Why do we have Christmas wreaths?

Recently, I was asked why we hang wreaths at Christmas time so here is some of the history and tradition behind wreaths…

  • wreaths symbolise the celebration and happiness of Christmas
  • Advent wreaths for Christians (particularly Catholics) are traditionally made of evergreen branches around four candles and represent everlasting life
  • ancient Persians had wreaths as a symbol of importance and success – they usually wore the wreaths on their heads
  • wreaths were a symbol of hope for spring when hung in pre-Christian Eastern Europe (especially Germany) – the green showed new life and candles gave light in dark months
  • Greeks used laurel wreaths for thir Olympic champions in 776BC or so. Some say one athlete hung his wreath on the wall as a memento and that is where hanging wreaths began
  • Romans gave wreaths to their military heroes and leaders
  • the circular shape would be linked with wreaths for heads but also represents the cycle of life (no beginning or end)
  • Americans in the 19th century used wreaths to honour deceased loved ones at Christmas – initially at the cemetery, the wreaths were brought home and hung

Now many people just hang wreaths because it is a Christmas tradition, or because they have a beautiful wreath they want to display (including wreaths made by chidlren or friends.)

2 Responses to Why do we have Christmas wreaths?

  • John Chasin says:

    I am wondering what computer software you folk use to produce WP headers?! I’ve used MS Paint in the past but it is not incredibly flexible and doesn’t produce incredibly very good results. As I have dodgy eyesight I would like to find some computer software that works well (on Windows 7) and is often installed on any future laptop or computer with out having to (laboriously) learn a brand new interface each and every time. I’ve tried Gimp but wow I find it difficult !! What’s the best graphics software to go for which is free of charge ? Any thoughts gratefully accepted.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Thanks for joining the Love Santa community John. Do Christmas wreaths have a special meaning to you or was this one of many of our posts you’ve read?

      We’re not technical experts or advisors – we use a WP template with graphics done by the lovely Ally of webgraphicsbyemail.

      Good luck with your blog!

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