Who Invented The Christmas Wreath?

Who invented these decorative Christmas icons, and why?

Who Invented The Christmas Wreath

The Christmas wreath is one of the most beloved of holiday decorations and is extremely popular across almost the entire western world. But where did this tradition stem from? And Who Invented The Christmas Wreath?

The Germans certainly helped popularise the evergreen and candle wreath that has come to adorn doors and mantles the world over, and they were the first of nations to widely market the wreath as a must have home adornment.

But honestly, despite in depth research, the exact origins of the Christmas Wreath are fairly uncertain. In this article, we'll explore the history and evolution of the Christmas Wreath Tradition, and we’ll try and explain why this enduring symbol of life, light and the Christmas Spirit continues to adorn homes everywhere throughout the month of December.

Let’s read on together, shall we?


The History of Wreaths

Wreaths date back to ancient Greco-Roman times and were often used as headdresses, crowns, and victory garlands.

We know that for centuries, wreaths held symbolic (usually religious or earth mother) meanings in almost all European cultures, and clearly, the modern Christmas Wreath evolved from these symbolic meanings over time.

They were (most commonly) intricately crafted from fresh tree leaves, fragrant flowers, and twisted branches.

Greek & Roman Wreaths

The ancient Greek and Roman cultures revered the wreath as a symbol of honour, status, power and triumph. Laurel leaf wreaths were bestowed upon champions, rulers, and revered citizens.

German Wreaths

The Germanic people used evergreen wreaths as a sign of everlasting life during the winter solstice. The circular shape with no beginning or end represented eternity and evergreen boughs were a powerful symbol of strength and longevity amid the dark and cold winter.

Christian Wreaths

It wasn’t really until medieval times that Christians adopted the wreath tradition for Advent and Christmas. Generally, these Christian Christmas wreaths contained biblical herbs and plants like holly, ivy, pinecones, and candles.

These fragrant wreaths would often be hung during the four Sundays preceding Christmas as part of Advent observance. The circular evergreen wreaths and advent candles helped signify the coming of Christ and eternal life for believers.

Over time, these religious wreaths evolved into the more decorative Christmas wreaths we know today.

Who Invented the Christmas Wreath reveled

The Modern Christmas Wreath 

Germans are widely credited with starting the tradition of hanging Christmas wreaths on front doors. Using evergreen branches, pinecones, apples, and candles, these fragrant wreaths symbolised life, rebirth, and light during the winter season.

The evergreen boughs represented enduring life amid the barren winter landscape, pinecones signified fertility and apples were symbols of the harvest. 
Illuminated Wreaths.

The wreaths were then festooned with lit red candles that were set in the centre of the wreaths that adorned front doors across Germania bathing visitors with a welcoming light.

This practice was originally a tradition called "Adventskranz," – meaning a ring of red candles with evergreen branches. As Christmas trees rose in popularity during the 1800s, so too did the adoption of the Christmas Wreath

In the book "Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas" author Ace Collins has well noted that the "tree gave birth to the wreath" and he mentions in the book further that Johann Hinrich Wichern, a German Lutheran pastor, is often given credit for turning the humble wreath into a symbol of Advent.

But did Johann actually Invent The Christmas Wreath, or was it simply an evolution of ideals? We'll let you be the judge of that!

Yuletide Wreaths

Historical records indicate that Christmas wreaths were introduced to the United States by German settlers in Pennsylvania and Ohio and certainly using fresh evergreen branches was an easy tradition for colonial Americans to adopt.

Over the decades, Christmas wreaths became more elaborate and decorative and rather than plain evergreen boughs, wreaths featured an array of coloured pinecones, berries, dried flowers, ribbons, and bows. The circular shape came to represent unity and eternal life.

Today, a typical Christmas wreath contains fragrant evergreens, pinecones, holly berries, poinsettias, wire ribbon, and Christmas tree ornaments and they can be extremely colourful.

These resplendent wreaths have now come to embody the merriment and pleasures of the Christmas season, something we almost all understand!

Regional and Cultural Wreath Variations

Christmas wreaths around the world incorporate unique materials and designs reflecting local customs.
South America: In Central and South America, wreaths contain tropical flowers like orchids, poinsettias, and birds of paradise. Many feature the Nacimiento scene with figures of Mary, Joseph and Jesus.
Australia and New Zealand: Here native plants like eucalyptus and protea are popular wreath additions. Wreaths in China and Japan often contain paper flowers, silk ribbons, and paper lanterns as decorations.
Scandinavia: Countries in Scandinavia favour simple wreaths with white candles, holly, juniper branches, and red berries as decorations. Italian wreaths showcase olives, figs, and blooming red flowers. 
Ireland: On the Emerald Isle, sturdy rings of twigs or wire are covered in berries, pinecones, and mistletoe.

Who invented the Christmas Wreath for Advent

Notable Historical Christmas Wreath References

Some of the earliest known references to Christmas wreaths date back to medieval Catholic manuscripts. A 1510 painting titled God the Father by Italian Renaissance artist Giovanni Battista Cima da Conegliano depicts God wearing a victory laurel wreath.

In a 16th century memoir, German Lutheran reformer Martin Luther reportedly walked under an evergreen wreath decorated with apples and candles on Christmas Eve. Christmas wreaths are also mentioned in the poem “The Christmas Wreath” Anna de Brémont and by the 19th century, magazines and newspapers featured Christmas wreath illustrations and ads.

These historical references contribute to our understanding of how the Christmas wreath became a treasured tradition and quintessential holiday decoration.

Who Invented The Christmas Wreath Revealed!

There you have it folks, the Christmas Wreath was not so much invented rather than evolved. From a sporting insignia of power, to a popular festive decorative door adornment, the humble wreath is now a beloved part of millions of households "Christmas Cheer" each year.

Will you be putting up a christmas Wreath this year?

Thanks for dropping by and reading our take on Who Invented The Christmas Wreath - you might also be interested in our other festive blgo article on What is Twixmas? so please do feel free to have alook over at the article as well.

For all things Festive at Easthampstead Park this Christmas please check out our Festive Offerings RIGHT HERE.


Please, if interested, feel free to have a look at our Festive Accommodation Breaks for Twixmas today.



Q: Who Invented Xmas Wreaths?
A: The connection between wreath and Advent Wreath seems to have historically been made by Lutheran Germans in the early 1800's But this is not definitavely proven.

Q: Why Is A Wreath A Symbol Of Christmas?
A: Strong symbolisms that evolved the normal wreath to Christmas Wreaths include the circular shape, signifying eternity (God) and came to represent Christian faith and the promise of everlasting life. The holly wreath, with its sharp, pointed leaves, its believed represented the crown of thorns worn by Christ on the cross. And the candles themselves which represent supposedly hope, peace, joy, and love all things normally associated with Christmas, selflessness and giving.

Q: Are Christmas Wreaths Pagan?
A: The term "wreath" has its roots in the Old English word "writha," signifying something circular or round. Wreaths have historical ties to the pagan festival of Yule, an observance marking the winter solstice that was cherished by the ancient Germanic and Scandinavian communities. So whilst the wreath might've also been used in pagan rituals since the dawn of time, the modern Christmas Wreath is Christian based.