Traditions of Christmas: Christmas colors

posted in: Christmas, Holidays | 0

We all know that red and green are the traditional colors to represent Christmas, but how did these colors become the symbols of the most wonderful time of year?

The colors of red and green were chosen from nature.  When many plants become barren in the winter, those that are red and green are the ones that retain the color.  In time these colors became significant to celebrate the Christmas season.

Red has often been associated with life and blood and Christmas celebrates the life of Jesus {which Easter remembers his death and celebrates his resurrection}.  Interestingly, the name Adam {that of the first man on earth} is translated from the Hebrew as man or red.

The color of green symbolizes life and Jesus came so that all may have eternal life.  Evergreen plants such as holly, ivy and mistletoe have been used for thousands of years to decorate and brighten dark buildings during the long, bleak winter.  Green is also a reminder that winter will not last forever and spring will soon be here.

During Roman times, they would exchange evergreen branches as a sign of good luck. 

During the Middle Ages, Paradise plays were popular, which told Bible stories to the people {most who could not read}.  Paradise trees were used for the garden of Eden, which were pine trees with red apples tied to it.  White paper wafers were sometimes used to decorate the tree.  This was used to symbolize the life of Christ.

While red and green are the most common Christmas colors, there are a few other colors that are also associated with Christmas.

Gold was one of the gifts brought to the infant Jesus.  The color is a warm color, associated with sun and light.

The snow of winter is white, which symbolizes purity and peace.  For this reason, white is used in many churches to symbolize Christmas.

The color blue is used to symbolize Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as well as the sky and earth.  The practice of using blue originated in the Middle Ages when gold was too expensive.  Blue was used by the royals and to symbolize important people.  So, blue began to be used in paintings and sculptures of the Virgin Mother.


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