How Did Red and Green Become the Colors of Christmas?

The main colors of Christmas are red and green. Did you ever wonder why this is? The association of red and green with Christmas is worldwide. One can speculate and come up with lots of ideas about when and why these colors were first associated with Christmas.

Green comes from evergreens which have been used since ancient times to celebrate the winter solstice. In the early days of the Roman Catholic Church when the pagan rituals of the winter solstice were merged into the celebration of Christ’s birth evergreens continued to be used. In winter solstice celebrations evergreens symbolized life that survived through the long, dark winters. The Christians thought of green as symbolizing the hope for eternal life that Jesus offers.

A commonly accepted explanation for the use of red and green is based on a historical fact. Back in the 1300’s Adam and Eve’s day was celebrated on Christmas Eve. Churches in those days presented a lot of plays because most people were illiterate. The plays were focused on religious stories of importance to the church and were called miracle plays. On Adam and Eve’s day the play was called the paradise play and portrayed what happened in the garden of eden. There wasn’t an apple tree available in the winter so they made one by tying apples to a pine tree and it served as the tree that bore the forbidden fruit. This pine tree with the red apples eventually became a tradition in all churches and was used in their Christmas celebrations every year.

The tree became known as the Paradise Tree and soon people began erecting pine trees in their own homes during the holiday season decorated with red apples. This began the tradition of Christmas trees and the most popular explanation for the use of the colors of red and green for the holidays.

Another explanation is that green symbolizes the hope Jesus gave us through his sacrifice and is the color of evergreens which stay alive all year. Red is said to symbolize the blood of Christ in this explanation. The blood was shed by Jesus so that people could be saved and when combined with green it expresses the hope of our redemption through Christ sacrifice.

Holly is a popular Christmas decoration because it combines the color of green in its leaves with the red of its berries. Traditional Christmas wreaths have always been decorated with red bows and red berries. Santa Claus has always had a red costume and Rudolph the Reindeer has always had a red nose. These colors are here to stay and will always represent the holidays in most peoples minds.

Source by Lynn Jebbia