February 4, 2023

Where did the Red and Green come from?

Nowadays, everyone associates the holiday Christmas with the colors red and green. We have never questioned where this came from but just went along with it. As it turns out, the colors became associated with Christmas because of the ancient Celtic people and their use of holly plants to decorate.

“Holly was meant to keep Earth beautiful during the dead of winter. So when they and other cultures celebrated the winter solstice, they decorated their homes with holly to bring protection and good luck to their families in the coming year” (taste of home).

When asking students at High School West if they knew when the colors red and red became associated with Christmas, nobody knew. “No, I never asked or wondered how red and green became known as Christmas colors,” says Francesca’s Matteis, a junior at Hills west.

The use of holly was a link to the Celtic culture and their belief in protection. The red and green holly represented their faith and belief that all would be good in the coming year.  It is also said that holly is associated with the crown of thorns on Jesus.

“Green, for example, represents the eternal life of Jesus Christ, just as evergreen trees remain green the whole winter long. Likewise, red represents the blood shed by Jesus Christ during his crucifixion.” (wonderopolis.org)

As we all know, Christmas is celebrated on December 25th because it is considered Jesus Christ’s birthday. Since Christians associated Jesus with Christmas, it only makes sense that the colors red and green would be derived from something linked to Jesus Christ.

According to Rosemarie Meenan, a staff member at High school west, “I believe everything is connected in one way or another, so the crown of Jesus Christ and the colors red and green should be connected to create this wonderful holiday.”

Learning just a little bit more about a holiday you celebrate yearly allows you to gain the knowledge you may need one day. You can educate others and give them new facts about Christmas.