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Christmas Colors

by Rasma Raisters 2 months ago in Historical

The colors of the holiday season

The traditional colors for Christmas are red and green but other colors like gold and silver are also seen, Many different colors and their symbolism come from the traditions and customs of Northern or Western Europe. All the colors are a way to brighten up the holidays and make the bleak winter days shine.

In European countries, there is also the tradition to light up Christmas trees with candles instead of electric lights. However, the choice is up to those doing the decorating and many different kinds of electric light strands are also available.

The evergreen plants Mistletoe, Holly and Ivy bring the color green to Christmas. They are the reminders that eventually spring will come and the winter will be over. In January as a symbol of luck evergreen branches were exchanged by Romans. Egyptians brought palm branches and placed them in their homes during mid-winter festivals.

In Europe during the Middle Ages on Christmas Eve Paradise plays were performed. In the play “Paradise Tree” a pine tree had red apples strung on it. Bible stories were told to people who couldn’t read. There were many Christmas plays in which I was an angel all dressed in dazzling white with wings each year and a sparkling silver halo on my head.

We bring a lot of green into our homes with Christmas trees and Mistletoe.

In Christmas plays, apples represent the color red as well as the Holly with red berries. The red berries on the Holly also represented the blood of Jesus when he died on the cross. It is also the color of the Bishop’s robes. St. Nicholas first wore red and later red became the color of Santa’s coat and pants. I wonder what we would all think if perhaps Santa was dressed all in black.

To brighten the darkest days of winter the color gold is used in decorating. The combination of the colors gold and red represent the fires that keep us warm in the winter if we happen to have fireplaces or they can be the flames that radiate from candles. One of the presents that the Wise Men brought to the baby Jesus was gold and of course, it is the color to reflect the star which the Wise Men followed.

Silver tinsel is put on Christmas tree branches to reflect light and the tinsel can pick up the warm bright glow of lighted candles nearby. Even the light we turn on in the room can reflect and shine from the silver tinsel on the tree.

Associated with peace and purity is the white pure cleanliness of freshly fallen snow. The paradise trees of yesterday were decorated with white paper wafers that symbolized the bread that was eaten during Mass or Christian Communion as Christians remembered that Jesus died for them.

White is also the chosen Christmas color used by a lot of churches and the altars are covered with a white cloth. However, in the Russian Orthodox Church gold is the chosen color for Christmas.

The two most popular Christmas tree toppers that are placed right at the top of the tree are white sparkling angels with their wings spread and also shown blowing horns in gold or silver. Other toppers include stars in a variety of colors depending on preference.

It is interesting to learn that the color which is most associated with Mary who was the mother of Jesus is the color blue. Since blue dye and paint were more expensive than even gold in the Middle Ages then blue was the color which could only be worn by Royal families and people who were rich. Therefore Mary was depicted in paintings wearing blue to show how very important she was.

Blue of course is also the color of the sky and heaven above. During Advent, most churches have altar cloth in purple or blue. Red is used for Advent by the Russian Orthodox Church. This year the First Advent was on November 28. After the fourth Advent, it is time for Christmas and remembering the birth of Jesus, Children eagerly look forward to Santa all decked out in red to come visit bringing them toys. And everybody welcomes the love of friends and family as Christmas trees brightly lit bring the joy of the season into our hearts.


Rasma Raisters

My passions are writing and creating poetry. I write for several sites online and have four themed blogs.

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