THE HANGING OF GREENS – IVY
The hanging of greens, such as holly, ivy and Mistletoe is a British winter tradition with origins far before the Christian era.
Greenery was used to lift people's spirits during the long winter and remind them that spring was not far away.
Ivy, the accepted symbol of friendship, like Holly and Mistletoe, has since pagan times been used as a decoration at festivals.
The ancient custom was to decorate the doorway with intertwined garlands of Holly and Ivy which represented unity between the dual halves of divinity the Holly was the Goddess and female while Ivy was the eternal representation of consort to the goddess and there fore was masculine in nature.
In pagan religions Ivy had been a symbol of eternal life while the Christians believe it stands for the new promise of eternal life.
The Romans used Ivy as part of celebrations related to the god Bacchus, whose worshippers were thought to have worn Ivy crowns.
We rarely decorate our houses with ivy anymore at Christmas but many homes have potted ivy plants in the home all year round.