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a colorful past: Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa

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green and red! and me licking a fake lollipop…yum

while getting our supplies together for a DIY segment on The Today Show *watch this Friday morning on NBC!!* we made sure to incorporate festive colors, namely green and red for Christmas and blue for Hanukkah…which got me wondering: who came up with these colors?? what is the origin of these festive hues? after some research…i found each holiday has quite a colorful past:

Christmas: red & green 

a couple theories exist for this well-known pairing of colors. one is that the color green symbolizes life (eternal life in Christ), while red symbolizes the blood that was shed by Jesus. the incorporation of trees date back to Paradise plays (acting out stories from the Bible), where a pine tree decorated with red apples was used for the garden of eden. however, the tree was also used before Christianity as part of the Winter Solstice tradition in Paganism (which Kate wrote about here).

Hanukkah: blue & white

to differentiate from Christmas colors, blue and white (or silver) became the commercialized colors of Hanukkah.  blue and white are also the colors of the prayer shawl (also called the Tallit); blue is said to be a reminder of the sky and God.

Kwanzaa: black, red & green

a non-religious holiday, Kwanzaa means “first fruits of the harvest” in Swahili. celebrating family, heritage, and culture, green represents the land of Africa as well as hope for the future, black refers to the color of the African race, and red symbolizes the struggle and blood shed by ancestors.

so there’s your brief history lesson! celebrate just one or celebrate them all…what really makes the holiday season special is spending time and creating fun traditions with your family and friends (and animals!) and incorporating color into your lives however you see fit! let color inspire you, no matter its historical context. 

peace. love. Mr. Kate! 

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