Monday, December 14, 2015

Why Do We Use Red, Green, and Gold for Christmas?


People often deck the outside of their homes with red, green, and gold decorations every time December comes along. It’s understood as a long-standing tradition, but have you ever wondered why those colors were chosen to represent Christmas? Here are two prevalent schools of thought regarding the matter.


Christmas Rooted in Catholic Tradition

Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Some believe that the colors represent the symbolic significance of the season. Green is believed to be the color of holly, ivy, and mistletoe – evergreen plants representing life, nature, and the peace that Christmas brings.

Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, as seen in how priests wear red robes during the season. Holly berries are also associated with the color red.

Lastly, gold is said to represent the star that shone above the manger where Jesus was born. It also represents one of the gifts that the three wise men brought Jesus during his birth.


Colors Based on Historical Tradition

Some scholars believe, on the other hand, that these colors were chosen because they were popular with the pagans before Catholicism became a mainstream religion. Pagans, according to historians, used these colors to celebrate the sacred holiday of Saturnalia. In an attempt to ride on the popularity of the long-standing tradition, Catholics adopted the same colors to celebrate Christmas. 

In the end, regardless of the origin, the colors red, green, and gold will always have a special place in our hearts for representing the “most wonderful time of the year.” Here’s to more Christmases with colorful memories!


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