Why are the colours of Christmas red and green? Is it because Santa’s robes are red and evergreen fir trees are a staple of holiday décor? Or maybe it’s because red and green are complementary colours on the colour wheel, and the contrast makes for a visually pleasing palette. Whatever the reason may be, there’s no denying that these colours have become synonymous with the holiday season.
The Red and the Green association has been featured prominently in our favourite holiday traditions for decades. From classic films like “It’s a Wonderful Life” to beloved books like “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, to iconic holiday tunes like “The Christmas Song,” these colours are a constant presence during the festive season.
From the cosy warmth of a crackling fire to the sparkle of twinkling lights on the tree, these colours evoke all the magical feelings of the season. As an author, Laura Ingalls Wilder once said, “Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas time.”
Whether we’re singing carols, baking cookies, or snuggling up with loved ones watching our favourite holiday films, red and green are a constant presence during the festive season. As writer Carol Nelson once said, “Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.“
So whether you’re wrapping presents, trimming the Christmas tree, or simply enjoying the magic of the season, embrace the traditional Christmas colours of red and green and let the joy and wonder of the holidays fill your heart.
You must have wondered why are the colours of Christmas red and green. While some speculate that the red and green classic colour combo dates back to ancient winter solstice celebrations. In pagan mythology, evergreen trees were believed to represent the persistence of life during the harsh winter months. Meanwhile, the colour red was associated with the sun and the rebirth of light during the darkest time of the year. Could it be that our modern-day Christmas colour palette has roots in these ancient traditions?
Regardless of their origins, red and green have become so deeply ingrained in our holiday traditions that it’s hard to imagine Christmas without them. From the beautiful bright red berries coloured robes and bows adorning our gifts to the vibrant green wreaths on our front doors, these colours add a touch of festivity and cheer to our homes and communities during the most wonderful time of the year.
1. Why are the Colours of Christmas Red and Green: Coca-Cola Origination
It’s hard to imagine Christmas without its signature red and green colour scheme. While you are still pondering over why are the colours of Christmas red and green, did you know that these festive colours weren’t always a thing? According to colour expert Arielle Eckstut, the rise of the red and green combo can be attributed to Holly and Coca-Cola. Holly has been associated with winter solstice celebrations since Roman times, and its bright red berries and deep green leaves perfectly embody the Christmas spirit.
As for Coke, in 1931, coca cola hired an artist named Haddon Sundblom to create a new Santa Claus image for their advertisements. And boy, did he deliver! The red represents this new fat Santa who was portrayed as jolly and was wearing a bright red robe that just happened to match Coke’s logo.
Thus, the association between Christmas, Santa, and red and green was solidified in the public’s mind. It’s no wonder we feel merry and bright when we see these colours together!
Talking about the colour green and its association with Christmas. We all know that red steals the show, but why not give some love to green too?
Now, the history of green at Christmas isn’t as flashy as red. There’s no Coca-Cola or Santa Claus involved. But, there is some interesting folklore around it.
You see, bringing an evergreen tree into the home during Christmas time has been a tradition for centuries. The Romans were doing it during their Saturnalia celebration to honour the God Saturn. They’d decorate their homes with holly plants and evergreen trees adorned with tiny figures. It’s the oldest example of bringing the outside in during the winter to spruce up your home.
And that’s where the colour green comes in. We associate green with Christmas because we decorate our homes with evergreen trees, holly, and mistletoe. It’s like a green wonderland! Plus, have you seen those green and white candy canes? They’re like little green trees in your mouth.
So, next time you deck the halls, don’t forget to raise a glass of Coca-Cola to the humble holly berry that started it all. And if anyone says you’re being too cheesy, just tell them you’re feeling “holly jolly“! And do not forget about green this holiday season. Give it some love and decorate your home with all the greenery you can find. And don’t forget to wear green to your Christmas parties, because green is the new red!
2. Christmas Colours: Jesus Christ and the Religious Symbolism
The age-old question: Why are the colours of Christmas red and green? Are these the religious Christmas colours? While some may argue that they’re simply the colours of Santa’s suit and trees, others believe that there’s a deeper, more spiritual meaning to these hues.
For Christians, the red berries of holly wreaths symbolize the blood of Jesus Christ, while the spiky leaves are said to represent the crown of thorns that he wore on the cross. So, in a way, red and green can indeed be seen as religious Christmas colours. Whether you see them as such or not, there’s no denying that these colours have become iconic symbols of the holiday season, spreading cheer and goodwill wherever they go.
3. The Poinsettia Truth
Why are the colours of Christmas red and green? So, the rumour has it that the poinsettia plant is responsible for the traditional Christmas colours of red and green is just that – Well turns out it’s just a rumour.
While it’s true that the poinsettia is recognized as a symbol of the season, the plant’s popularity is not the reason we associate red and green with Christmas. The plant’s red and green leaves naturally complement the holiday’s traditional colour scheme.
The poinsettia’s association with Christmas began more recently, as it was introduced to America by Joel Poinsett, the country’s first ambassador to Mexico. The plant’s yellow flower surrounded by bright red leaves symbolizes the star of Bethlehem, adding to its significance during the holiday season.
However, it’s important to remember that the poinsettia plant is just one small aspect of the rich and diverse traditions associated with Christmas.
4. Passion Plays and Red and Green Refrences
‘Tis the season for Christmas traditions, but have you ever wondered why are the colours of Christmas red and green? Why they became the go-to colours for the holiday? Some people think it’s because of the Poinsettia plant, while others attribute it to Passion Plays. But did you know that the tradition of decorating Christmas trees with red and green started with apples?
In the 1300s, churches presented a Paradise Play on December 24th, which depicted the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. To create the apple tree from the story, someone had the genius idea of fastening apples to the branches of a pine tree. This decorated tree became so popular that churches started adding it to their Christmas display, and people began putting up pine trees in their homes. This marked the beginning of the tradition of decorating Christmas trees.
However, back then, every colour of the rainbow, not just red, adorned the tree. So, next time you’re decorating your Christmas tree with red and green ornaments, think about the humble apple that started it all. Maybe you can even add some apples to your tree for a touch of history!
While we dived deep into fascinating theories and the magical world of Christmas Colors and discovered that the colours of Christmas have a rich and diverse history, with various legends and traditions contributing to their significance but the question remains the same: Why are the colours of Christmas red and green?
Is it related to a religious symbolism or it the evergreen trees of Roman culture, the red apples on pine trees of the Paradise Play, or the holly wreaths symbolizing Jesus’ crown, these colours have come to represent the festive spirit of the holiday season or is it just a mystery waiting to be unravelled? As Bing Crosby once said, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” with red and green hues filling homes and streets alike.
So, why are the colours of Christmas red and green? It’s a question that has puzzled many for ages, but one thing’s for sure – they’re here to stay, bringing joy and merriment to all.
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