The wreaths we take for granted as part of the Christian celebration of Christmas have an ancient and multi-cultural history.
In the late 18th and early 19th century in Northern Europe and America, wreaths of evergreen branches came into use as symbols of everlasting life and other Christian ideas.Wreaths reach back much farther in history and have a much more diverse cultural lineage.
The earliest use of wreaths emerged in empires of the East in the Persia of Cyrus and Xerxes and later in Greece and Rome by Alexander the Great. Anthropologist"s believe that wreaths originated from the practice among Persian elites by wearing diadems ( textile headbands encrusted with jewels) around their heads.
The Greeks adopted laurel wreaths as a prize for victorious athletes in the original Olympic games. The Romans adopted the practice not only to crown their athletes but to honor their victorious triumphs through the streets of Rome.
As Christendom evolved in the late Classical period, both the Greek (Constantinople) the Eastern empire and Rome in the Western Empire, traditions were incorporated into Christianity.
And that is why wreaths adorn doors and windows throughout the Christendom during the holiday season today.
Specializing in Country and VIntage Properties
Healdsburg, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol