The origin of the Christmas wreath dates back to the ancient times of the Persian Empire. During that time, wreaths were believed to be a symbol of importance as well as success.
They were much smaller in size than the present ones and were known as ‘diadems’. Only the royal and upper class members of the society used to wear the wreaths as headbands, sometimes along with jewels.
It is believed that other cultures became fascinated with this tradition of wearing wreaths and adopted them into their respective cultures. Somewhere around 776 BC, Greeks started placing wreaths made of laurel on the heads of the athletes who came first in the Olympic Games.
Very soon, important military and political leaders of Roman Empire started wearing wreaths. One popular example from ancient Rome is Julius Caesar, who used to wear wreath on his head, just like the crown of a king. The transition of the wreaths from a headgear to a wall/door decoration is not known with much accuracy. However, it is believed that once an athlete decided to save the headgear as a souvenir of his/her victory and since then began the tradition of using wreaths as a Christmas door/wall decoration.
The tradition of using evergreen branches as a material in wreaths is influenced by the Egyptian, Chinese and Hebrew cultures who believed that evergreen branches are a symbol of eternal life. With the passage of time, the custom of Christmas wreath became an important tradition widely followed by people from different parts of the world.
As part of our Christmas week, we enjoyed exploring the different decorations and learning about the history behind them! For this project specifically, students were broken up into groups of two. They were then instructed to trace a circle that was drawn onto the sidewalk with chalk. Lastly, they were instructed to place their wreath segments onto the circle!