About Moi

I was born in June 1981, I'm a hearing impaired paper-crafter who loves all things crafty. I sew, although I'm still very much a novice at sewing. I bake and cook hopefully all kinds of delicious treats. I have a huge passion for photography and the camera {yes I'm old school I still use an actual camera} is never far from me. I also love creative writing from making up sentiments/verses for my cards and other paper-craft projects to penning some fiction. I am an avid reader and I may even throw in some book reviews on here too!

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Christmas Traditions.

It's all about Christmas Traditions at International Art & Soul so I am going to explain the tradition behind this creation and hope I don't bore you all too much.

I decided to make a Christmas Wreath, I've used pearlescent card and die cut millions of poinsettias, I've added gems for stamen and some arctic white sparkle medium for snow.  Now on to the traditions bit.

There are two possible origins of the Christmas wreath and I will talk about both here.

Ancient Greece and Rome 

Members of the Greco-Roman society would hand make circular wreaths from twigs, fruit, leaves and flowers to wear on their heads in a similar way to a hat.  The wreath symbolized the rank, occupation, status and achievements of the person wearing the wreath.  They were also used to crown victors for example a Laurel wreath was used to crown an Olympic champion.

Christianity

In Christianity wreaths began around a thousand years Before Christ or B.C. {With Anno Domin A.D. being after Christ's Death} Although these terms are no longer used and it is now referred to as B.C.E., Before Common Era and C.E. Common Era, for the purpose of this blog post I shall continue to refer to the period of time with B.C and A.D.  During B.C. wreaths were known as Advent wreaths denoting the strength of health and life demonstrated by surviving the negative and harsh conditions of Winter.   From the start of A.D. through to today Christians believe the wreath symbolizes immortality and life after death in Heaven.  This stems from the circular and spherical shape of the wreath, both shapes being associated with immortality and ever lasting life.

As time progressed the Victorians brought in anything living, in particular ever greens such as Holly and Ivy {there is a link to the Christmas Carol The Holly and the Ivy where by Jesus Christ is the Holly and the Virgin Mary the Ivy in addition to Holly representing the Crown of Thorns worn by Jesus} were brought in to cheer the house during the dark and miserable days.  Some people attached dried oranges, lemons, cinnamon sticks and cloves to help the house smell nice during a time when everything was damp and musty yet it also links to the spices given at Christ's birth and with it the promise of eternal life, other wise phrased as immortality, and those used to cleanse him when he died on the Cross at Calvary, which goes straight back to the wreath symbolising immortality.

Current day wreaths are more free spirited, they come in various shapes and sizes, most often a cross if not circular.  It could be seen as although the cross has lost the formal wreath shape it still holds the original meaning because Christ was killed on the Cross so believers could have ever lasting life in Heaven.  Some wreaths contain modern day decorations such as baubles, some continue the spices and fruit tradition whilst others have doves and white ribbon for purity, a sign of a house without sin.  Whilst in previous centuries wreaths or garlands were laid flat on tables and mantles as time progressed wreaths were hung on doors.

As with many traditions there is a link between the Greco-Romans and the Christians for both wore the wreaths on their heads, the Greco-Romans as crowns for winning and Christ wore a Crown of Thorns at his death.

Why Holly?

The use of Holly has multiple connotations and features in many legends.

For the Celts the sharp pointed leaves warded off evil spirits and its place on the door warded off witches, demons, witchcraft and spells.

The Druids believed evergreen leaves symbolized eternal life.

The Romans used Holly as an offering to Saturn during the festival of Saturnalia.

Some say that the Christmas wreath was as recent as the 16th Century and first began in Germany by members of the Lutheran Church who believed that the Holly has pointed prickly leaves similar to thorns and is linked to the crown of thorns Jesus wore with the fruited red berries representing the blood of Christ dripping from injuries caused by the thorns.

In modern society we now place Christmas wreaths on graves as a remembrance of those who have died, these are mostly in the shape of a Cross but can also be the more frequently seen circular wreaths too.

Now whilst if I was going down the very traditional route I would have made a Holly wreath but as it stands I've made a Poinsettia wreath instead.  Here is my wreath.




5 comments:

  1. Your wreath is beautiful Sall and must have been hard work. Well done. Hazel x

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  2. Excellent Sall - bravo!
    Blessings.

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  3. Sall, your wreath is a true work of art... gorgeous!

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  4. Super creation Sall and an interesting read. Thinking about it, I can't remember ever having had a wreath at Christmas. Our family was pretty untraditional I think with living overseas in a hot tropical climate. I do remember the boat club Christmas party had Father Neptune arriving in a speedboat with a sack of pressies and our Christmas tree was a casuarina tree branch. :) :) :) xxx

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Sall