The main colors of Christmas are red and green. Did you ever wonder why this is? The association of red and green with Christmas is worldwide. One can speculate and come up with lots of ideas about when and why these colors were first associated with Christmas.
Green comes from evergreens which have been used since ancient times to celebrate the winter solstice. In the early days of the Roman Catholic Church when the pagan rituals of the winter solstice were merged into the celebration of Christ’s birth evergreens continued to be used. In winter solstice celebrations evergreens symbolized life that survived through the long, dark winters. The Christians thought of green as symbolizing the hope for eternal life that Jesus offers.
A commonly accepted explanation for the use of red and green is based on a historical fact. Back in the 1300’s Adam and Eve’s day was celebrated on Christmas Eve. Churches in those days presented a lot of plays because most people were illiterate. The plays were focused on religious stories of importance to the church and were called miracle plays. On Adam and Eve’s day the play was called the paradise play and portrayed what happened in the garden of eden. There wasn’t an apple tree available in the winter so they made one by tying apples to a pine tree and it served as the tree that bore the forbidden fruit. This pine tree with the red apples eventually became a tradition in all churches and was used in their Christmas celebrations every year.
The tree became known as the Paradise Tree and soon people began erecting pine trees in their own homes during the holiday season decorated with red apples. This began the tradition of Christmas trees and the most popular explanation for the use of the colors of red and green for the holidays.