A wreath is a decorative piece made up of leaves, flowers, and sometimes, fruits. It can be used as an ornament, door or wall hanging piece, or a beautiful centerpiece of a dinner table. A Christmas wreath is a common decorative item during the holy season of Christmas. The history of Christmas wreaths is very interesting and has many bases. One prominent theory says that it is associated with the ancient Persian culture. Christmas wreaths were considered as a symbol of importance and success during that era. They were smaller in size and were known as "diadems", and hence, commonly used by people as headbands. Historically wreaths were always considered important and were used in various important occasions. These wreaths symbolized pride and victory and were generally handmade. There are significant proves that indicate wreaths were used prominently in weddings. Greeks in 776 B.C. first used these laurel wreaths as a crown to the winning athletes in Olympics. In Rome, wreaths were worn by kings and military heroes, while girls used them as ornaments along with jewels.
Wreaths hold a special place in Christianity. The holy Bible relates wreaths with joy, honor, and victory. In Christianity, a wreath is a symbol of God's eternity as it is a circle and has neither beginning nor end. Christmas wreaths are made up of evergreen leaves and branches which represent God's love and mercy upon Christians. The green color of the leaves symbolizes hope and new life. Traditionally, Christmas wreaths are made up of four candles arranged in a circle made from evergreen leaves with the fifth candle in the middle. These four or five candles wrapped in the wreath are used for devotional purposes during Christmas. These Christmas wreaths not only add beauty to the decorations but also give a special feeling to the homes. They signify life during and throughout winter season and hence, form an important part of Christmas festivities. These days, there are umpteen types of Christmas wreaths available in the market. One can choose between fresh, artificial, and lighted Christmas wreaths according to one's tastes and preferences.
History of Christmas wreath dates back to the ancient cultures of the Persian Empire, when wreaths were considered to be the symbol of importance and success.