by R Marshall on December 20th
Holly has always been considered a special plant. This is because throughout time people have been fascinated with holly because it remains green throughout winter. Celts and Anglo Saxons associated it with mystical power although today it is simply a bringer of good luck if you take it into your house. It also has other associative powers. There is both male and female holly. If you only bring one kind into the house, then that will be the dominant sex for that particular household.
In Roman mythology holly was considered sacred to Saturn, the Sun God. Pagans worshipped holly and its presence was common amongst many rituals.
Holly wreaths were also common to winter solstice celebrations. Its initial use amongst Christians was therefore controversial due to its association with paganism but the fascination with this plant prevailed although it was a while before it came into popular use.
A Christian legend tells that the crown of thorns worn by Christ on the cross was in fact a crown of holly. His blood turned the berries red. This also caused some controversy, however, holly wreaths soon became part of the tradition in Church decoration.
Today holly wreaths are used to decorate homes, churches and celebrations. You can find them everywhere. Other stories about the holly have developed adding to the fascination. In the West of England for example a sprig of holly on a young girl's bed wards off evil.
A sprig of holly on the bedpost brings sweet dreams and a tonic created from holly cures coughs. There are many stories, beliefs and myths about holly which fuel its popularity today.
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