Have you ever wondered why Red and Green are commonly used to represent Christmas? Well there are many reasons which go way back into the sands of time. Most the colours and their meanings come from the western/northern European traditions and customs, when Christmas is in the middle of winter and it’s dark and cold. Here are a few with reasons with some of our own Christmas themed snaps.
Green is though to represent the sign of new life. Evergreen plants, such as Holly, Ivy and Mistletoe have been used for thousands of years to decorate and brighten up buildings during the long dark winter. Evergreens also serve as a reminder to people that spring will come back soon and that winter doesn’t stick around forever!
Apparently Romans would exchange evergreen branches during January as a symbol of good luck. Even the ancient Egyptians used to bring palm branches and decorate their homes during the mid winter festivals.
In many parts of Europe during the middle ages, Paradise plays were performed, often on Christmas Eve. They told Bible stories to people who couldn’t read. The ‘Paradise Tree’ in the garden of eden in the play was normally a pine tree with red apples tied to it.
Even though today’s Christmas Trees have quirky design and new takes, they are still the most common use of green at Christmas time.
Many people associate red with the big Coca Cola trucks rolling into town blasting out the “Holidays are Coming“, however for those who see the less commercial side of Christmas, an early use of red were the apples on the paradise tree (as mentioned above). These apples (some believe they were pomegranates) are said to represent the fall of Adam in early theatre productions / plays.
Coca Cola is also (mythically) given credit for Santa’s red uniform, but one more plausible reason as to why Santy (love this new name for Santa which I picked up from our Irish roller skating team) wears red is because as a Bishop, St. Nicholas would have worn red robes!
Red is also the colour of Holly berries, which is said to represent the blood of Jesus when he died on the cross. The Holly was also represents the crown of thorns which Jesus came to wear at his crucifixion (which is Easter but never mind!).
More Red & Green on Insta
Your Christmas Colours
If you have your own ideas of colour at Christmas or what they mean, feel free to comment below.