The lowdown on the holly and the ivy

Posted by Cato Cooper on

It just wouldn’t be Christmas if we didn’t adorn our homes with holly and ivy and they have been a traditional decoration since ancient times.

Holly was originally used in pre-Christian times to celebrate the winter solstice and signified the coming of spring.

In many cultures the plants are believed to have magical properties. Decorating with them was thought to ward off evil spirits, as many believed the howling winds of winter were ghosts and demons.

In the north of Scotland circlets of ivy were put under the milk vessels to keep evil away.

When Christianity came to Western Europe, many people attributed the prickly leaves of the holly to the crown of thorns worn by Jesus. Many people wanted to ban the use of the plants for decorating the home, however the UK and Germany were the main countries to keep it for décor.

In these modern days, it is used mainly in the making of wreaths and other festive floral arrangements.

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