Red & Green For Christmas

This may have been covered before, but I missed it if it was… How did red and green become the colors for Christmas?

According to the guy on Art Bell last night, the colors came from halucinogenic mushrooms. I am not making this up. He had some theory that acient pagan mushroom rituals were replaced by christmas and the color of the mushrooms were retained.

The musrooms in question were the agaric variety (red and white) that grow under pine trees, hence the practice of placing bright objects under trees.

They guy has a website if anyone cares, I’m sure Art’s site has a link.

Aw, heck I went ahead and found the link to the mushroom guy’s page.


The page is huge, scroll down to the Mushrooms and Christmas part to read all about it.

Dang it, second try.

Mushroom Page

Well,green is the color of the evergreen trees(hey…) and red would be the chryanthemums or the christmas flower(?).

The poster beneath me is really smart!

Okay,its the poinsettia.

If by “Christmas flower” you mean the Poinsettia, that would be a later development. Joel Poinsett brought that back with him from his stint in Mexico as a special minister (not ambassador) to that fledgling republic in 1822-1823. By that time, the red/green colors were pretty firmly established.

(If you don’t like the mushroom theory, it is also true that most winter berries (holly, barberry, and several others) are a deep or bright red lending a “natural” aspect to bringing more color in with the green boughs at the yule tide.)


In other words, The Holly & The Ivy, to name an old Christmas ballad.

The Puritans wanted Christmas colours to be black and black, with black trim, but it woulda never been very popular.

( Warning: do not believe everything you read on message boards. )

      • Something I find rather interesting is that most of the decorations we use for celebrating a Christian holiday are made in coutries that are predominantly not Christian. - MC