The wreath has an important place in the history of Christmas. According to historians, wreaths have had a special place in pre-Christian era itself. It is said that in Eastern Europe, people used to illuminate wreaths made of evergreen leaves in winters, with the belief that it would bring spring and sunshine. Though the exact origin of a Christmas wreath is not recorded, it is said that they originated before Christianity itself. Since its origin, the Christmas wreath has gone through a multitude of changes, but has retained its significance. It is used to symbolize the festive spirit of Christmas as well as an embellishment for the homes and premises. Go through the following lines to know all about the history and origin of Christmas wreath.
History & Origin Of Christmas Wreath
In the ancient period, wreaths were handmade by people. The wreaths symbolized pride and victory. Evergreen twigs, branches and flowers were used to make handmade wreaths, in the ancient times. They were used during auspicious occasions like weddings. Historical records suggest that it was sometime around 776 BC, when Greeks started using laurel wreaths as crowns, to award athletes who finished first in Olympics. Another record suggests that wreaths were worn by military heroes and kings in ancient Rome. Wreaths were used as embellishments by women, and were sometime complemented with jewels. The wreaths were also used as fashion accessory by women belonging to the elite class.
The tradition of hanging wreath during Christmas is essentially a Catholic ritual. This is done during the Christmas season, traditionally known as Advent. The traditional Advent Christmas wreath has four candles in the circle and one candle in the middle. The candles are either white or colorful. If the candles are colorful, three would be violet in color and one would be a rose colored candle. Traditionally, the Christmas wreaths were made of evergreen leaves, which are still symbolize the permanence of life. A traditional wreath is a circle, which means that there is no beginning or end and that God is eternal.
The candles, placed in the Christmas wreath, have their own significance. According to the tradition, one candle is lit in each day of the holiday season and the middle candle is lit on the Christmas Eve. This symbolizes the birth of infant Jesus. Prayers are usually chanted, when the candles are lit. The candles are lit just before people sit to have dinner. The decoration used for the wreath used to be nuts, seedpods, pinecones that were considered to be symbols of resurrection and permanence of life. Although Christmas wreath has now become more of a decorative wreath, the significance and importance of the wreath remains undeterred and shall remain so until eternity.