Today is also St Thomas' Day.........
St Thomas grey, St Thomas grey
Longest night and shortest day
The tradition of bringing greenery into the home goes back a Very long way. This would have been the only decoration available to the poorest homes.
And even earlier each plant had a meaning.........Holly was a symbol of everlasting life and fertility, Ivy was an anti-witching plant with medicinal values, Rosemary was holy and magical and Bay was sacred to Apollo and Aescutapious, the God of medicine. Mistletoe was also associated with fertility and used by Druids in their ceremonies.
Christmas wreaths made of greenery are also ancient, thought to date back to Roman times when they decorated homes during Saturnalia. The wreath is thought to be a symbol of the wheel of the year. (The word Yule is usually thought to come from the Nordic word jol but may come from their word for wheel.......houl).
There should be pictures of holly, ivy and other green things here but I was so busy yesterday that I didn't get round to bringing anything in. I'm working my way through a list of food preparation so I can spend more time with Grandson Jacob when he arrives with his Mum and Dad on Sunday afternoon and before then I have coffee at a friends, a carol service and a dinner out, a shopping trip, bread sauce to make, spiced nuts to do for the hampers, deliver the hampers, more red cabbage casserole to make and cook. Some small presents for neighbours children to wrap, wood and kindling to bring in and maybe I'd better do some cleaning!
So instead of a photo of green things brought in for the Winter Solstice here's a page from the book "Cattern Cakes and Lace"