Try imagining the Christmas season but without using the colors green and red. Hardly possible, right? Every year, devoted Christians decorate their houses in red and green lights, bells, mistletoes and other ornaments.
Why Christmas colors are green and red?
Although red and green are not the only colors associated with the occasion. White, gold, and blue colors also make it to the list. If you go through Google and read the history behind these colors you will see that the traditional Christmas colors have both religious origins as well as historical.
As for now lets discuss the significance of the primary colors of Christmas aka red and green.
Green Christmas Color:
Even since before the birth of Jesus Christ, the color green has been associated with life and mystery. Only holly bushes and fir trees remain evergreen during the winters while all other plants and trees die.
The stereotype of green and red commenced centuries ago, when the colors were used to celebrate a different holiday. Ancient Celtic peoples considered red and green colored holly plants to keep Earth beautiful during the dead of winter.
This is why when they and other cultures celebrated the winter solstice, they decorated their homes with green and red holly to bring protection and good luck for their houses and families in the coming year.
People in ancient times probably ended up assuming that it was some sort of magic which helped these trees survive the harsh weather.
Hence, these two plants were both feared and worshipped simultaneously like fire or ocean. It has been since then that the color green began to be considered as a color of life.
The Romans used to celebrate the festival where they honored God Saturn, known as Saturnalia. The festival took place every year between 17th December and 23th December.
The romans would weave holly wreaths during the ceremony and hang them on their doors and wall. These wreaths conveyed their desire to witness the rebirth of the sun and return of the summer after the cold winter days.
The romans would even place small figurines on the evergreen tree boughs, also called sigillaria during the Saturnalia.
Apart from the sigillaria, Romans would even exchange within themselves, evergreen branches of mistletoe, ivy, and holly in January as a sign of good luck.
However on the other hand, ancient Egyptians would bring palm branches in their houses, specifically during the midwinter festivals.
It was around the 4th century that the churches began celebrating Christmas or Jesus Christ’s birth on the 25th of December every year.
The believers and followers of Christianity started leaving the wreaths to be hung during Christmas just like the Saturnalia. Since then, shades of green has become a viral part of the Christmas decorations and the holiday itself.
Other than the history of decorations, the color green also holds a Biblical meaning to it. During the middle ages, Paradise Plays or the Miracle Plays were performed in several countries of Europe particularly on the Christmas Eve.
The plays usually narrate the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. These plays were basic Bible stories read out loud to assist people who couldn’t read.
The famous paradise tree that lured Adam and Eve into eating it’s fruit according to the play was located in the garden of Eden. It was actually a pine tree with red apples growing over it.
Red Christmas Color:
Where the color green symbolizes the birth of Jesus Christ, the red portrays his blood and death. People started adding red berries to their green holly wreath because of this one significant reason why.
It made the wreath eye-catching along with it being made into a powerful analogy. Since then, the colors green and red became a part of Christmas vibes. They symbolize Jesus Christ’s birth, as well as his death and resurrection.
Just like the color green significance of the color red during Christmas further evolved due to the paradise plays and imitations.
This is because apple trees were naturally barren during winter so in order to represent and signify the tree of good and evil, people would manually tie apples to the tree branches.
As years passed by, people began practicing this tradition in their homes as well. Eventually over time, artifacts, ornaments or apples in bright red colors became a custom of being hung on Christmas trees.
Now you must be wondering how red became the color of Santa’s wardrobe? That is because red was the color of the robes of bishops, including that of St. Nicholas’s.
Other than Santa and decorations the color red also symbolizes teachings of Jesus regarding the art of unconditional love.
According to the Bible, it was God’s unconditional love for his people that he decided to sent Jesus into the world to guide the sinful humans and teach them equality, fairness, mutuality, love, empathy and understanding.
The color red symbolizes the love, sincerity, and trust which must prevail in every relationship. If we humans would start loving each other unconditionally, there would be nothing toxic but joy and happiness in the entire world.