Why are Red and Green Christmas Colors?
November 18, 2011
The colors of Christmas, Red and Green, are as iconic a part of the holiday as the Christmas Tree itself is. But have you ever stopped and wondered just why red and green are considered Christmas colors?
We stopped and thought about it too, and after some searching around on the good ol' internet, we found two very distinct answers.
There is one which is based off of the views of the Christian religion and then one which stems from history. An excellent blog post covering The Origin of Christmas Colors by Nicole Skutelnik covers both sides quite effectively.
In a nutshell, the Christian belief cites green as being the color of life (i.e. biology and evergreens) and red symbolizes the blood Jesus Christ shed for his followers.
The historical information cites a tradition of religious plays, specifically the Paradise Play, in the 14th century in Europe which made use of evergreen trees as part of the performance depicting the time of Adam and Eve. As Eve was tempted by an evil snake in the Garden of Eden to take a bite of an apple, a red apple was placed in the evergreen tree during the Paradise play. These plays eventually became so popular, that people began setting up evergreen trees in their own homes and decorating them with red apples.
So there you go. Green from evergreen trees and Red from red apples. Both stem from props in a religious play.