The Christmas season is a busy time of the year. It is also colorful with the different decorations displayed in almost all buildings, homes, and streets. The season is all about celebration where you get the chance to reunite with friends and family. Part of the tradition in many countries is to decorate with lights and various adornments. Yet the question still remains. Why do we decorate for Christmas? Read on to learn more about the different Christmas decorations and why we display them during the holidays.
The popular colors: Red and Green
These days, you can see that Christmas decors come in various colors. Sometimes the colors used depend on the business, brand, or homeowner. The traditional colors though are red and green. Interestingly, these colors have a religious context. Green is associated with the continuity of life even during the winter season. The color also represents the eternal life of Jesus, while the color red is associated with the blood of Christ.
Christmas is never complete without Christmas lights. Just imagine the streets and buildings during the season without lights. Dull and boring. The use and display of Christmas lights can be traced back as far as the Yule. This is when the Norsemen celebrated the midwinter tradition. Yule is the Norse god, Odin’s beer while watching the Yule log burn. The lighting of the Yule log is believed to summon the return of the sun while simultaneously driving away evil spirits.
Through the years, candles were used to provide light and warmth during winter. Candles were also used to welcome travelers. A practice that is also used to symbolize the welcoming of Mary and Joseph.
Poinsettia, Mistletoe, Evergreen, and Holly
It is a known fact that there are a few plants that grow and propagate during the winter season. Examples are mistletoe, evergreen, and holly. As a result, they are used as decorations for the holidays. Evergreen represents life, just like the color green. From the Victorian era up to this day, the mistletoe is used to steal a kiss during the season. The tradition is that the plant can be hung anywhere and anybody who stands under it is allowed to kiss.
Another interesting Christmas decoration is poinsettias. These are in fact poisonous plants that are lovely to look at because of their colorful hues. In Mexico and Central America, where the plant is indigenous, the people call the plant “Flor De Noche Buena” or “Christmas Eve Flower.” Poinsettia also has an interesting story in the 16th century. It is believed that a young girl forgot to buy a Christmas gift. She then gathered a bouquet of weeds that sprouted red flowers and grew alongside the road and offered them to the infant Jesus. The popularity of the story grew and was adopted by the Franciscan friars and eventually the whole world.
Christmas trees are probably the most iconic decor of all time. Many experts believe that the tree is a symbol of the “Christianization” of pagan traditions. The modern-day Christmas tree can be traced back to the 16th to 18th century in Germany. The practice of cutting down trees and displaying them indoors has been brought to England by Queen Charlotte/ The popularity even grew and was adopted by the Americans.