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Tuesday, 1 December 2020

It's December : Looking at the Colours of Christmas

image from here

Yes, December arrives and for many our thoughts turn to Christmas. This year because of the COVID-19/Coronavirus Pandemic, many of the ways that Christmas is celebrated might be different. But I am sure those of us that do celebrate Christmas will do their best to do so in these rather strange and uncertain times.

Have you put your Christmas decorations up yet? Eddie and I have, in fact they were done last Friday! I don't think they have ever been done this early but somehow it seemed the right thing to do. It's certainly made our place look very festive, I haven't taken any photographs yet, it's on my to do list!

Have you ever thought about The Colours of Christmas? Personally I like reds and greens but "there are several colours which are traditionally associated with Christmas. Most of the colours and their meanings come from the western/northern European traditions and customs, when Christmas is in the middle of winter and it's dark and cold.

Green
Evergreen plants, like Holly, Ivy and Mistletoe have been used for thousands of years to decorate and brighten up buildings during the long dark winter. They also reminded people that spring would come and that winter wouldn't last forever!

The Romans would exchange evergreen branches during January as a sign of good luck. The ancient Egyptians used to bring palm branches into their houses during the mid winter festivals.

In many parts of Europe during the middle ages, Paradise plays were performed, often on Christmas Eve. They told Bible stories to people who couldn't read. The 'Paradise Tree' in the garden of Eden in the play was normally a pine tree with red apples tied to it.

Now the most common use of green at Christmas are Christmas Trees.


Red
As mentioned above, an early use of red at Christmas were the apples on the paradise tree. They represented the fall of Adam in the plays.

Red is also the colour of Holly berries, which is said to represent the blood of Jesus when he died on the cross.

Red is also the colour of Bishops robes. These would have been worn by St. Nicholas and then also became Santa's uniform!


Gold
Gold is the colour of the Sun and light - both very important in the dark winter. And both red and gold are the colours of fire that you need to keep you warm.

Gold was also one of the presents brought to the baby Jesus by one of the wise men and traditionally it's the colour used to show the star that the wise men followed.

Silver is sometimes used instead of (or with) gold. But gold is a 'warmer' colour.

grand-daughter always enjoys putting the (gold) star on top of the (green) tree

White
White is often associated with purity and peace in western cultures. The snow of winter is also very white!

White paper wafers were also sometimes used to decorate paradise trees. The wafers represented the bread eaten during Christian Communion or Mass, when Christians remember that Jesus died for them.

White is used by most churches as the colour of Christmas, when the altar is covered with a white cloth (in the Russian Orthodox Church Gold is used for Christmas).

a (white) snowy scene Lake District UK image from here

Blue

The colour blue is often associated with Mary, the mother of Jesus. In medieval times blue dye and paint was more expensive than gold! So it would only be worn by Royal families and very rich people. Mary was often painted wearing blue to show she was very important.

Blue can also represent the colour of the sky and heaven.

image from here

Purple
During Advent, purple and sometimes blue is used in most churches for the colour 
of the altar cloth (in the Russian Orthodox Church red is used for advent)"
The above taken from here

image from here

If you would like some Happy Low Carb Christmas Tips, have a look here


As regular readers know, this blog is presented in a magazine style - we hope something for everyone. You will find a variety of articles, studies, thoughts, photographs, music and recipes! 

However, not all the recipes ideas featured in this blog may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan

33 comments:

NanaDiana said...

I went back to the traditional red and green this year after several years of pastels. I do have an all white area with small white tree and nativity set up on top of the grand piano.
I do love the colors of Christmas.

Tom said...

...it's amazing how quick this year has flown by.

Christine said...

My tree is up I like red and green!

Elephant's Child said...

Such northern hemisphere colours of Christmas. Which we adopt here in our celebrations, though the colours around us are very different.

Margaret D said...

Lovely post.
We are not putting decorations up this year again as we will be away but youngest son will be home for Christmas but working some evenings.

Linda said...

Interesting article on colors! I don't know if I'd make it through winter without bright colors and bright lights.

L said...

πŸ‘❤️

eileeninmd said...

Hello,

The Christmas colors are beautiful. Your decorations are lovely, they are cheery and bring joy. I love the view of the Lake District. Take care, enjoy your day!

Jo said...

I haven't got any decorations up yet, the middle of December is soon enough for me otherwise I get fed up of them before Christmas arrives. I do like to see other people's decorations though.

Anonymous said...

My wife put up a lot of Christmas lights in our home which really look beautiful at night!

Ygraine said...

A really beautiful post!😊😊
I so enjoyed reading about the colours of Christmas...and seeing your gorgeous photos.
I would love to put our decorations up today, but hubby doesn't want them until mid December as he becomes bored with them...such a spoilsport!!😝 Lol
We are practically the only house around here without lights up...

Have a super day!

Hugs xxx

Susan Zarzycki said...

I enjoyed learning the background about the festive colors we enjoy this time of year. I especially like the photo of the Christmas tree!πŸ’–

Lady Caer Morganna said...

I was considering putting up my Victoiran tree colors this year but decided to stick with the traditional red and green. Your tree looks lovely!!

Gloria Baker said...

Christmas is so far my favorite time of the year but always with nostaly because my mom is in Heaven and she loved Christmas. Lovely post dear !!

Sami said...

Your tree looks lovely. Traditionally I put up my tree on the 1st of December and take it down on the 6th January, but this year I put up my tree about 2 weeks ago.
This year I just used white and silver decorations, normally I use blue and silver to go with our blue decor.

DeniseinVA said...

I have the tree out ready to start decorating today. Very interesting to read about the colors of Christmas and I liked all the photos you used to illustrate their history. Thank you for the links and the interesting read.

Shari Burke said...

I like deep reds and greens best, but also white and silver. I put up some of the little things I've made on Friday.

It's become a tradition for me to give our daughter a blue tree ornament that I've made each year--when she was small, the place we lived had trees with blue lights and she loved the 'blue trees.' This year I did a cross-stitch one. Last year, it was needle felted with embroidery and embellishments. I've done crocheted and knitted ones, too. It's one of the longest-running traditions in our family, along with the lasagne on Christmas Eve :-)

Sue said...

I love traditional Christmas colours, you can't beat red and green with some silver and gold thrown in. Take care and have a very happy December, Sue xx

Jules said...

I generally favour warm whites and natural colours, combined with some fresh greenery and a hint of red. My decorations will be going up next week. X

Jeanie said...

What a wonderful post. I love the colors of Christmas -- absolutely all of them! And you picked wonderful photos to illustrate. My decorations would usually be done by now but not this year. Still, there's time.

happyone said...

Nice to read about the colors of Christmas.
The snowy scene is gorgeous.

Kay said...

This was such fun to read. You are way ahead of me. We keep talking about putting up our tree, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Soon, soon...

My name is Erika. said...

This is a fascinating read about Christmas colors. Most of my decorations are up, and they are cheering me and putting me in a holiday mood. Anything this year that does that, works. Happy December!

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Well, the lights are up on the tree so that's a start. White lights and old fashioned toys are the ornaments I use mostly. The explanation of the different colors is very interesting.
Hope you are staying well dear friend.
Hugs,
Jo

handmade by amalia said...

This was interesting to read, Jan. And I love your tree, so bright and festive. But how can it be December already?
Amalia
xo

Marleen said...

An interesting read! I like a combination of gold and silver coloured decorations for our Christmas tree.

Divers and Sundry said...

Interesting to read about the colors as I sit here surrounded by examples of them :)

Teresa said...

TodavΓ­a no he adornado mi casa, este fin de semana empezarΓ©. Tu reportaje es muy interesante. Besos.

It's me said...

Happy December.....love Ria πŸŽ„πŸŒ²πŸ€πŸŽ„πŸŒ²

DVArtist said...

Nice post. Happy Dec.

Martha said...

Lovely post! Wishing you a wonderful December!

Debbie said...

ooooh the colors of christmas, always so pretty!! but santa, santa always steals the show!!

Debbie said...

i forgot to say, be sure and share pictures of your decorations here!!