History of the Christmas Wreath

A wreath is more than household decorations or Christmas ornaments. Its name comes from the word “writhen” that was an old English word meaning “to writhe” or “to twist.” Wreaths have much history and symbolism associated with them.

In ancient Rome, people hung wreaths as a sign of victory and of their status in society. Some people believe this is where the hanging of wreaths on doors idea came from. Women would wore them as headdresses as a symbol of pride.

Wreaths are usually made from evergreens due to their heartiness throughout harsh winters and that they denote strength as well as immortality. The circle shape of the wreath is made to represent Christ’s eternal love, his strength, and the creation of new life.

Traditionally, the wreath is made of four candles, three purple candles and one of pink. Purple candle symbolize penance and expectation while pink candle represent the coming joy. The four Sundays preceding Christmas day are embodied by the four candles that were lit each Friday of Advent at dinner along with a prayer.