History of Christmas Symbols

by Natasha

Have you wondered what all the christmas symbols mean? I mean why we use wreaths, candle, star etc., read this article which will tell you the story behind christmas symbols.

Christmas Day is celebrated on December 25th of each year and Christmas being the most celebrated festival in the world draws a lot of attention and interest. Everything related to christmas is symbolic and has a history behind it. There are lot of symbols that have become synonymous with christmas. Some have existed right from the starting of this festival and others were added later. It is important that we know the important christmas symbols associated with christmas while we celebrate the christmas festival. I have listed below some of the important christmas symbols associated with christmas and their significance. I hope you will enjoy the read. Merry Christmas!!


Holly is a shrub with spiny leaves and red berries. It is evergreen and remains that way throughout the year.In Christianity, Holly symbolizes the crown of thorns worn by Jesus Christ at his crucifixion.

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Advent wreath symbolizes the coming of the christ. Advent wreaths are bought one month before christmas and four candles are placed on the wreath. One candle is lit each Sunday to show that the Christ's birthday is approaching.

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During christmas, the star is placed atop the christmas tree. It is also known as the guiding star or the star of bethelem. The star guided the 3 wiseman to baby Jesus.

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The Poinsettia gets it's name from Dr. J.R.Poinsett who brought the leaf to the U.S. in 1825. The Poinsettia resembles the christmas star and due to a popular mexican legend, the poinsettia got associated with christmas.

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There are lot of stories associated with the bells. The old testament mentions bells being used on the robes of the high priest. And a different version says that the bells are rang to announce the birth of christ.

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Undoubtedly, the most favorite christmas symbol. Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus as we call it, was born in the 4th century in Turkey. he was popular for his generosity and love for children. Childrens love him dearly.

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The Yule log is burnt on christmas eve. It is decorated with red ribbons and glitters. The log is burnt the whole night and smolder for twelve days symbolizing 12 days of christmas. A piece of log is saved to rekindle the next year's log.

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Candles are lit to ward off evil. In ancient time, candles were lit at windows as a sign of hospitality and welcomeness to passerby. Candles are also used on advent wreath to indicate the coming of christ.

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Christmas stocking have become an important christmas symbol and it is widely used during christmas. Legend has it that Saint Nicholas also known as Santa Claus wanted to help a poor family but anonymously. So he threw gold coins from their chimney and it fell into a stocking that was hanging there to dry.

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Merry Christmas
Updated: 06/06/2012, Natasha
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sheilamarie on 06/07/2012

Christmas symbols are so meaningful. It's such a wonderful time of year!

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