Tuesday, April 28, 2015

What's Up with Wreaths?

One sure sign of spring is the appearance of floral wreaths adorning the front doors of the homes in my neighborhood. I love seeing these winding, welcoming twigs and flowers and it has made me wonder why we do this. Of course, it is because we are so ready for the change of weather and are eager to spruce up our homes with sprigs of springtime, but what is the origin of this practice? 

The word wreath is from the old English word writha - to writhe or to twist, a thing bound around.
The modern custom of hanging wreaths on the outside of doors as a friendly greeting to our fellowmen is an ancient practice.

In ancient Greece and Rome, decorative head wreaths were used as a sign of victory and celebration and then hung on their walls. Pagans used them to celebrate Solstice. The use of evergreens for Christmas wreaths and other decorations probably began in northern Europe, Italy and Spain in the early 19th century. The Christmas Wreath symbolizes the strength of life overcoming the forces of darkness and winter. In early Europe, people hung wreaths on their doors to identify their home much like house numbers we use today, each house having different wreath made of flowers, grown by the home owner. In many cultures, the circle represents immortality, eternity. But not all wreaths are round. A wreath can take the shape of a square, or a heart, anything 'bound'.

Wreaths in all shapes, sizes, and materials can be a quick update to both outdoor and indoor spaces. They don't have to be seasonal, either. Use them as a splash of color on a mirror or on a closet door.

You can find these for purchase in our shop.

Preserved Boxwood Petite Wreath Hung on a Mirror adds color and interest indoors

Wool Poppies on a simple yarn-wrapped wire greets guests at the front door

This traditional Lavender Wreath is natural and inviting

So, join with your ancestors and hang a wreath to celebrate life!

Enjoy -