over the makings of a hot wreath, I started wondering how or why wreaths ever came into being?  My Sister -in-law Jackie, is an awesome  crafter, and I stand 'gob-smacked' at esp. her wreath creations.  Needless to say she 'Shines' at all crafts and is one of the most talented people I know.  However, this does not answer my question regarding the origin of wreaths. According to an old ProFlowers writ we find the following:- "There are two different schools of thought when it comes to the history of the wreath.

First Theory.

The first notes that the wreath dates back to ancient Greece & Rome, where members of Greco-Roman society would hand-make ring-shaped “wreaths” using fresh tree leaves, twigs, small fruits & flowers. Worn as headdresses, these wreaths represented one’s occupation, rank, achievements and status. (The Laurel wreath was most commonly used then.) Laurel wreaths were used to crown victors of the ancient Greco-Roman Olympic Games. (Wreath translated literally means, “a thing bound around,” from the Greek word diadema.)

Second Theory.

The second theory on the history of the wreath is a common Christian lore, and explains that the honored art of wreath-making began 1,000 years before the birth of Christ. Christians assembled “Advent wreaths” to symbolize the strength of life they showed by persevering through the harsh forces of winter. Today, still, the Christmas wreath is symbolic of Christian immortality, as the circle and sphere both represent immortality.


No matter which school of thought you subscribe to, live and dry wreaths have come a long way. Christmas wreaths remain symbolic to dedicated Christians and are popular among a diversity of people as Christmas decorations.  They’re still made from sturdy evergreens and still hung to symbolize strength. The Advent wreath or Christmas wreath of the 21st century, however, is much more ‘spirited.’ Today you’ll see them in a cross-shape or a traditional ring-shape. Sometimes they’ll have doves or white ribbons for purity."   Patricia Bhatia   answered the wreath question in her article:- "Wreaths," as follows:- "More than just a decorative touch for your wall or door, wreaths have existed in various forms since the time of the ancient Romans. Whether the wreath you hang is a crafter's masterpiece or a homemade hand-me down, it has a long tradition of meaning behind it. Wreaths are an eternal part of the festive season.

Ancient Greece.

In ancient Greece a Laurel wreath was awarded to victors in sporting events. In the way that we now award gold medals, the wreath was a sign of victory. It meant much the same to the ancient Romans, a sign of victory over challengers.  


Religiously, the advent wreath has a place in Catholic tradition. This special wreath is created with four candles, each a different color. One candle is lit each Friday of Advent with a prayer. In this, the wreath represents the coming if the Christmas celebration. Scandinavian wreaths also feature candles. The candles light the winter night's and are a sign of hope for the future light of spring. It was believed the wreath and candles would encourage the god of light to turn the world towards the sun once more. The tradition of the wreath extends further back than the beginnings of Christian tradition. Pagan rituals of mid-winter often featured a wreath of evergreen with 4 candles. The candles were placed in each of the four directions, representing the elements of earth, wind, water and fire. Rituals were preformed to ensure the continuance of the circle of life.  


Much symbolism can be attributed to the Christmas wreath. The shape of a circle has no beginning and no ending. This may represent the eternal nature of a god's love, or the circle of life. Evergreens are used to represent immortality and the victory of life through darkness and challenge. The fact that evergreens live through winter signifies the strength of life.  

Decorative Value.

The decorative value of wreaths is believed to have been derived by ancient tradition. In the way that we use house numbers today, wreaths featuring different floral arrangements were used to identify different families and houses. Also attributing to the wreath lore is the Roman use of wreaths as signs of victory. It is believed that victors of battles would hang wreaths upon their doors to advertise their status."             So there we have it. As I see it however, what ever the occasion, celebrate happily with a great looking wreath adorning your front door or lounge or where - ever!


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