When I sew for Christmas, wrap gifts or plan outfits for December parties I inevitably think of red and green. I like both those colors and sewing with Christmas fabrics used to be easier for matching. Lately I feel that every year they add in teal or change the shades and it’s harder to mix collections. However, they stick to variations of the same shades. Why those two? Let’s get some festive facts about holiday colors.
1. Green – This is a color, in varying intensity, that is very associated with 12/25. There are various theories but one popular one is because of the greenery in miseltoe, holly and ivy which decorate during the dull winter months. Want the full scoop about green? Click here.
2. Red – Santa has a red suit but the tradition of red dates back hundreds of years. Red berries, red bishop’s robes
and red apples are all part of why it became an essential holiday hue. Read some more interesting tidbits.
3. Red and green – Red and green are a vibrant color combination but many scholars believe this pairing dates from Medieval tapestries used to separate areas of the cathedrals. I encountered more than one citation about the use of these two colors in screens used in churches. There is even a picture on this site.
4. Gold – In many Christmas fabrics, there is gold added. I see a lot of gold added in on trees as well. Perhaps even without realizing it, people use it today but in the past it was added to represent one of the gifts of the Three Kings. Any other questions about Christmas colors, read more here.
5. White – I love the contrast of white with red or green in Christmas fabric. I found a fascinating article on symbolism of colors in religions and it turns out white is associated with nearly every faith. As white is the absence of color and represents purity, it is indeed a color of the season.
6. 2016 – I like red, green, white and gold because you can add things that are new and everything still goes together. But in 2016 the people from HGTV are urging us to use new combinations with brown and purple. Sure, why not? Check out the gallery of combinations I will probably never try.
7. Hanukkah – The traditional colors of the Jewish holiday which begins December 24 this year are blue, white and silver. Why? Blue and white are the colors of the Israeli flag and certain scrolls. Add the silver for a bit of bling and sparkle. I learned this all here.
8. Kwanzaa – 2016 is the 50th anniversary of Kwanzaa, a holiday created not on a religious basis but a cultural one. It begins on December 26 each year. Its founder was hoping to remind African Americans of the traditions and values from Africa and inspire them. Its colors are black, green and red, colors important in ancient Africa and now. I found out how much I did not know by reading this basic introductory article.
9. New Year’s Eve – When I looked up the color for NYE I thought it would say black. I was thinking little black dresses and tuxedoes. It turns out that there are six colors associated with New Year’s Eve and all of them relate to your underwear. No, I am not making this up. Choices are yellow, red, white, blue, green and pink. Look up their meaning here or here. Same colors, the first
has a man in underwear, the second a woman. Nothing naughty!
I love color, in my quilts, my clothes and my holidays. I loved reading this article, What color is your Holiday? I have to confess, however, I seem to be lacking in the color variety of my underwear as beige and black don’t seem very lucky.
Or maybe I will start my own lucky fabric color tradition for NYE!
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Wondering what the underwear colors mean? Here’s a cheat sheet.