Festive wreath and snow – its that time of year!

At this time of year, the shops and businesses in our small New England town put up decorations. These can range from a few trimmings in a window to elaborate Christmas trees to festive wreaths placed on buildings. Our town is multi-cultural and multi-faith, so a menorah has, in recent years, joined other religious symbols outside our town hall.

Here we see a lovely wreath of pine cones and small branches, decorated with baubles and a red bow, typical of those used to decorate local shops, in this case ‘Aerus’ the successor company to ‘Electrolux’. Wreaths have been used since ancient times by many cultures and religions as symbols. The Romans used them as symbols of victories, and carved wreaths were seen on many public buildings. Druids, the priests of the Celtic tribes, also used evergreens and mistletoe as part of their religious life.

The area I am from, Derbyshire, has echoes of many cultures. As well as earlier Roman forts and Celtic tribal settlements, the area became part of the ‘Danelaw’, that part of eastern and northern England ruled by Danish overlords from their capital of Jorvik (now York) in the 9th and 10th centuries. Indeed, the next village to mine is called Denby, which means ‘village of the Danes’. Consequently, some local folk rituals are unique, from the ‘well dressing’ of springs with patterns of flower petals, to the use of a large holly branch as a ‘Christmas tree’ (my own family did this for many years). After all, the use of the pine as a decorated tree at Christmas only came into England with Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the German husband of Queen Victoria.

Whatever your faith, may this season be full of peace and joy for you and yours, and the coming year a truly memorable one.

One comment on “Festive wreath and snow – its that time of year!”

  1. Happy Christmas, Ross, and to yours 🙂


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