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The hanging of Christmas wreaths seems to have originated from the Romans who hung them on their doors as a sign of victory (and of their status in society). Women often wore them as headdresses as a symbol of pride and during special occasions such as weddings too. Victors of sporting events in ancient Greece were also given laurel wreaths, a tradition continued during the Olympic games where the medals are engraved with sprigs of laurel.
Our word wreath comes from the word “writhen”, an old English word meaning “to writhe” or “to twist”.
Christmas wreaths were traditionally twists of evergreen (long lasting) with holly additions, and made circular to represent Christ’s eternal love, his strength, and the creation of new life.
Catholic traditional wreathes had four candles – Three of purple symbolizing penance and expectation, and one of pink to represent the coming joy.The four Sundays preceding Christmas day are embodied by the four candles that were lit each Friday of Advent at dinner along with a prayer.Traditional Pagan wreaths were also evergreen circles consisting of four candles, which represented for them the elements of earth, wind, fire, and water. Our Christian advent wreaths have four candles of varying colours, sometimes purple and sometimes red. The difference is that there is a central candle which is lit as we get to Christmas. This is known as the Christ candle and is often lit on Christmas Night or Christmas Day. Of course, it celebrates the arrival of Jesus, the Light of the world.
It’s easy to make your own.You can even use card/paper and t-lights. Be creative. Have fun. Share a prayer each time you light a candle. Look forward to, remember and celebrate the coming Jesus.