Nothing says Christmas like the aroma of evergreen when walking up to your front door adorned with a Christmas wreath. But how did such a simple piece of home decor become such a symbol of the holiday season?
Centuries ago with ancient cultures such as Romans and Greeks, they crowned their victorious athletes, warriors and leaders using wreaths of evergreen, which is said to represent eternal life and strength because of the tree’s ability to endure even the harshest nights of the winter season.
The use of the wreath extended for religious purposes as offerings to Roman gods during harvest and winter solstice; its since been adapted for multiple religious and cultural purposes. In Scandinavia, wreaths were adorned with four candles, which they believed symbolised hope for God to return light to Earth for the coming spring. Pagan tradition saw the four candles as representations of the elements: water, fire, wind and earth.
In Catholic tradition, wreaths were known as Advent wreaths and the four candles were to be lit on each Friday of Advent in preparation for the birth of Christ and thus the symbol of Christmas was born.
Whilst originally adorned with candles, berries, and pine-cones, the wreaths of today often have far more intricate designs. The evergreen rings are embellished with Christmas ornaments, tinsel, red ribbon, gold and silver painted pine-cones. More modern wreaths have replaced the evergreen altogether, some with olive branches, magnolia leaves, and even cookie cutters or masons jars.
These ancient traditional symbols have evolved into festive works of art and a DIY lovers playground. Although the designs have become more elaborate, it’s still just as easy to fashion one of your own.
Rose and Willow offers various wreath making workshops all around England including Cheltenham, which is conveniently nearby our lovely Beachspoke properties in the Cotswolds. Rose and Willow provide all the materials you’ll need including frames, ribbon, the greens and various dried fruits and pine-cones. If you already have an idea in mind, bring in your own materials and they’ll guide your Christmas decor dreams to life.
If floral decor is more your style, head to the workshop at Eagle Mill in St Ives, which is nearby our lovely Cornwall Beachspoke destinations. Beck Frost, an award-winning Cambridge florist will be teaching you how to create a wreath that turns all your favourite flowers into the perfect Christmas display.
If you’re looking to expand your variety of DIY Christmas decor skills, check out Leach Pottery’s Christmas decoration workshop in St Ives where you can indulge in festive eats whilst crafting your own handmade Christmas ceramics.