Christmas wreaths

Pagans used evergreen plants in winter celebrations long before Christianity. For instance, the Romans hung holly wreaths during the winter festival of Saturnalia.

The holly wreath was then associated with the crown of thorns placed on Jesus’ head on the cross.

But by Victorian times the wreath had become a symbol of the Christmas season. Elaborate versions were made of holly, ivy and yew and decorated with fruit, pine cones and ribbon.