Saturday, December 15, 2018

The Art of the Wreath

From The Spectator:
The wreath has a long tradition, extending back to the ancient Greeks, where the diadema was worn on the head, signifying royal or spiritual significance. The Ancient Romans were in on the act too, crowning the heads of their heroes with laurel wreaths. Over in Scandinavia, lighted candles were placed around a wheel as form of winter prayer to ask the god of light to turn the wheel of the earth back towards the sun. 
By the Middle Ages, Christians had adapted these traditions as part of their preparation for Christmas. Each element of the wreath had its own symbolism: candles for Christ as the light of the world; evergreens signifying eternal life; laurel the victory over suffering and persecution and holly, of course, a prickly reminder at Jesus’ birth of the crown of thorns and the death he had to face. And so it is that our own word wreath comes from the Old English writhan meaning to make into coils. 
Today, typically, there are two types of wreath: those hung outside on doors and those laid inside, often with candles, on tables or mantelpieces (and occasionally, down bannisters, preferably minus the candles). Here’s a simple how-to so you can furnish your home with a wreath of your own. (Read more.)

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