Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

The colour of winter, Red Holly Berries the colour of Christmas

The colour of Winter
Holly Berries
Ballykeefe woods county kilkenny
Nigel Borrington



Some background Culture of Holly

Holly – more specifically the European holly, Ilex aquifolium – is commonly referenced at Christmas time, and is often referred to by the name Christ’s thorn. In many Western Christian cultures, holly is a traditional Christmas decoration, used especially in wreaths and illustrations, for instance on Christmas cards. Since medieval times the plant has carried a Christian symbolism, as expressed in the well-known Christian Christmas carol “The Holly and the Ivy”, in which the holly represents Jesus and the ivy represents the Virgin Mary. Angie Mostellar discusses the Christian use of holly at Christmas, stating that:

Christians have identified a wealth of symbolism in its form. The sharpness of the leaves help to recall the crown of thorns worn by Jesus; the red berries serve as a reminder of the drops of blood that were shed for salvation; and the shape of the leaves, which resemble flames, can serve to reveal God’s burning love for His people. Combined with the fact that holly maintains its bright colors during the Christmas season, it naturally came to be associated with the Christian holiday.

In heraldry, holly is used to symbolize truth. The Norwegian municipality of Stord has a yellow twig of holly in its Coat-of-arms.

The Druids held that “leaves of holly offered protection against evil spirits” and thus “wore holly in their hair”.

In the Harry Potter novels, holly is used as the wood in Harry’s wand.

In some Traditions of Wicca, the Holly King is one of the faces of the Sun God. He is born at Midsummer and rules from Mabon to Ostara

2 responses

  1. Enlightening, as always. Who knew there was so much history to holly?

    December 18, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    • Hi Alli 🙂

      I love this kind of cultural History, we have lost so much interest in the everyday natural things, its great that so many people are still sharing and keeping these details alive 🙂

      December 18, 2017 at 8:57 pm

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.