Prior to leaving the UK for Malaysia, I had many meetings to attend, one especially with the Buzan Training organisation to confirm and discuss my status as a BLI (Buzan Licensed Instructor).
Whilst at this meeting Tony Buzan joined the discussions, the inventor of MindMaps, organizer of the World Memory Championships, writer, speaker and presenter.
It was after our meeting that Tony asked me to go with him to his home, a wonderful located home over-looking the River Thames.
It was here that Tony gave me a Christmas Wreath.
A Christmas Wreath is traditionally hung on the entrance door of a home. But where did the tradition come from, and what was the meaning of such a thing?
As with many beliefs, traditions, ceremonies, even religions, they can be traced back way before they were supposed to have started, being taken from other beliefs and adapted into a new structure, and so it seems it is with the Christmas Wreath, or as it is sometimes called the Advant Wreath.
It is thought that the Christmas Wreath along with the Yule Log and the use of mistletoe and holly come from pre-christian times, from pagan rites.
The holly leaves were used by pagans as an offering in winter to the fairies, the Romans offered branches of holly as a symbol of friendship, and they often used the leaves as decorations durring the Christmas season. Being an evergreen plant, the leaves would remain green for longer periods.
Wreaths can be traced back to other religions, and to the ancient Persian Empire times, possibly originaly used as a headband or diadem, and later used by the Greeks when they awarded the victors of the Olympic Games a crown of laurel leaves. Possibly the victors hung the crown on their walls to show their endeavours, thus passing into what we know today.
It is thought that pre-Christian Germanic people used wreathes with lit candles during the cold and dark December days as a sign of hope in the future, for the coming of the warm and extended-sunlight days of Spring.
In Sweden on St. Lucia’s Day, girls will wear a Crown of Lights, which is as that worn by the victors of the Olympics, but now bearing candles.
There are many lines that are possible meanings to the origin of the Christmas Wreath. All I know is that it was a lovely thought of Tony Buzan.