There is something so warm and wonderful about a beautiful wreath--hung on the front door...
welcoming you inside. And there seems to be something so traditional about it too.
but traditional in like an ancient Greek and Roman kind of way.
The use of the laurel wreath arose from the Greek myth involving Apollo, Zeus’ son and the god of life and light, who fell in love with the nymph Daphne. When he pursued her she fled and asked the river god Peneus to help her, in which Peneus turned her into a laurel tree. From that day forth, Apollo wore a wreath of laurel on his head. This became associated with what Apollo embodied; victory, achievement and status and would later become one of the most commonly used symbols to address achievement throughout Greece and Rome.
The Romans use of laurel wreaths echo the Greek traditions. The wreath was a symbol in the arts, literature, government and education in Roman society. In the arts, it expressed that one was valued and respected with a laurel wreath resting atop one’s head. Ovid, the famous Roman poet, is almost always depicted with laurel in his hair. Kings in both Greece and Rome donned the laurel wreath to illustrate sovereignty. Julius Caesar for example, proclaimed the laurel wreath "to be a symbol of the supreme ruler." The wreaths worn by kings were reminiscent of the traditional laurel wreath by the shape and its connotation yet were embellished with gold and gems. This eventually led to the modern day crown.
But then, there is the origins of the Advent wreath:
In Christianity, wreaths are used to prepare for the Advent season or the "coming of Christ." The first known association with these now modern day wreaths dates back to the Lutherans in Germany in the 16th century. In 1839, Johann Hinrich Wichern used a wreath made from a cart wheel to educate children about the meaning and purpose of Christmas, as well as to help them count its approach. For every Sunday of Advent, starting with the fourth Sunday before Christmas, he would put a white candle in the wreath and for every day in between he would use a red candle. The Advent wreath is constructed of evergreens to represent everlasting life brought through Jesus and the circular shape of the wreath represents God, with no beginning and no end. The Advent wreath is now a popular symbol in preparation for the coming of Christ, to mark the beginning of the Christian Church’s year and as décor during the Christmas festivities.
So, yes...very interesting! I like to know the origin of the objects in our lives that maybe we take for granted or maybe we have no idea that this every day object had its roots in Greek Mythology--
Just fun to know!
My latest wreath-making project is something I wanted to make for my sister...I got the idea/inspiration/directions from Martha Stewart...See here.
I thought this was a fitting gift and its a fun twist on an OLD idea...
I took Luca's vintage copy of Robinson Crusoe
(SORRY LUCA!!--I will replace, I promise!)
and cut out about 60 leaves...
and then cut out another 30 because the dogs chewed up 1/2 of the first batch!
(but by the end, I was a pro!)
To do this: I cut out and glued together two pages,
with floral wire in between them. I then cut out the leaf shape and then wrapped
brown floral tape around the base...(all very clear in Martha's directions)
and I winded and twisted them onto a circular base that I made out of more wire
and finished the whole thing off with a pretty bow...
I think it turned out really well, but what is so cool about it is that if you get
up close and really look, you can see some of the illustration details. This is fun
and kind of makes the wreath come to life a bit...here are some examples:
So, there is it is: my vintage book leaf wreath for my sister. A nice warm welcome
for her door and fun to look at too...
for her door and fun to look at too...
Hope you like it!