32¢ Evergreen Wreath
Issue Date: October 15, 1998
City: Christmas, MI
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine die cut 11.3 x 11.7
The traditional Christmas wreath hanging on the front door has become a welcoming gesture of friendship. Most often, a simple circle of evergreens decorated with a festive red bow greets visitors.
Wreaths have been created throughout the world for hundreds of years. Greek and Roman mythology first identified the wreath as having religious significance. These stories make references to wreaths as symbols of honor. In the Middle Ages, they were often created to look like the rosary, and in England, interweaving dried flowers and herbs was popular. As a display of the happiness felt on the day they proclaimed their religious devotion, nuns in 18th-century Mexico wore wreaths on their heads. In the United States, the tradition of combining fruits, vegetables, pine cones, and evergreens began in the Williamsburg settlement in Virginia over two centuries ago.
The Christmas wreath, usually made of holly leaves and berries, can be found hanging mainly in northern Europe, Canada, and the United States. During the holiday season, those of the Christian faith hang an Advent wreath, made of fir tree branches, from the ceiling. It is decorated with four candles, to be lit one by one on the four Sundays preceding Christmas.