What’s a wreath all about?

It’s getting to that time of year when the orders for Thanksgiving and Christmas wreaths start coming in.

Most of us are familiar with the advent wreath. Introduced by Gregory the Great in the sixth century it traditionally had 4 candles, 3 purple ones to represent penance, and a pink one to represent joy. The circle of evergreen branches a symbol for Christ’s eternal love and the creation of new life….

But the tradition of the wreath is far older than that. In pre- Christian Germanic tribes a “wheel” of evergreen branches was made around the time of the winter solstice to pray for the return of the sun. The choice of materials is still the same choice the florist makes today: the evergreen branches of pine, box, mistletoe, ivy and holly. These plants didn’t shed their leaves in autumn but kept going throughout winter and often held mystical properties to the local druids.

A wreath was presented to friends and family to hang on their door because you wished for the sun to return to them, to show them that you cared.

The Greeks and Romans took it to the next level and presented friends and family with a wreath on New Years Eve to wish them good health in the year ahead. The wreath became a symbol of status, the bigger and more ornate the wreath, the more influential you were. They also became a symbol of victory. Wreaths were presented to generals who were victorious on the battleground and athletes who were victorious in the arena.

It’s the same Germanics in Victorian times that moved the wreath from the table to the front door and introduced the Christmas tree to this country.

There is a special wreath section in the Rose&Mary shop.

Have a look and order one if you like. We also make candle arangements and garlands. If you want a variation of what we have to offer feel free to contact us so we can make you a bespoke one. You can also order one with just foliage and add your own decoration.


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