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History of the Wreath
In ancient times, the wreath was commonly known as a diadem, from the Greek word diadema, meaning "a thing bound around." It can be created from many items, such as various leaves, flowers, and fabric. Styles can range from ornamental display to head wreaths like those worn by the Greek and Romans.
Types & Uses
There are many types of wreaths with a wide variety of uses. It can be constructed in many sizes from small head worn wreaths to large display wreaths, such as those given as prizes for winning events. In ancient times, head wreaths were primarily used to signify royalty, athletic ability, military, or social standing. These eventually evolved into the jeweled crown as worn by royalty. Today, they are typically used as decorations during holiday seasons as adornments to symbolize peace, happiness, and prosperity. They can also be used as table centerpieces, welcoming decorations, or decor enhancements.
Most anything can be used to create a wreath. Leaves, flexible branches, dried flowers, blooming flowers, fabric, herbs, vines, and more can be crafted into beautiful bundled works of art. Combining different elements can add color, fragrance, and texture. Silk flowers or vines can also be used providing a lasting piece of bound decor. Other common materials used include evergreens, holly, hemlock, olive leaves, ivy, bay leaves, laurel, and mistletoe.
In Ancient Greece, the wreath was given to Olympic champions as a trophy of their accomplishments. In religion, it represents a circular form offered meanings of everlasting life or family circle. When hung on a door, it symbolizes a welcoming greeting.