More than just a decorative touch, wreaths have existed since the times of the ancient Romans. Before Christianity, pagan rituals of mid-winter often featured a wreath of evergreen with four candles.
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The candles were placed in each of the four directions, representing the elements of Earth, Wind, Water, and Fire. Rituals were performed to ensure the continuance of the circle of life.
Some Christians use this idea also. The four candles represent the advent of Christmas and the hope of returning light in the Spring.
In ancient Greece, olive wreath crowns were awarded to victors in the original Olympic Games. Today, modern Olympic medals often bear the same olive wreath image. These wreaths stood for Victory over challenges.
The Christmas wreath has much symbolism attached to it. The shape of the circle has no beginning and no end. This circle could mean the eternal nature of God’s love or the Circle of Life. The use of Evergreen branches suggests victory of life through darkness and challenge. Think of the Greek Victors Crown. Think of the hope that light will come back to the world with the advent of Spring.
Color and texture are vividly portrayed in these gorgeous ornament wreaths. They domonstrate how wreaths can be meaningful or just plain fun.
How did we come to hang wreaths on our doors? Decorative wreaths using different floral arrangements were used anciently to identify different families and houses. Whereas today we use house numbers.
Building your own wreath is a lot of fun! There are a myriad of bases to choose from. If you need inspiration then Etsy and Pinterest are amazing resources.
Wreaths are wrought with lore and tradition as well as whimsy and fun. Whether you hang a wreath on the door to welcome visitors, or on the wall to complete your home’s decor, the splash of color on a cold winters day is sure to add a feeling of warmth, building excitement for the coming season.